Outpatient Results: What to expect from Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists, how to prepare for your visit, and what you need to know to feel prepared for action when you leave

Hello! This is Tana, your Patient Coordinator chiming in once again. Today I’d like to help our patients of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists better understand the game plan for outpatient testing.

What is outpatient testing you ask? This means when we send you for an MRI or CT scan, we take a sample for a pathology test, or refer you to another specialist (physical therapist).  As patient coordinator, it’s my job to make sure you leave properly informed and ready for action. I organize follow ups, received and ensure the doctor reads your results, and then call you back in a timely manner to get you in the office to discuss the findings with Dr. Thomajan. The follow up visit is a crucial step to getting proper treatment and is often overlooked.

Have you ever checked out of the doctor’s office, arms full of new products and paper everywhere only just to forget your marching orders as soon as you get to the car? Trust me, I’ve been there. That’s why no matter what kind of outside testing you require, when you leave your visit I’m going to properly arm you with a FAQ sheet for your help. It applies specifically to your diagnosis and not only outlines questions from real patients but also has input from the staff as well. Not only will it help you get an idea of how soon to expect a call for the results, but also what to do in-between testing and follow up. Take this home, and read it thoroughly.  They’re hands down the easiest and fastest way to find answers.

Generally when we send you for a MRI or CT scan we get those results back in about 48 hours. These results are faxed right to the office and we call you as soon as the doctor checks them over. Listen to those voicemails because they have an important message regarding getting scheduled for a follow up visit! The facility who performs your scan will submit to your insurance and if any prior-authorizations are required, our office is notified by the facility. The staff here strives to get these done as soon as possible so we can continue your treatment plan without delay.

What if there’s fungus among us? We send off a little sample of your nail to Bako pathology and usually get the results within 1 week. Again, we’ll call to coordinate scheduling once those results arrive and the doctor has read over them. Sometimes we don’t begin treatment until we have a definitive answer on the results but other times we’ll start you with an over the counter option to help take care of the problem. Again, the laboratory will submit to your insurance as a separate claim than your office visit with us.

When the doctor decides that Physical Therapy is an option for treatment, we will do our best to locate a therapist close to your home. We fill out a referral form in the office for your convenience, and send it with you in hopes that scheduling your first visit will be a breeze. Once you begin therapy, the notes from the therapist are faxed back to our office for Dr. Thomajan’s approval on your treatment plan. 

The same goes for any other specialist referrals (cardiac, lymphodemia, wound care, etc). We fill out the referral form for your convenience. 

Sometimes the doctor leaves it up to the patient to keep track of their visits and call for a follow up visit once they’ve had a certain amount of visits or gotten a particular test performed. Write these down so you don’t forget to call us for an appointment!

As always, thanks for stopping by to check in! Remember to read those handouts everyone!  It’s my hope that these articles come in handy when you’re preparing for your next visit, and of course feel free to call me with any questions!

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists