All Things Surgery Scheduling

The idea of having surgery can be strenuous and anxiety-inducing to many patients. And scheduling that surgery adds another layer of confusion. Between coordinating the operation with your insurance deductible and finding a date that works for you and your doctor, the whole process can quickly turn into mayhem. Here at FMCC, we strive to bring clarity and compassion into each interaction with our patients. We hope that through our honest communication, we can offer you a “light at the end of the tunnel” moment when you go to schedule that long-awaited surgery.

At the end of the year, as many families reach their insurance deductible, patients will be capitalizing on the opportunity to have their procedure done without having to pay out-of-pocket.  This “busy” season starts as early as the beginning of September and lasts through the end of the calendar year.  This year, Covid-19 has thrown a curveball at hospitals.  Surgeries were suspended at Dupont for 2 months, which led to an even more packed calendar at the end of the year.

To gain answers to our most asked questions, we interviewed our Surgery Scheduler, Katie.  Here is what she had to say:

  • Can I get in before the end of the year??
    • We are now booked through the end of 2020, but there may be openings if cancellations occur.
  • How long after my appointment with the doc should I hear from the scheduler?
    • Katie will call you within a week during our “regular” season
    • The call may come closer to 2 weeks from your consult during “busy” season. If it has been more than 3 weeks and you have not heard from Katie, it’s time to give the office a call. 
    • Katie recommends setting your expectations before going into your consult, “In September of this year, we were already filling December’s surgery schedule”. During the last few months of the year, it may take a few weeks to get a spot that works for both patient and provider.
  • What if someone cancels? Can I get my surgery moved up?
    • That depends on the type of surgery that was previously scheduled. Your surgery might take a different amount of time than the originally scheduled procedure. Other factors include:
      • Your procedure might require a different operating room.
      • Your authorizations would need to get through by the new date.
      • You would need to be at the right place in your cycle at the new date.
    • Does my surgery have to be on that day of the week?
      • Most often, yes. Each of our doctors have days dedicated to seeing patients on the office and the OR each week. The hospital’s availability plays a factor in this, too. Each doctor has certain days and times “reserved” in Dupont Hospital’s operating rooms.
    •  What if I want to have it done at Parkview? 
      • The level of difficulty scheduling there increases due to differences in hospital policy.  Katie says, “For example, right now Parkview’s shortage of availability won’t let us schedule till 2021.”

Katie had a list of questions she receives that are best to ask your doctor during your consult:

  • What’s my recovery like? 
  • What am I getting done? Can you explain the procedure more? 
  • What meds should I stop taking prior to surgery? 
  • Is it a problem if I’m on my period? 
  • What do I do with my FMLA documentation? (Ask your HR at your employer!) 

The team here at FMCC is happy to bring you the best information possible. Please don’t hesitate to send us your questions and concerns, especially regarding something as important as surgery! You may also refer to our “Pre-Surgery Reading” link on the homepage of our website. If you found this post helpful you, please share it with a friend or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @drchrisstroud.  God Bless!