What Is Our Examination Fee Based On?
The answer to this question revolves around the very complex nature of pain and dysfunction in the upper quarter of the body. Unfortunately, too many people (including doctors) think that the cause of a jaw problem or facial pain is the same for all patients. Nothing could be further from the truth. No two patients have exactly the same cause for their symptoms. Often, someone is told by their doctor that they have a jaw problem, and it turns out the cause of their symptoms is an abscessed tooth, a sinus infection, or a neck problem that is referring pain to the face or jaw. In order to find the primary cause of a patient’s symptoms, a thorough and complete evaluation must be performed, including a CT scan of their head.
We schedule an hour and a half of Dr. Guinn’s time exclusively for a new patient appointment. This includes the time necessary to:
- Carefully review 8 pages of documentation the patient completes prior to the visit.
- Review numerous images that are generated by a CT scan of the patient, in order to look for all the possible causes of their symptoms, as well as to rule out other pathology they may have.
- Interview the patient, so that they can explain all of their symptoms and concerns.
- Perform a comprehensive examination of the patient.
- Establish a diagnosis, including all of the causes of the patient’s symptoms. There are often multiple problems and causes. Each diagnosis has to be addressed to insure a successful outcome. This requires carefully considering all information available from the patient, the exam, and the CT scan.
- Consult with the patient, to explain not only the diagnosis, but the causes of the symptoms, as well as the treatment that will be required to address all of those causes. Some patients would best be served by seeing someone besides ourselves for treatment. It is always our desire to have you see the person who is best suited to treat the primary cause of your symptoms.
- Dictate a comprehensive report of findings and recommendations.
- Dr. Guinn will often have consultations with other clinicians the patient has seen or will see, in order to coordinate and expedite their care.
As you can see, much of the time required is not spent in a one-on-one setting with the doctor and patient together. However, the time necessary to accomplish all of the above eight steps is critical to confirm that something is not overlooked, and to insure the success of the treatment. This process is much different than the way other doctors approach these problems.
It is our goal to minimize expense and time for the patient, by recommending the optimum customized treatment for that individual patient. This is only possible by going through the above process and by not overlooking critical diagnostic steps.