Frequently Asked Questions

  • + Why do I have to pre-pay for Surgery?

    You may receive a call regarding your insurance benefits prior to surgery from both our office and the facility where your surgery will be performed.  We make every effort to make you aware of estimated costs and may request a deposit prior to surgery.  We realize large surgical fees, especially unexpected ones, can impose a financial burden.  Please contact our bookkeeping staff to discuss this further with secure messaging or contact them by phone.  Uninsured patients will be required to make financial arrangements with the bookkeeping office in advance of surgery. For your convenience we accept MasterCard, Visa, and Discover and offer online bill pay.

  • + Why are you taking my picture?

    FAQ-why are you taking my picture“Say Cheese”

    Those words are said over 50 times in our office by our registration department.


    Now, I am sure most responded with “Say What?” or “You want to take my picture? What in the world for?”


    Well, here is why…


    Our electronic medical record allow us (more…)

  • + What’s up with the name change? Signature Medical Group?

    smg_logoHealthcare has been constantly in the news for the past several years. The ever-changing landscape of medicine has been at best a moving target. Some groups have chosen to join forces with hospitals, and some have combined forces with other medical groups. The physicians of Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic have discussed this concept for several years and our conclusion was to approach the issue with the strategy of, first grow the group, second to integrate with quality and likeminded groups.


    It is for this reason that we are very pleased to announce as of January 1, 2012, we became Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic, a Division of Signature Medical Group of KC, PA . Signature Medical Group is a physician-owned, multi-specialty group comprised of over 110 physicians. They provide care from multiple locations covering the greater St. Louis area, Bolivar Missouri and the Kansas City area. The organization was formed in 2001. Now one of the largest physician groups in Missouri, Signature Medical Group is leading the way to better health. Signature Medical Group is not a new comer to our group, we have been communicating with them for approximately 10 years preparing to duplicate their efforts in the Kansas City area.


    The obvious question is, “How will this change affect my care at KCBJ?” The answer is… simply put… it will not. Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic will maintain its identity, its staff, and its autonomy. Some processes, like the name on your insurance EOB, who you make your payments to and the addition of ‘a Division of Signature Medical Group of KC, PA’ to our name will be the main changes you see.



  • + What is a physiatrist?

    A Physiatrist, or what we like to call a functionologist, takes care of function. It doesn’t matter how the person has lost their function whether it is because of a sports injury or they had a heart attack, a stroke or a gunshot wound to the spinal cord and now they’re paralyzed. All these patients have lost function and the goal is to restore their function the best we can using medicine, therapy and interventions.


    When assessing function, different equipment may be used. For example nerves and muscles are assessed using electro diagnostic medicine and muscle and joint function using ultrasound which is a relatively new technology.


    Many treatment options are available both in our office and by referral. A few options our physicians may use are Botox injections, pain pumps, trigger point injections and ultrasound or EMG guided injections.


    Most importantly we look at the whole person, and try to determine the loss of function and what we can do to improve it. Click here to go to our physiatry and rehab section.



  • + What is a PA?


    Physician Assistant

    A physician assistant (PA) is a health care provider who is trained to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. A bachelor’s degree is required for acceptance to a PA school. Any type of bachelor’s degree is acceptable for admittance as long as specific course requirements are met, although medical experience is strongly preferred. Most PA programs are now masters programs with a length of approximately 26 months. After the completion of a PA program, each student must pass a national certification exam, through the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants to become certified. In order to maintain their certification they must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education hours every 2 years.


    Physician Assistants can practice in many specialties. They work side-by-side with their supervising physician or they see patients in independently-run clinics. Clinical notes, patient recommendations, and treatment plans are reviewed by their supervising physician. Physician Assistants and their supervising physicians work together as a team to provide quality patient care. They are able to do this by completing physical examinations, making diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic imaging, and performing in-office procedures, such as injections. A PA can see patients with a new problem for an initial evaluation, follow-up appointment, post-operative appointment, or in the hospital or Emergency Room. Physician Assistants who work in surgery often act as a first assistant in the operating room as well. Many times, physicians assistants will take after-hours calls in the evenings and on weekends. This may be who you speak with if you have questions or concerns during one of these times.


  • + What do I need to bring to my first office visit?

    When arriving for your first appointment you need to have completed an information sheet and medical history. You may do this on this website using our patient portal (link to portal), or upon arrival at the office. If you plan to do this when you arrive, you will need to arrive 15-20 minutes early. It is very important that you have the correct information. This includes:

    • Insurance Cards
    • Driver’s License or Photo ID
    • Military ID card (if applicable)
    • A list of your Medications with Dosages and Allergies
    • X-ray reports and images or other test results regarding the current condition
    • Past Medical and Surgical History
    • Guardianship Consent to Treat Patient (if applicable)



  • + What are the different specialties at Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic?

    Different specialties require different training, examinations, and board certifications.


  • + Why do you need my primary care physician information when I am not here by their referral?

    As a member of your medical care team, we strive to keep your other physicians updated on your medical treatment. We ask for this information for our records in an effort to maintain continuity of care for your overall health needs.


  • + What credit cards can I use for my co-pay or balance?

    We accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover credit cards at this time.


  • + Are all of the doctors accepting new patients?



    Yes, all our physicians and mid-level providers are accepting new patients, however we strive to make your appointment with the provider best suited for your condition, and therefore certain appointments can only be scheduled with specific providers.


    You may also request an appointment through our patient portal.


  • + Why are some physicians MD and others DO, and is there a difference?

    There are two ways to achieve the title of doctor and practice medicine: A medical doctor (MD), or a doctor of osteopathy (DO). In more ways than not, these two types of training complement any specialty practice. Both trainings allow a physician to practice medicine and both have equally rigorous testing. Both MDs and DOs begin training by getting a four-year undergraduate degree, either in pre-med, or in a related science field. Both then complete four years of training before taking examinations that will result in licensure. Either type of doctor may then choose to specialize in a particular field and study for two to six more years. All doctors who specialize take further examinations to be licensed by that particular specialty board.




  • + Why do you need to know my social security number?

    If you have an insurance policy and want us to file your claim, we will need your Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and the ID & Group numbers from your insurance card. In essence, we are granting you credit by rendering services to you before you, or your insurance company, pays us for those services. Any merchant that grants you credit will require your social security number. Additionally, all facilities which we may send your lab work, biopsy specimens, radiology reads, electronic billing, etc., will require this information.


  • + Do you accept Medicaid?

    No. We do not participate with any Medicaid plans, and therefore are unable to see Medicaid patients.


  • + If I am a self-pay patient, what arrangements can I make?

    We require a minimum of $500 (five hundred dollars) be paid on the first visit. We will establish scheduled payments for all future visits. If you require surgery, our office requires a payment in full of the surgeon’s fee up front. You will need to make separate arrangements with the surgical facility or other physicians not part of Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic.


  • + Do you accept Medicare?

    Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic and all of the providers participate in Medicare part B. Be sure to bring your card with you to set up the proper filing for your services. We will also need to you sign an acknowledgement form allowing us to file your claims.


  • + What does “third party” mean?

    Third party is a term used in liability claims. It very often is associated with billing another guarantor following a fall on private property, a motor vehicle accident, disputed workers’ compensation issues, or where another party is at fault. We do not participate in third party claims.


  • + What is an EOB?

    An EOB is the acronym for “Explanation of Benefits.” These are provided by your insurance company to explain what benefits were considered for payment. They will provide a copy of the EOB to the patient (or guarantor) and to our office once the claim has been processed.

    The EOB lists specific information regarding your claim such as the date of service, total charges, and patient responsibility. Patients should review these documents for accuracy when they are received.


  • + What does the term co-insurance mean?

    Co-insurance is the portion of the allowable charge your insurance company determines to be your responsibility on any charge assessed by medical providers. You will need to refer to your insurance policy and contact your customer service representative to get specific information not provided on your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) when the claim is processed.


  • + What is a deductible?

    Your deductible is an amount determined by your insurance policy and benefit package. They can be determined by individual, family, or “life-time” depending upon your company or individual benefit package. Contact the customer service number or website listed on your insurance card to inquire about your particular coverage amounts.


  • + What is my co-pay, and who determines the amount?

