“…Can I send partial records without registering? How long is the wait for surgery? Do you accept insurance? How much will my surgery cost? Do you do pro bono cases? Where can I learn more about your procedures? How long will I need to stay in Atlanta? What do I need to do to send records? What happens after I become established as a CEC patient?…” Questions? We’ve got answers!
We’ve compiled some of our most frequently asked questions in order to get you started; however, as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information or have any additional questions. We are here to help! We want to streamline the process of possibly becoming a CEC patient as much as we can for you, to make it easier.
A bit of housekeeping: please remember, the very best place to get the most accurate and current details about our practice, policies and procedures is from our office. The Internet and social media can be helpful, but there is often a lot of misinformation posted in groups, etc. by even well-meaning parties who do not represent us. Only we will have the most authoritative and specific answers relative to your personal case – so please reach out directly anytime. We’d love to hear from you! We also have lots of information on our websites (see also http://www.centerforendo.com) and are very happy to help with anything you can’t find. We appreciate your interest in our services and are delighted to serve the endometriosis community in any way we can. We consider it a true honor and privilege to serve patients from around the world. Read on!
ARE YOU ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS? DOES THE CEC ACCEPT PATIENTS FROM OUTSIDE ATLANTA?
Yes, and yes! Our near-5,000 patients have come to us from nearly 50 countries all over the world – all of North America, Asia, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Australia, Jamaica, Iceland, Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Russian Federation, New Zealand and beyond. If you are dealing with endometriosis – or think you might be – we would be honored to try and help you restore your quality of life through our compassionate, expert treatment. We are blessed to work with all individuals from the international pelvic pain community and would be very happy to lend our opinion to your case.
Our Founder, Dr. Albee, is not accepting new surgical cases; however, he is more than happy to see you in the office, review your case and offer you his expertise anytime. Dr. Sinervo, our Medical Director, operates several days a week and will gladly review your case directly, as well. Our entire team is here to help – what can we do for you?
DO YOU OFFER PHONE CONSULTS & RECORDS REVIEW?
Yes, absolutely! More than two decades ago when Dr. Albee opened our doors, he felt it was critical to offer those struggling an opportunity to decide on their care choices before stepping foot in our offices without incurring costs. Today, we’re still doing records review and phone consultations for FREE. Our team reviews well over 1,200 cases a year from every corner of the globe, at no cost to the patient.
The records review process is outlined here in great detail: http://centerforendo.com/getstarted.htm. Please read through it in its entirety before submitting case files (incomplete files or those materials submitted to us without registration will be destroyed, as we cannot accept unsolicited, untracked records nor review incomplete records).
The first step to undergoing the free review is registering.
Once registered, you will receive your instructions, links/etc. to undergo the review process. Those who do not register will not receive their instructional packet, and their records will not be reviewed. We appreciate your understanding.
You are also more than welcome to make an in-office appointment and come see us anytime! Please call 770-913-0001 to schedule; appointments are not accepted online. Please also note that unlike free records review, standard fees apply to any office visits, including first consult. These charges, and any paperwork you will need to bring, will be discussed at the time of booking your appointment with Dr. Albee or Dr. Sinervo. PLEASE NOTE: 48 hours notice of cancellation is required. If you cannot make your appointment for whatever reason, please call 770-913-0001 to let us know within this required time frame. Failure to notify us in advance may result in a standard non-cancellation fee.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAR BACK FROM THE REVIEWING SURGEON AFTER MY RECORDS ARE RECEIVED? WHEN ARE SURGERIES BEING BOOKED?
Once your complete and entire case file is received, your records will be reviewed and you will be contacted directly by the reviewing surgeon within 2-3 weeks. To find out if your records have been received, please call 770-913-0001. We do not schedule callbacks or notify; you will be contacted as the surgeon’s schedule permits by him directly. If you are accepted as a surgical patient, you will then be contacted by Jean Williams, our Surgical Coordinator, to review finances and insurance and obtain your surgical date. You can expect to hear from Jean after she processes your file; approximately 3 weeks post-review. If all information is not complete on your registration form, this will delay your case significantly.
We are currently booking surgeries approximately 8 weeks out. It has been erroneously stated on certain social media groups that the date you are given depends on your payment status. This is unequivocally false. We do NOT give priority based on ability to pay. While every effort is made to accommodate urgent cases and date requests, please understand there is no ‘cancellation list’ per se and we may be otherwise unable to offer you specific dates. We do not process case reviews on a ‘rush’ basis, though every effort will be made to accommodate the nature of your case. If you are a physician or hospital sending us a direct transfer for emergency surgery, please call us directly at 770-913-0001 as soon as possible.
I’M GOING TO JUST SEND OFF MY RECORDS TO THE CENTER RIGHT NOW. IS THAT OKAY?
NO. Please register first. Unsolicited files will be destroyed. We MUST have registration data for you before we can review your case. Please see http://centerforendo.com/sendinfo.htm for details. Thank you for understanding our need to adhere to our specific process in order to best serve your needs and protect your healthcare information and privacy.
I’M FAXING/EMAILING PICTURES, RECORDS AND FORMS IN SCANNED, MULTIPLE ATTACHMENTS. WHERE SHOULD THEY BE EMAILED/FAXED?
They shouldn’t. We do not accept scanned/emailed/attached or faxed files (with specific, pre-arranged exception on case by case basis). We also do not accept incomplete/separate materials except where pre-arranged in specific circumstances. Records must be sent, complete (narrative, forms, records, insurance if applicable), in one envelope to our offices at 1140 Hammond Drive, Building F, Suite 6220, Atlanta, GA 30328. Please send hard copies, not disks or thumb drives.
There are very limited exceptions to this procedure. If your physician will not release to anyone but us, or you are located out of the country, please let us know and we will direct you regarding your files transfer accordingly. No records will accepted by email without prior, specific discussion. Thank you for understanding and respecting the process.
I NEED MY CASE REVIEW RECORDS BACK, OR NEED MY SURGICAL RECORDS SENT FROM THE CEC TO ME OR ANOTHER PROVIDER POST-OPERATIVELY. HOW DO I OBTAIN THEM?
Patients are sent a complete copy of their post-op and pathology following their surgery with us. If you require another copy of your path/op notes, please call us at 770-913-0001. If you would like your records that you sent us for review back, please include a letter in your package indicating as such at the time of your case evaluation. If you need your CEC/additional records in your chart sent to another provider or back to you at a later time after your surgery with us, please fill out and send us this form, allowing 10 business days to process your request. Any questions? Let us know. We’re happy to help!
HOW SHOULD I SEND MY CASE FOR REVIEW?
The best way to send us your records is via regular US postal mail. You can request “signature required.” FedEx, UPS, etc. may be utilized, but we do not recommend use of express services. There have been many instances where patient records were attempted delivery on Saturdays, after hours, or completely mis-delivered to other offices in our complex, resulting in significant delays in the review process and at worse, lost case files. Sending your file ‘express’ does not speed the review process up at all, and may result in mishandling of your case by the delivery service.
WHY DO I NEED TO SEND RECORDS AND/OR A NARRATIVE?
We cannot evaluate your case accordingly and develop a potential treatment plan for you with no records. In very select cases, this requirement may be waived for certain individuals based on circumstances, but in general: we require medical records (a surgical diagnosis/prior surgery is not required, but we will need office records in lieu of surgical reports) as well as a completed copy of our “prospective new patient” packet, which you will be sent a link to at the time of your registration. The narrative summary is also a critical part of the evaluation process. It is your experience with the disease, told in a way no one else can tell your story – from your perspective, in your own words. While we understand it may difficult (but perhaps cathartic!) for some to compile this summary, it is required. It can be as simple as a chronological listing of your diagnoses and treatments to date (if any) and how you are feeling now, or it can be extensive and highly detailed. We do read every word.
I REGISTERED, BUT DIDN’T RECEIVE A PACKET. WHAT HAPPENED?
One of two things: the packet went to your spam (very common!) file, or your registration was not received. If you’ve registered and received an email from one of our surgeons but not an email packet, that indicates your packet was either blocked or delivered to junk mail (you would not get a note from the surgeon if the packet had not been sent). Please check your filter accordingly. If it is still not there, or you didn’t receive any email from our staff at all, please get in touch at Heather@CenterForEndo.com. We’ll be very happy to resend by email or postal mail.
ONCE MY RECORDS ARE REVIEWED, AM I CONSIDERED A PATIENT AND CAN I GET MEDICATION PRESCRIBED BY THE CEC?
NO. The records review we offer is a courtesy. It is not intended to offer or replace medical advice in any way and should not be considered as party to any CEC doctor/patient relationship. We do not write any prescriptions until you are seen and physically examined in our office in person, under the law. We do not provide narcotic or any other prescriptions prior to seeing any patient in the office. We do not write prescriptions of any kind for non-patients.
HOW DO I GET AFTERCARE OR PRESCRIPTIONS FILLED/RENEWED?
Once established as a patient, we do not fill prescription requests via email or fax. Requests must be made by the patient verbally via phone at 770-913-0001 during business hours. We cannot write or refill any medications in any other way. There are no exceptions to this legal requirement.
Every attempt should be made to contact our offices with medical concerns or prescriptions requests during normal business hours, Monday through Friday. We understand, however, that of course needs cannot always be anticipated to take place during business days/hours. In such events, please call our service to be connected with the on-call surgeon, 24 hours a day, who will try and accommodate your urgent requests in any way possible. Please do not email or leave voicemails with urgent medical or prescription concerns; please also NEVER contact staff via social media or by public postings, as we cannot protect your privacy via such means of contact and will not respond to public postings with information about your specific case. All requests regarding your care must be directly appropriately to our offices. Thank you for your understanding.
HOW MUCH DOES SURGERY COST, AND IS IT ALL PAYABLE UPFRONT?
Lots of misinformation is often posted on social media groups regarding costs here at our Center. However, please know that no one other than the CEC can offer you actual specifics regarding your case with us. Please contact us directly to discuss your details, as it will not be the same as someone else and those not affiliated with us cannot comment on your case with any accuracy or authority. Please also understand our quoted fee does not include hospital costs, as they are separate and outside our control. We will, however, help you work with the hospital and others scheduled on your case to make it as affordable as possible. Once scheduled and your fee is contracted, you will be advised what your surgical deposit and necessary upfront costs are. Again – each case is different, so please discuss this matter with our offices personally.
We are unable to determine your specific fee prior to reviewing your case. Each individual’s situation is unique and thus is handled on private basis with the CEC’s Surgical Coordinator, Jean. Please know we strive very hard to make it a possibility for all patients to receive care with us to the extent we can, and thus fees will only be determined based on the specific patient’s review, her recommended procedures, her personal financial situation and insurance details. There can be no exceptions to this. Thank you for understanding.
DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?
This is one of the biggest misunderstandings surrounding the CEC. We are an Out of Network (OON) provider in private practice, as many specialist surgeons for endometriosis are. This does not mean we do not take insurance – we do, as an OON provider. We are not “cash only” as has been mistakenly suggested on some Internet groups. Subscribers who do not have out of network coverage in their respective plan are considered self-pay (and thus eligible for a potential discount). This includes TriCare subscribers. Please understand there is no average “ballpark” figure which we can accurately offer you in advance, as out of pocket maximums will be based on the patient and her specific needs/case/coverage. All patients work with Jean in our offices individually and privately AFTER their initial free consult, and a surgical contract – including exact fees – is then established before scheduling any procedures and coming to Atlanta. Credit cards and Care Credit are also accepted and we can certainly explore payment plans and potential discounts on a case by case basis. We DO help file and check your insurance, write appeals, file paperwork, etc. etc. We also strive to make it a possibility for every patient to come to our Center for treatment and will work with each patient individually based on her needs. Please do not base your decision to seek possible care with us on someone else’s costs and personal situation, which you may have read about on the Internet or Facebook. Each case is handled differently according to the woman or girl’s individual needs. For complete details, please visit http://centerforendo.com/insurance.htm or call our offices to speak with Jean.
