It has been one year since Digestive Medicine Associates opened an office in Pembroke Pines, located at 18044 NW 6 St., Suite 104, offering residents advanced and comprehensive GI patient care. Although the practice may be new to the area, its physicians have been providing Gastroenterology services for over 25 years in North Dade County, Coral Gables and West Dade County.
The practice includes eight Board-Certified physicians that specialize in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. It is physician-owned and run.
“Today, many physicians, especially gastroenterologist, have sold their offices to big corporations or hospital systems,” said Dr. Maderal, who has been practicing in South Miami for over 30 years. “Many of these corporations have raised prices and cut staff and overhead in an effort to increase profits. Since we are entirely physician-owned and run, we have avoided these changes. We are grateful for the growing number of patients we see.”
Digestive Medicine Associates is accredited by AAAASF (American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities) and AHCA (American Health Care Association). It provides patients with full-service gastroenterology care. Patients can expect a very friendly team of experts who will help them with all of their questions. The office has state-of-the-art equipment and a wide range of gastroenterology care including: colonoscopy, gastroscopy, hemorrhoid banding, in-office ultrasound, hepatitis B & C treatment, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, problem swallowing, acid reflux, indigestion, bloating/gas, rectal bleeding, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Barrett’s esophagus and gastric balloon procedures for weight loss.
It also offers office-based endoscopic procedures, including colonoscopies and gastroscopies. These office-based procedures allow patients to avoid paying for the hospital facility fees, which are often thousands of dollars. They also offer patients a more relaxed environment for their procedures than a hospital or surgery center, where just the registration alone can be very time-consuming.
“Most outpatient surgery and endoscopy centers are hospital-owned with hospital prices,” said Dr. Maderal. “Most colonoscopies and gastroscopies are not complicated and should not cost thousands of dollars. Our patients come in for their procedures and within a couple of hours they are home and back to their daily routines.”
All of the patients at Digestive Medicine Associates undergo a preoperative interview to help determine their individual assessments and needs, as well as a thorough review of their medical history, allergies, and current medications. This allows the medical team and the anesthesia providers to choose the best care plan for each patient. Since many of the patients have high deductibles or high co-insurance plans, the office staff makes sure to inform patients as to what their plan covers and how to wisely use their plans. They also find and suggest quality outpatient x-ray facilities for patients that are dependable.
“Sometimes going to the least expensive x-ray facility is a huge mistake,” said Dr. Maderal. “CT scanners and MRIs change like computers and a seven-year-old MRI is an antique. An unskilled reading of the test can lead to suggestions of further x-rays. One x-ray can lead to three at a higher cost versus getting a good one from the start. Remember, quality always wins. If you can get it at a valued price, it is even better.”
Medication cost is another huge segment of health cost. According to Dr. Maderal, the new popular medication is not always that much better than an older generic one.
“Sometimes there is no older generic version and we need to explain the need for investing in the high cost medication,” said Dr. Maderal. “Many times patients take medications longer than they need to, simply because no one suggested they stop it. Drug costs vary widely among pharmacies even when they are close to each other geographically. We suggest websites such as Good Rx, where you enter the drug name and your zip code and it gives you an incredible variance in drug prices and information to find the best price.”
The doctors at Digestive Medicine Associates also pride themselves in helping patients with many other aspects of medical care, including managing obesity with lifestyle changes, diets, appetite suppressants, stomach balloon procedures and surgery referrals.
“Understanding your ailment and its cause and treatment options are invaluable in your decision making,” said Dr. Maderal. “Is your ailment limited to a short time or will it be chronic? How should you change your diet or lifestyle?”
The physicians at Digestive Medicine Associates look forward to providing Gastroenterology services to Miramar, Pembroke Pines, and all West Broward for another twenty-five years.