The information that follows is designed to answer many of the questions patients have. The more you know, the more we can be of service. If there are any questions, however, please ask, since we do want to be of help to you. You may also download this information for your records here.
Dr. Rozenfeld, Dr. Bayer, Dr. DeLeo, Dr. Akan, and Dr. Gupta are Neurologists, specialists in diseases of the nervous system and muscles. Neurologists diagnose diseases and offer medical treatment; they are not surgeons.
Most patients seeing a Neurologist have been referred by their own physician for evaluation of particular problems. After appropriate tests and the start of treatment, further care may be provided by the Neurologist, or by the patient's family doctor. In any case, your own physician will continue to care for any other problems you might have.
Our doctors are on staff at St. Catherine's, St. Margaret's (North & South Campus), and Munster Community Hospital. EMG (Electromyography) tests are performed either in our office or the hospital. EEG (Electroencephalogram), CT Scans, MRI's and other complicated tests are usually performed in the hospital.
Appointments and Office Hours: The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am- 5:00 pm.
Patients are seen on an appointment basis only. Our main office phone number is (219) 836-2995 and is answered by staff from 9:00 am until 4:50 pm except for lunch hour, which is generally from noon until 1:00 pm. When we are unavailable to answer the phone, our 24-hr.answering service will always pick up the line and offer to take a message or page a doctor for you if there is an emergency.
We will make every effort to honor your appointment time, and request that you extend the same courtesy to us. On occasion, emergencies can cause delays, and whenever possible you will be informed of scheduling changes or delays. If there is an emergency and your doctor is running late, we will offer to reschedule your appointment at a time that is convenient for you. If you are running late, we will also attempt to fit you in as time allows but might have to reschedule your appointment for another date and/or time.
Please remember that your appointment time has been set-aside just for you. If for some reason you cannot keep your appointment, please try to give us 24 hours notice, so that another patient may be seen at an earlier time.
As a patient in our office, please remember that more than one physician may be seeing patients in the office at the same time. Therefore, if someone arrives after you but seems to be called in to see the doctor before you, it might be because that person is seeing another physician, or is having a test. If you have waited longer than ½ hr. for your appointment, please be sure to alert the front desk. Also, please make sure to check in at the front desk at each visit. If you don't check in, we won't know if you're here for your appointment.
Once you have seen one of our doctors, that particular physician will continue to care for you and will see you for your follow-up visits. The same policy would apply if you happen to be hospitalized. However, the doctors will sometimes alternate weekend, evening, and hospital call schedules. Therefore, if you are in the hospital, or in the emergency room, depending on the call schedule you might see one of our other doctors. Please note that Dr. Pradeep V. Kalokhe shares our weekend call schedule, although he is not an associate in our practice. Also, if you feel that you need to come into the office on an emergency basis, and your particular physician does not have office hours that day, you will probably be able to see one of our other neurologists on that particular day or your neurologist might be able to meet you in the emergency room.
Emergency Care: Our 24-hour answering service is available by phoning the office number. Please let the phone ring at least 4 times and the answering service will pick up your call. The doctors will do their best to respond to your problem promptly. In the event of an emergency, or a situation in which you are in doubt, go immediately to the emergency room of the nearest hospital and ask them to contact Dr. Rozenfeld, Dr. Bayer, Dr. DeLeo, Dr. Akan, or Dr. Gupta.
Telephone Calls: All patients are encouraged to call with any non-emergency questions they may have concerning their neurologic problems. These calls should be made during regular office hours.The best time to call is in the mornings between 9:00 and 11:00.
Your questions are best answered when your medical records are available to your physician.
Since it would be most unfair to you, were the doctor to leave the exam room to answer every telephone call immediately, the office staff has been trained to answer many of your questions. They will also relay your questions to the doctor. On those days when the office is closed, the answering service will forward all messages to the doctor. In either case, your call will be answered at the earliest opportunity. Many telephone calls can be avoided by having a member of the family come in with the patient for their appointments with the Neurologist.
Prescriptions and Renewals: Prescriptions and authorizations for renewals are best provided during office hours, when your records are readily available. Prescriptions for certain medications cannot be renewed over the telephone or if you have not seen the doctor for an extended period of time. Medications for pain will not be renewed when the office is closed and your chart is unavailable to the doctor. This policy is in your best interest, and is designed for your protection.
CONCERNING YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE AND PAYMENT INFORMATION
We may, from time to time, recommend diagnostic tests or procedures, which are not covered by your insurer, HMO or PPO unless authorized before the test or procedure is performed. It is your responsibility to make sure that the authorization for the test or procedure has been granted. In addition, please be aware that many insurers HMOs or PPOs will only cover your hospital stay at certain hospitals and prior authorization for hospital admissions is usually required. It is important that you be aware of your insurance company's policies and knows which hospitals you may use.
Although we will work with you in seeking the necessary authorization, we cannot be held responsible for determining that the authorization has been granted. Please understand that we work with over 800 different insurers, which makes it virtually impossible for our office staff to remember the policies for each insurer.
Therefore, if your insurer, HMO or PPO has not notified you that it has authorized a specific test, procedure, or hospitalization, you should contact your insurer, before a test or procedure is performed; or before you are admitted to a hospital.
We thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.
At the end of your visit, you will receive a statement of charges. Our office policy is that payment is due at the time services are rendered. Other arrangements can be made depending on special circumstances. If you wish, we will accept your Visa or MasterCard.
Our Physicians and Office Manager invite you to discuss with them any questions you might have regarding our services or fees. We believe that the best medical service is based on a friendly, mutual understanding between the doctor and the patient.
Insurance and Insurance Forms: Our insurance coordinator will be happy to help you file your claims for reimbursement under whatever health insurance coverage plans you have. Payment for all services provided by this office is the responsibility of the individual patient unless prior arrangements have been made through a particular insurance carrier or if you are a member of a particular insurance plan with whom we have a contract.
Please remember that insurance is considered a method of reimbursing the patient for fees paid to the doctor, and is not a substitute for payment. Some companies pay fixed allowances for certain procedures, and others pay a percentage of the charge. It is your responsibility to pay the deductible amount, co-insurance, or any other balance not paid for by your insurance company. It is also your responsibility to obtain any required preauthorizations from your Family Doctor or PCP prior to seeing our Doctors. (We realize that this may seem a nuisance for you; it is also time-consuming for your referring doctor and us. None of us appreciate the vast amount of paper work that has been thrust upon us all by the insurance industry.) If we participate in your particular insurance plan, we will automatically bill your insurance for you. Otherwise, our office uses a specially designed super bill. This bill, when completed and signed by the doctor, need only be attached to your regular claim form and sent off to your insurance company. Therefore, our secretaries and the doctors need not complete your insurance form itself. You, however, must fill out your portion of your claim as required by your insurance carrier, so that you are reimbursed as quickly as possible.
Please feel free to call the office during regular office hours with any questions you might have concerning your insurance claims or your account.
WHAT IS A NEUROLOGIST ?
A neurologist is a physician who has specialized medical training in disorderaffecting the nervous system.
The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Many muscle disorders are also considered within the province of a neurologist. Pain problems, especially headaches, also fall within the neurologist's field. Illness or injury may affect the nervous system directly, or the nervous system may be involved as the result of disease of other parts of the body. Examples of medical problems, which may lead to neurological complications, include diabetes, hypertension and cancers elsewhere in the body. Some Neurological Disorders are Epilepsy, Neuritis, Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and Stroke. Myasthenia Gravis and Muscular Dystrophy are Primary Muscle Diseases included among neurological disorders.
At present, neurologists are able to cure some of the diseases of the nervous system and offer symptomatic relief from others. Advances in research continue to provide new treatments, which the neurologist will be able to offer his or her patients in the future.
Neurologists see patients with a wide range of problems. These include headaches, dizziness, seizures, blackouts and sleep disorders. Numbness of arms and legs are frequent symptoms of neurological disease. Neck, back and head problems following injuries may also require neurological evaluation. Neurologists may work with psychiatrists, psychologists and others to evaluate mental, emotional or behavioral disturbances. Every neurologist has had training in taking care of children; however, some have had more training in this field, and thus may specialize in neurological disorders of children. A neurologist is often called as a consultant for a patient in the hospital. For example, if a patient becomes confused, has difficulty in thinking or has loss of memory, a neurologist may be called. Symptoms suggesting a stroke, episodes of unconsciousness or a seizure indicate the need for neurological consultation. Indeed, the nervous system is vulnerable to disorders or disease in almost every medical condition.