DO YOU EVER DO ANY PRO BONO CASES?
Please discuss this directly with Jean – after your case has been reviewed. We work very hard to try and be flexible; please understand, however, we may not be able to accommodate everyone. Compassion care may be offered on a limited, criteria-specific basis. Please inquire directly.
DO I HAVE TO MAKE MULTIPLE TRIPS TO YOUR OFFICE BEFORE ACTUALLY HAVING SURGERY?
No. We know this is a costly inconvenience for the majority of our patients. While you are always welcome to come to our offices in beautiful Perimeter Center, Atlanta, it is not an upfront requirement to schedule your surgery. We recognize the significant burden it places on patients and their families both in terms of time and expense; thus, we do as much as possible upfront via email, postal mail, fax and phone prior to actually requiring you to come in. Northside Hospital approaches our patient’s cases the same way and will do as much as they can before you arrive in Atlanta as well. The same is true for our collaborating team members.
HOW LONG WILL I NEED TO STAY IN ATLANTA IF I COME FOR SURGERY?
Every case varies, but the average stay is approximately 1 week. Arrive in Atlanta, pre-op in our offices the next day, surgery the day after that, recuperation in your hotel or lodging for a couple more days, and then return home to fully recuperate (this is a simplistic approximation; you will be provided more specifics about your own case at the time of booking). Check our website for area hotels and travel tips, and remember to ask for medical discount rates when booking.
HOW MANY DAYS WILL I BE HOSPITALIZED AFTER MY SURGERY?
Again, this varies based on the individual, but in general, our surgeries (with the exception of bowel resection, hysterectomy or other major component to your surgery) typically require only a 23 hour hold – this is considered *outpatient.* An overnight stay allows us to treat your post-op pain and observe you before sending you home in the morning. All procedures are done laparoscopically, but should you have a bowel resection, for example, you will be held longer; approximately 72 hours. Again, these are general averages – each case is unique.
IS IT OKAY FOR ME TO BE DRIVEN HOME AFTER SURGERY? IT’S A 2/4/6/8/ETC. HOUR DRIVE.
Yes, you can be driven home once you are released, but remember: you will be in pain and we strongly suggest you to stop every 1.5-2 hrs to stretch your legs, use the facilities, etc. For travel tips post-operatively, see our website at http://centerforendo.com/goingthedistance.htm and http://centerforendo.com/traveling.htm.
If you are flying or your ride is more than a couple hours, you may wish to postpone or consider other options.
WHAT BLOOD WORK WILL I NEED PRIOR TO SURGERY?
Unless you are specifically directed otherwise with regards to your own case, we merely perform a finger stick at your pre-op. Northside Hospital will advise you in your pre-op phone consult if there is anything they require.
I HAVE RELIGIOUS OR OTHER RESTRICTIONS I.E. REFUSAL OF TRANSFUSION WHICH I WANT HONORED DURING SURGERY. IS THIS A PROBLEM?
Not at all! We always gladly respect and uphold the wishes and beliefs of our very diverse patient population and always honor our patient’s needs.
I NEED A BABYSITTER/CAR SERVICE/RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION/OTHER RESOURCE WHILE IN ATLANTA. CAN YOU HELP?
We will always try our best to assist patients with their various needs while in the Atlanta area. However, please understand – we are a professional surgical practice focused on patient care, and thus have limited time to research such inquiries. Do let us know what you are looking in advance of your trip to Georgia, however, and we will try to accommodate your needs if we can. You can also find information about the area on the Perimeter Center Chamber of Commerce website.
I DON’T HAVE BOWEL DISEASE, SO DO I STILL NEED TO BOWEL PREP?
As Dr. Albee says, ‘only if you want the surgery.’ CEC requires all patients to prep. Our prep typically involves an enema/oral laxative combination, but this will be addressed with you personally at the time of your booking. We know this isn’t pleasant, but we will try to help make it as quick and painless as possible. For helpful prep tips, please visit: http://endometriosis.org/resources/articles/how-to-survive-a-bowel-preparation
WILL I NEED PADS OR TAMPONS AFTER SURGERY? WHEN CAN I SWIM/HAVE INTERCOURSE/EXERCISE/GO BACK TO WORK/ETC.?
Panty liners for a few days following surgery are expected; discuss the specific needs/expectations of your case with your surgeon.
All expectations and return to normal activity will be addressed with you personally at the time of your surgery. Typically, most individuals can expect a 2-3 week post-op return to normal activity but again, this will be discussed personally with you based on your own case.
DO I NEED TO STOP TAKING MY MEDS PRIOR TO SURGERY?
This will be discussed with each patient personally. There are a number of medications patients must come off prior to surgery, however, not everyone will need to stop all their current therapies. This will be reviewed with you at the time of your surgical booking.
DOES NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL HAVE PRIVATE ROOMS?
Yes, all rooms with the exception of the post-op holding and recovery bay are private. You can learn more about the hospital here. Your surgery will be performed at the main Atlanta Campus.
CAN MY PARTNER/SPOUSE/FAMILY MEMBER STAY WITH ME OVERNIGHT?
Visitors can see you all day until approximately 9pm or so; partners/loved ones may be able to spend the night with you chair-side – check with your nurse. For policy regarding children, see http://www.northside.com/atlanta.
DO I NEED TO MAKE A FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT AFTER SURGERY?
If your desire is to come in and see your surgeon before you leave Atlanta, you are certainly welcome and encouraged to do so. However, it is not required to be discharged, as your surgeon will be seeing you in the hospital prior to your release.
CAN THE CEC SURGICAL STAFF COME TO MY LOCATION AND PERFORM SURGERY IN MY LOCAL HOSPITAL?
As much as we wish we could, our staff works in, has privileges at, and maintains our operating room only in Northside Hospital here in Atlanta. However – we do offer training and Fellowships. Professionals wishing to observe or train with us should visit our preceptorship page at http://www.centerforendometriosiscare.com/surgical-methods. We also frequently lecture, teach and present at medical schools, universities, nursing schools, hospitals, numerous professional and organizational events and more. If you would like to have us speak or present at your meeting, support group or other local resource, please just reach out and let us know! We’d be very happy to arrange a trip to your area.
WHAT IF I HAVE ONGOING PAIN OR ISSUES AFTER SURGERY?
You need to call us and notify us as soon as possible. We cannot stress this enough: *Email/posting on Facebook or Internet boards/etc. are not acceptable or effective means of communication regarding your personal healthcare* and you MUST *speak* with a medical team member as soon as your symptoms present following surgery by calling the office. Please also do not ask others (unless they are your legal partner, patient advocate or caregiver with written proof to confirm status) to email, call or write us on your behalf. We do not discuss patient cases with anyone except the patient and/or her legal representative. Our phone number, monitored 24 hrs a day 7 days a week, is 770-913-0001. We cannot action cases we do not know about or that are publicly posted on social media (for us to do so would violate your privacy protection under the law), so please contact us by phone.
It can take upwards of three months post-excision to heal completely; possibly longer in some cases. Though you may return to normal activity within 7-14 days, internal healing takes much longer. Discuss with your surgeon realistic outlooks for your specific case.
CAN THE CEC HELP ME COMPLETE MY FMLA AND/OR DISABILITY PAPERWORK?
Yes, surely. There is a nominal fee of $40.00 (payable for each encounter/documentation) to the Center for Endometriosis Care/Kenny R. Sinervo, MD FRCSC, LLC for our assistance with and ongoing completion of all Family Medical Leave Act and/or Disability paperwork. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask by calling Trish at 770.913.0001. Please note: this fee applies to established patients who have their date of surgery scheduled and need their disability paperwork completed. It is not, and in no way relates to, a fee for our records review. As always, the records review is completely free.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ORGANIZATIONAL OR INDUSTRY MARKETING PARTNERSHIPS?
Despite misinformed statements you may have read on certain social media groups, posted by individuals not associated with our Center in any way, the CEC does NOT, in fact, have ANY formal or paid affiliations with any individuals, organizations, group leaders, Facebook/social media groups, industry partners or associations in the endometriosis community. While we are very happy to be a constant collaborator in and supporter of various endeavors designed to achieve positive progress in the disease, we do not recommend or endorse any specific products, advocates, community leaders, foundations, individuals, activists or otherwise, nor do we pay any organization or individual to be included on a referral list or marketing resource they may offer. Our referrals and recommendations come only from our patients who have actually been treated by the CEC and gone through the patient processes firsthand – and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our research partnerships are completely separate from our patient care and do not in any influence our caregiving. If you have any questions about the CEC, our staff, our operations or any other aspect of our business, be sure to check with the factual sources who have that information: our team.
HOW LONG HAS THE CEC BEEN IN BUSINESS?
The CEC (aka/dba Kenny R. Sinervo, MD FRCSC, LLC) was formed by Robert B. Albee, Jr., MD over two decades ago around four guiding principles to assist those with (or who think they may have) endometriosis and pelvic pain. It is led today by Medical Director, Ken Sinervo, MD, who joined the CEC in 2001 and has been at the head of our practice since 2011. Our surgeons are Board Certified, advanced gynecologic endoscopists who have each individually and as a practice earned the COEMIG designation as a Center of Excellence. We adhere to the following strict ethics:
– Recognizing subtle disease in all its manifestations;
– Removing all endometriosis while preserving a woman or girl’s organs;
– Performing pathological examination on all excised tissue; and
– Treating our patients with respect and compassion as partners in their health care.
WHY IS ENDOMETRIOSIS SO DIFFICULT TO TREAT EFFECTIVELY?
Often misdiagnosed and ineffectively treated, symptoms of endometriosis often chronically persist because it is rarely treated through the laparoscopic excision – LAPEX – procedure we have been performing here for decades across thousands upon thousands of women and girls. Such incomplete treatment results from even well-meaning physicians who do not recognize the disease or remove it in its entirety, leaving deep endometriosis – along with painful symptoms and pathology – behind. Most patients who come to us from every corner of the globe have received prior, failed therapies. Suppressive medications and hysterectomy (and even in this day and age still, “pregnancy as a cure”) are often recommended as treatments or cures, which of course they are not. We believe the key to success is removing *disease*, not *healthy organs*. You can learn more about excision and endometriosis here.
True recurrence is actually low if all disease is thoroughly and meticulously excised from all locations. Through our LAPEX approach, women and girls of all ages – at all stages of disease – have an excellent chance of being pain-free for the long-term, with minimal chance of recurrent or persistent symptoms. We have now treated to date almost 5,000 patients at our Center, exclusively through meticulous and painstaking laparoscopic excision, for more than 20 years. We have excellent long-term success rates among women and girls of all ages.
ALL LASER SURGERY IS CREATED EQUAL, RIGHT?
Wrong. Our surgeons are global leaders in the treatment of endometriosis and are among a mere handful of surgeons in the world who have perfected the C02 excision technique. Dr. Albee and Dr. Sinervo have long used the C02 laser to *dissect* the disease – this differs significantly from other, less meticulous surgical/laser techniques like vaporization and electrocautery/fulguration, or coagulation; all of which destroy the tissue, making microscopic evaluation impossible and do not remove all endometriosis – that’s why we don’t use those approaches. CEC surgeons use the laser as a *precision cutting tool*, NOT as a means of tissue destruction – vastly different from laser vaporization, etc. There is a very big, fundamental difference. Endometriosis of the bowel, bladder and beyond can also be safely and completely removed with the laser through excision, as can dense adhesions and deep, infiltrating peritoneal disease. All excised tissue is sent to the pathology lab for examination. You have the security of knowing exactly what was found and removed in your surgery.
The tool is not as important as the skill of the surgeon. Excision can be performed using cold excision, laser, robot or other means; what is not as important as how. If a surgeon cannot excise, they cannot excise using any tool.
I WANT TO GET DIRECTIONS. WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
The Center for Endometriosis Care | Perimeter Town Center
1140 Hammond Drive | Building F, Suite 6220 | Atlanta, GA 30328 USA
Toll Free: 866.733.5540 | Outside U.S.: 770.913.0001 | Fax: 770.913.0005
Web: http://www.centerforendo.com | http://www.centerforendometriosiscare.com
Facebook: centerforendometriosiscare | Twitter: @CtrForEndoCare
See also: http://centerforendo.com/traveling.htm
WHERE CAN I CHECK YOUR REFERENCES?
Start here! http://centerforendo.com/references.htm. You can also just Google us or check with various Internet support groups. Several references are available on our Facebook account as well. We do not recommend or support Yelp for honest feedback from actual patients.
CAN YOU RECOMMEND OR COMMENT ON THE WORK OF OTHER SURGEONS?
Not unless we’ve seen their work first hand, but we’ll be very happy to suggest some resources and local referrals that may assist you where and when we can. We always try to help folks in the endometriosis community any way we can, even if that means connecting them with others. You can also check our resource list here for some suggestions to other caregivers associated with pelvic pain and infertility. Inclusion there ≠ endorsement or affiliation; provided for informative purposes only.
I WROTE THE CEC ON SOCIAL MEDIA ASKING FOR FOLLOW UP CARE AND SPECIFICS ON MY CASE, BUT NO ONE ANSWERED. WHY?
We do not conduct business via social media, Twitter, Facebook, etc. (see below for our complete policy on this matter). It is never appropriate to ‘tag’ or ‘inbox’ your surgeon or a staff member to ask specific medical questions about your care or request specific assistance, rx refills, etc. Facebook groups are not the place to seek medical help, and patients must call the office. There are no exceptions to this social media policy. Thank you. Following is a copy of our policy, which all patients sign at the time of becoming a CEC patient:
CEC POLICY ON SOCIAL MEDIA INTERACTION
Social media offers wonderful and innovative ways for the CEC staff to interact with our patients and non-patients alike, and for us to offer positive contributions to the broader endometriosis community. However, the tenets of professionalism and patient-physician relationship must govern our interactions at all times. Recommendations instituted by oversight bodies offer ethical guidance for preserving trust in patient-physician relationships and our profession when using social media; these recommendations specifically and strongly discourage doctors and their staff from “interacting with current or past patients on personal social networking sites such as Facebook” [Federation of State Medical Boards. Model Policy Guidelines for the Appropriate Use of Social Media and Social Networking in Medical Practice. Euless, TX: Federation of State Medical Boards; April 2012.]
Subsequently, in accordance with the strict policies set forth by the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, Federation of State Medical Boards, and Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), the CEC staff including and especially our physicians is bound to maintain a respectful and safe environment for all of our patients. This includes, but is not in the least limited to, discussing specific treatments or other personal details with potential, new or existing patients on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Similarly, preservation of professional boundaries is absolutely critical to the integrity of an appropriate patient-physician relationship. The online setting is an important tool in facilitating health discussions in the modern age, but it must be used and limited/restricted appropriately, particularly regarding the following factors: intended purpose of exchange and content of conversation; inappropriate expectations regarding response time; maintaining confidentiality; and above all else – adhering to ethical and legal requirements.
