One of the most challenging aspects of medical care is that you may not know where to find reliable answers to your questions. Today, there is so much information online that it can be difficult to know where to get good, accurate information. At South Texas Renal Care Group, we want to be your first source for answers to all of your kidney-related questions and concerns, and we also want to provide you with trusted educational resources.
If at any time you have questions regarding your care, medications, treatment options or financial concerns, we encourage you to call our office or contact our staff through the Patient Portal. We are here to make your experience as efficient and enjoyable as possible. We strive to educate you on your treatment options, so you’ll know you are receiving the best care for your unique situation.
Explore the links below for more information and helpful resources:
Appointment scheduling and what to expect
You can call to schedule an appointment, or request an appointment time online. Our Patient Portal also allows you to schedule office visits, view your medical history, and much more. Log in to our Patient Portal here.
If you are not registered to use our Patient Portal, please ask at your next visit and we’ll set it up for you. It’s quick, easy, and convenient.
Please arrive 15 minutes early for appointments in case we need to help you with any paperwork that might be required prior to your physician visit. If you cannot keep your appointment, please call our office as soon as possible, as this time is reserved especially for you. Upon your arrival, please present the following items:
If you are a new patient, you can save time at check-in by completing necessary forms prior to your appointment and bringing them with you. Download new patient forms here.
Your first appointment with one of our kidney specialists will include a discussion of your medical history, a physical exam, and any diagnostic tests and procedures that may be needed. A new patient visit requires approximately 30-60 minutes.
We will re-file your insurance at each visit since you may change your provider from time to time. Your co-pay is due at the time of service. Please note that we accept Visa, MasterCard and debit cards. If your insurance company requires a referral authorization, be sure to have this ahead of time and bring it with you. Your appointment may need to be rescheduled if authorization is not obtained.
If you have questions regarding pharmacy refills, billing or medical records, please call our main office at 210-212-8622.
If you have questions about the vascular access center, please contact their office at 210-547-3430.
If you have questions about clinical research, please call our office at 210-426-7069.
When you get emergency care or are treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, you are protected from balance billing. In these cases, you shouldn’t be charged more than your plan’s copayments, coinsurance and/or deductible.
What is “balance billing” (sometimes called “surprise billing”)?
When you see a doctor or other health care provider, you may owe certain out-of-pocket costs, like a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible. You may have additional costs or have to pay the entire bill if you see a provider or visit a healthcare facility that isn’t in your health plan’s network.
“Out-of-network” means providers and facilities that haven’t signed a contract with your health plan to provide services. Out-of-network providers may be allowed to bill you for the difference between what your plan pays and the full amount charged for a service. This is called “balance billing.” This amount is likely more than in-network costs for the same service and might not count toward your plan’s deductible or annual out-of-pocket limit.
“Surprise billing” is an unexpected balance bill. This can happen when you can’t control who is involved in your care—like when you have an emergency or when you schedule a visit at an in-network facility but are unexpectedly treated by an out-of-network provider. Surprise medical bills could cost thousands of dollars depending on the procedure or service.
You’re protected from balance billing for:
If you have an emergency medical condition and get emergency services from an out-of-network provider or facility, the most they can bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount (such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles). You can’t be balance billed for these emergency services. This includes services you may get after you’re in stable condition unless you give written consent and give up your protections not to be balanced billed for these post-stabilization services.
Certain services at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center
When you get services from an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, certain providers there may be out-of-network. In these cases, the most those providers can bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount. This applies to emergency medicine, anesthesia, pathology, radiology, laboratory, neonatology, assistant surgeon, hospitalist, or intensivist services. These providers can’t balance bill you and may not ask you to give up your protections not to be balance billed.
If you get other types of services at these in-network facilities, out-of-network providers can’t balance bill you, unless you give written consent and give up your protections.
You’re never required to give up your protections from balance billing. You also aren’t required to get out-of-network care. You can choose a provider or facility in your plan’s network.
See Texas statute and rules outline the resolution process. Texas Senate Bill 1264
When balance billing isn’t allowed, you also have these protections:
If you think you’ve been wrongly billed, contact Texas Department of Insurance – www.tdi.texas.gov/medical-billing. The federal phone number for information and complaints is: 1-800-985-3059].
Visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises/consumers] for more information about your rights under federal law.
Visit Texas Department of Insurance www.tdi.gov for more information about your rights under Texas law.