What is a pulmonary specialist?

A pulmonary specialist (or pulmonologist) is an internist who has received extensive training in the treatment of patients with diseases of the lung. Primary areas of concern of a pulmonary specialist are all diseases of the lungs, but often they must also evaluate the upper respiratory tract (consisting of the nose, pharynx, and larynx) and the heart.

Who needs a pulmonary specialist?

Not everyone who suffers from an acute or chronic respiratory condition needs a pulmonologist; most conditions can be managed by other physicians. A pulmonologist’s skills are usually necessary for patients with complex problems such as advanced emphysema, tuberculosis, severe asthma, or complicated infections of the chest. A pulmonary specialist is also frequently consulted when a chest x-ray abnormality needs diagnosis or treatment.

Does Dr. Chappell perform surgery?

No. Major surgical procedures are performed by a thoracic or chest surgeon. Dr. Chappell will, however, work closely with the surgeon and frequently supervises the total care of the patient before, during, and after the surgical procedure.

Will I still need a primary care physician?

Yes. Your primary care physician will still manage other illnesses and often assume primary responsibility for the care of your chest problem in close cooperation with Dr. Chappell.

Do I have to have a referral?

Dr Chappell sees new patients by referral only. For a complete evaluation, we need medical records and for your general healthcare, we need to have a doctor to send our findings to become part of your overall healthcare record. It is your responsibility to call your primary care physician to obtain your referral in advance of arrival and to see that our office has a copy of your referral at the time of your visit. You will not be seen without a referral because your insurance will deny the order or refuse to pay for any labs or tests that may be ordered.

What about telephone calls and follow-up care?

Communication is often improved by having a family member with you when Dr. Chappell is ready to discuss your case and give an opinion and recommendation for treatment and follow-up. Telephone calls are taken by an assistant who will generally relay Dr. Chappell’s answer back to the caller because your family doctor receives a complete report of Dr. Chappell’s findings, questions can also be answered in that office.

What if I schedule an appointment with Dr. Chappell and fail to show?

All patients will be charged a $50 “No Show” fee for repeatedly missed appointments. This charge cannot be filed with your insurance and is your responsibility to pay. Repeatedly missed appointments means that 2 or more appointments were missed without a 24-hour cancellation call.

Do you offer Telemedicine?

On a very limited basis, yes. Our patients typically have medical issues that require a physical exam – at least the chance to listen to your lungs. On a case-by-case basis, the doctor may decide a tele-visit may be possible.

Does your office accept traditional Medicare?

We do accept traditional Medicare assignment, which means that we are directly reimbursed by Medicare 80% of the approved amount minus any unmet deductible. We only bill you for the remaining 20% of the approved amount plus the part of any deductible you may still owe. If you have secondary insurance (Medigap) to help cover your 20%, we will also file this on your behalf if you agree to assign benefits to our office. We must have a copy of your current insurance card(s).

Does your office accept Medicaid?

Currently we do not have any contracts with any Medicaid plans.

Does your office accept Medicare Advantage?

We do have contracts with most, but not all, Medicare Advantage plans. Please contact your insurance company to see if we are an eligible provider.

If I am paying out-of-pocket, will your office allow me to do a payment plan?

Our practice reserves the right to negotiate on a case-by-case basis. If you have an outstanding balance you will need to make a payment on that account when you register for your next appt. This payment requirement is 100% of balances of $50 or less and 25% of balances over $50.
We generally do not accept cash patients because in our experience, while our office may accept cash, very few labs, equipment providers, Xray facilities and referral doctors do likewise. This means your visit with us could trigger huge, unexpected costs to you. If you cannot afford these, then our evaluation and plan for your care is incomplete which is not good for either party. We can never accept cash payments in addition to anything we receive from Medicare.

I am insured, but Dr. Chappell is out-of-network. How does payment work?

Patients are responsible for all services not paid by their health insurance. You may request a written estimate of your out-of-pocket expenses from our office. Please allow up to 10 business days to receive this estimate. Total charges vary based on each patient’s medical history and condition and if any tests or procedures are done. Charges may also be subject to a deductable based on your insurance plan. An insurance company may pay less to an out-of-network physician than an in-network physician even though our charges are the same either way. While we will balance bill the difference, our payment will never be more than we would have received if we were in-network.

What is your payment policy?

Payment for service is due at the time service is rendered. We accept cash, checks, Visa/MasterCard/Discover. There is a $40 charge for returned checks. Payment for services that are not covered by benefits of your insurance are your responsibility. We must have a copy of your current insurance card. If benefit payments that you assign to our office are mistakenly sent directly to you please forward them to us immediately so that your account can be properly credited and updated.

What is your prescription medication refill policy?

All prescription refill requests must come directly from your pharmacist to our office on your behalf. Please contact your pharmacist with any refill requests. Your pharmacy will then fax us at 972-596-8928. Refill requests from pharmacists are handled by 4pm daily. Our refill guidelines are listed below:
  • Refills are not handled by phone at anytime.
  • Refills will not be approved for medications previously written by another doctor.
  • Prescriptions for narcotics, tranquilizers, sedatives, and pain medications are NEVER handled by phone.
  • If you have not seen Dr. Chappell within the past 12 months, your refills might be declined until you contact the office during our regular office hours to update your medical records.
  • Refill requests made on a weekend, after hours or holidays will be handled the very next day our office opens.
  • Your pharmacist will notify you if Dr. Chappell makes any changes in your refill request.
  • If you were initially given samples and now need a full prescription, this is not a refill. For this purpose please call the office first.
  • New medications or new prescriptions to treat symptoms or problems not previously reported to Dr. Chappell are not refills. For this purpose, please call the office first.

If I am unhappy with the care that I have received, to whom should I file my complaint?

Complaints about physicians, as well as other licensees and registrants to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, including physician assistants and acupuncturists, may be reported for investigation at the following address:

Texas State Board of Medical Examiners
Investigations Department MC-263
PO Box 2018
Austin, Texas 78768-2018

Assistance in filing a complaint is available by calling the following telephone number:
512-305-7100