What Is A Consultation?
If your family physician is concerned that your symptoms may involve the nervous system, he or she may request a specialized opinion. A neurological consultation consists of a history of your medical background, with special attention to your present problems. The neurological examination will involve test of vision, strength, coordination, reflexes and sensation. This will enable the neurologist to locate where in the nervous system your problem exists. The examination may indicate that tests are required. These tests are necessary to help the neurologist confirm diagnoses, which may lead to specific treatment. This may include referral to a surgeon. The neurologist does not perform surgery, although he or she may continue to follow surgically treated patients and supervise the treatment of the patient's neurological disorder. The consulting neurologist may temporarily assume management of the patient because of his or her expertise in a particular area.
Do I Still Need My Family Physician?
Your family physician is in charge of your general health care, and he or she is aware of your total health needs. When the neurological disorder is your major problem, the family physician may temporarily relinquish responsibility and the neurologist becomes your primary physician. A report of your neurological consultation will always be sent to your referring physician. It is possible for you to continue seeing your neurologist strictly for your neurological problems while relying on your family physician for your total medical care. Please remember, that in order to assure the best possible health care for you and your family, you should always inform the doctor if you are seeing one or more doctors, and what medications, if any, you are currently taking.
Electroencephalogram (EEG): Records the continual brain electrical activity, by means of electrodes applied to the scalp. It is often used to help diagnose structural disease of the brain and episodes described as seizures, fainting, blacking-out or falling out. It is painless and requires little preparation.
Evoked Potentials: Records the brain's electrical response to visual, auditory, and sensory stimuli. They are useful in many diseases of the spinal cord and brain to evaluate and diagnose symptoms of dizziness, numbness and tingling, as well as certain visual disorders.
Electromyograms (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Velocity Studies (NCV): Measures and records electrical activity from the muscle and nerves to investigate disorders of these structures. These may be helpful in patients who have symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling or weakness. Because small needles are inserted into the muscle, and often-mild electrical shocks are given to stimulate the nerve, slight discomfort might be experienced.
Computerized Tomography (CT) or Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) Scans: Combines x-rays and computers to construct pictures of the brain and back. These pictures can provide much information regarding disease states in the brain and back. A CT Scan is painless. Dye may be injected in a vein.
Cerebral Spinal Fluid Analysis (Spinal Tap or Lumbar Puncture): After local anesthesia is administered, a needle is inserted into the lower back and spinal fluid is withdrawn from the spinal canal. This test is often crucial in making a diagnosis of an infectious, bleeding or tumor disorder of the brain or spinal cord. When dye or air is injected through the needle, followed by x-rays of the spinal column, the procedure is then called a Myelogram . A myelogram may be helpful in patients who have neck or back pains or suspected spinal tumors.
Arteriograms (Angiograms): This examination requires a needle or catheter to be inserted into a neck or groin artery to inject a dye, which provides x-ray visualization of the neck and brain vessels.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) : Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a new technique, which utilizes the computer technology of CT Scanning with magnetic/radio frequency waves rather than radiation, and is therefore free from biological hazard to human beings. MRI scanning has several advantages over CT scanning. MRI scanning can often pick up certain details, which are not clearly visible in a CT Scan. Again, there is no exposure to radiation as in a CT Scan and the procedure is painless.
A Polysomnogram (Sleep Study) records and measures various brain and breathing and other body activities, in order to help with the diagnosis and treatment of various sleep disorders. Testing requires an overnight stay in a comfortable hotel-like setting within the hospital's sleep lab (Community Hospital or St.Catherine's).
Balance Training Therapy & Neuro-Rehabilitation Therapy Please call our OT & PT therapy office, the Center for Dizziness, Balance, and Neuro-Rehab for information about therapy offered for patients with dizziness, vertigo, vestibulopathy and balance difficulties. We also offer Neuro-Rehabilitation therapy for stroke patients. Our therapy office is located at 9200 Calumet Ave., Suite N100 in Munster, Indiana. Their phone number is (219) 836-9100 and their website is www.dizzyrehab.com.