It is entirely appropriate to post general questions on our Facebook page wall, for example. It is also acceptable to engage in general, broad discussions with any staffer in a group setting where you may both be members. Conversely, it is not appropriate whatsoever to post personal details about yourself – or another individual – on any staffer’s personal wall, in groups whether private or public, in ‘mailbox/in-box’, on pages, etc. and/or tag a CEC staff member for specific information. Doing so creates blurred professional and personal boundaries, violates privacy, and lessens the quality of our interaction with you.
You can help us to protect your privacy, maintain appropriate and professional ethical boundaries with our surgeons and staff, and safeguard our digital encounters by avoiding use of ‘tagging’ staff in posts, seeking specific advice or treatment information about your case via groups or ‘inbox’ – or personal walls – instead of calling our office via proper protocol, and by following proper channels in seeking new or ongoing care with us.
As a professional medical office and surgical practice, we have staff on call 24/7/365 ready to assist you with your personal needs both during normal business hours and thereafter. It is never appropriate or permissible to communicate your needs via open channels vis-a-vis social media or outside the normal channels of professional conduct. We use social media as a tool to augment in-person care – not as a replacement. While we recognize patients and non-patients alike desire ease of communication with our staff, as professionals, we must be cognizant of not trading communication quantity for quality. Please help us to help you by using your best judgment regarding personal communications between you and our staff and surgeons online at all times. Online technologies present both opportunities and challenges to professionalism – they offer innovative ways for our staff to interact with our patients and can positively affect the health of our broader community, but the tenets of professionalism and of the patient–physician relationship should govern all interactions.
As such, your use of CEC Social Media Sites [hereinafter referred to as ‘site(s)’] is implied acceptance of this Policy and has the same effect as if you had actually physically signed an agreement. To wit:
You are prohibited from posting any personal health content on any CEC site(s).
Moreover, you agree that you will not:
- violate any local, state, federal and international laws and regulations, including but not limited to copyright and intellectual property rights laws regarding any content that you send or receive via this Policy;
- transmit any material (by uploading, posting, email or otherwise) that is unlawful, disruptive, threatening, profane, abusive, harassing, embarrassing, tortuous, adefamatory, obscene, libelous, or is an invasion of another’s privacy, is hateful or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable as solely determined in CEC’s discretion;
- impersonate any person or entity or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;
- transmit any material (by uploading, posting, email or otherwise) that contains software viruses, worms, disabling code, or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; harass another; or collect or store, or attempt to collect or store, personal data about third parties without their knowledge or consent; or to share confidential pricing information of any party.
The CEC reserves the right to monitor, prohibit, restrict, block, suspend, terminate, delete, or discontinue your access to any of our sites, at any time, without notice and for any reason and at its sole discretion. You understand and agree that CEC may disclose your communications and activities with us in response to lawful requests by governmental authorities, including Patriot Act requests, judicial orders, warrants or subpoenas, or for the protection of CEC rights.
You agree that in the event that CEC exercises any of its rights hereunder for any reason, the Center for Endometriosis Care/Kenny R. Sinervo, MD FRCSC LLC has no liability to you. You expressly acknowledge that you personally assume all responsibility related to the security, privacy, and confidentiality risks inherent in sending any content over the internet. By its very nature, a website and the Internet cannot be absolutely protected against intentional or malicious intrusion attempts. CEC does not control third party sites or the Internet over which you may choose to send us confidential personal or health information or any other content and therefore, we do not warrant any safeguard against possible interceptions or compromises to your information. When posting any content on any site(s), think carefully about your own privacy in disclosing detailed or private information about yourself and your family.
You agree that any claim or dispute relating to your posting of any content regarding our Center shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Georgia without regard to its conflict of law’s provisions and you agree to be bound and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the local, state or federal courts.
THIS POLICY MAY BE UPDATED AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Call or write us anytime! The best place to get answers is directly from the CEC. We’re looking forward to hearing from you and want to help you however we can!