    Your co-pay is an amount determined by your insurance policy and benefit package. Co-pays vary between insurance companies, types of insurance plans and often whether you are seeing your primary care provider or a specialist provider. Contact the customer service number or website listed on your insurance card to find out what your co-pay will be for a “specialist” in order to be prepared for your visit. Co-pays must be paid at the time services are rendered, per both the patients and our contract with the insurance company.


  • + Create an Account on our Patient Portal

    Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic wants to connect with our patients. We have been using a patient portal since 2008 to allow electronic communications. Now the government is requiring physicians to communicate electronically with their patients. Little did we know something we felt was important would soon become a requirement?


    Through our portal you can send us a secure message, request an appointment, keep your health record accessible electronically, fill out your health history, pay your bill online and request a prescription refill.


    Sign me up, you say? Below are a few simple steps to get you started.


    1. Simply go to our website
    2. On the right hand side you will see Link to Portal
    3. Once on the portal page, click create an account
    4. You will need to fill in some personal information including your email address
      1. Take note, if you have created an account for another office using the ‘Health Key’ system you may use the same username and password for our account.
    5. All the options are available from ‘My Patient Page’
    6. If you are a new patient or have not been in our office for the same complaint or in over a year, please go to patient registration and fill out the health forms.


  • + Are all of your physicians board certified?

    All Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic physicians are board certified in their specialty. The Board organizations require the physician to be in practice for a preset period of time and document case information. When that requirement is fulfilled, they complete the last part of the examination. You may refer to the individual provider information on this website for specific board certifications. Click here to meet our physicians.


  • + Antibiotic protocol – my dentist says I don’t need it

    For your health safety we recommend antibiotic therapy for the life of your total joint implant. However we know some dentists and other providers don’t always agree which is why our physicians continue to research (more…)

  • + How to maneuver our phone system

    FAQ_KCBJ_Phone_systemMost offices today have an automated attendant. Our attendant is a recording by one of our own, and will guide you to the correct option. There are times however, we understand you just need to get right to the point. For your convenience we are giving you the quick guide to our phones and anytime you need assistance, simply press 0 and the operator will direct your call. Don’t forget, if you want, you can send us a secure message to ask a question, send an appointment request or a refill request through our Patient Portal.


    #2 Appointments

    #3 FMLA

    #4 Surgery/Billing

    #5 Refill

    #6 Work Comp

    #7 Medical Records

    #8 Legal/Attorney

    #9 Address & Fax

    #0 Operator


  • + What is a Nurse Practitioner?

    FAQ_Meet_our_NPsWhat Exactly is a Nurse Practitioner?

    The Nurse Practitioner (NP) profession is an exciting and growing area of healthcare. NPs have been providing primary, acute and specialty healthcare to patients of all ages and walks of life for nearly half a century. NPs assess patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, and initiate/manage treatment plans. This includes prescribing medications and performing procedures within their scope of practice. As providers which combine clinical expertise in diagnosing and treating health conditions with an emphasis on health management, NPs bring a comprehensive perspective to health care. Americans make over 600 million visits to NPs each year!

    All NPs must complete a master’s or doctoral degree program, and have advanced training beyond their initial registered nurse (RN) education. NPs work in both primary and specialty care settings, including both the orthopaedic and rehab departments here at KCBJ. NPs collaborate with physicians to provide high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care.

    What makes NPs unique?

    They focus on the health and well-being of the whole person. With an emphasis on health promotion, disease prevention, and health education/counseling, NPs guide patients in making smarter health and lifestyle choices- this in turn can lower patients’ out-of-pocket costs.

    “I am proud to be one of over 155,000 NPs practicing in the United States. Hopefully this information helps you understand the blend of nursing and medical care we provide.” -Laurel Short, APRN



  • + Does your office take walk-in patients or work after hours?

    Yes, we take walk-in patients in our urgent care clinic, OrthopedicsNow! Which operates from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Monday through Friday.


    For non-urgent appointments, you may be offered an earlier time with one of our Mid-Level practitioners such as a physician assistant or nurse practitioner, when the physician is unavailable or in surgery. (What is a Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner)


    Office appointment hours vary by physician, but our most common appointment schedule is 8:00-4:30. Our office is usually open from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m with the phones answered 8:30-5:00, Monday through Friday. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please cancel as soon as possible so that the time can be used by other patients.