Frequently Asked Questions


What insurances do you accept?

We accept a wide range of health insurances, from private insurances to commercial plans. For those without insurance, we offer competitive rates for consultations and procedures. Please contact our office for details. Below is a list of the insurances we currently accept:

  • 1199
  • Access Medicare
  • Aetna (PPO, EPO, HMO, Open Access)
  • Affinity
  • Alphacare
  • Centerlight
  • Cigna
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Elderplan
  • Fidelis
  • GHI (Out of Network)
  • HIP
  • Healthfirst
  • Magnacare
  • Medicare
  • Metroplus
  • No Fault (New York State Only)
  • Oxford
  • United Healthcare
  • Villagecare
  • Worker’s Compensation

Pain Management Principles

After obtaining a full medical history, frequently the first thing we try to do is to locate the source of the pain, which then allows us to devise a treatment plan. In some instances we recommend procedures that directly treat the source of the pain, whether it be a herniated disc, an inflamed nerve, or a degenerated joint.

In many cases, the source of the pain can be multifactorial, in which case we may perform diagnostic procedures (such as a nerve block) to more accurately assess where the pain is arising from. There are cases where we don’t have an answer – in these instances we will still treat the symptoms as best we can.

It is important to have realistic expectations. Sometimes the procedures we perform fail to help as much as we want them to. In these cases, we may repeat the injection, try a different kind of procedure, or add different modalities. Pain, especially when associated with aging and degeneration, can be chronic. Our goal is to make pain more tolerable and improving function and mobility. In some cases, pain goes away and our goal switches to preventing it from coming back (through physical therapy and rehabilitation, core strengthening, nutrition, weight loss etc). In most cases, we are able to at least make a difference. In all cases, we are dedicated to trying our best to improve your quality of life.

We are careful and judicious when it comes to prescribing opiate medications, as we believe that opiates are ineffective for long term treatment of chronic pain. Opiates also have a constellation of side effects and significant negative societal impact when used inappropriately, in cases of diversion, addiction, and abuse.

We have a team of multiple different specialists in our office, in order to coordinate the best and most efficient ways of treating pain. We treat ailments from simple ankle sprains to complex spinal conditions requiring surgery and implants.

Our team of doctors and staff are here to help you get better, faster and sooner.

What if my insurance is not on the list?

Some insurances not listed above are accepted on a case-by-base basis. We do provide services out-of-network, check with us or your insurance plan to see if this is one of your benefits. Sometimes this may involve our patients receiving check payments directly from insurance companies. Please contact us if this occurs.

Does California Spine and Pain Institute accept Worker’s Compensation or No Fault Insurance? Lien Cases?

Yes we do accept California Workers Compensation as insurance, and we also do accept ‘No Fault’ or ‘Motor Vehicle Accident’ insurance. Please have all your information including case number, date of accident, attorney information, and all relevant data ready for your appointment. If you have been referred by your attorney on a medical lien, one of our medical directors will need to speak with your attorney prior to your appointment. This is done on a case by case basis.

Do I need to pay upfront if I have a deductible or co-insurance?

Yes. Depending on your insurance plan, there may be co-insurances and deductibles that will be a patient’s responsibility. We will ask for payment up front if your plan has a high deductible. You will be responsible for a co-payment as well as directed by your plan. A member of our staff will have a financial discussion with you during your visit to make sure you know what your financial obligations are. Under certain circumstances we can set up payment plans.

What do I need to know about my appointment? My procedure?

For first time patients: please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment, or bring your patient intake forms that can be found here. Please bring copies of pertinent medical records, including any imaging or MRIs that you may have. Please give your medical records to the front desk to scan into your electronic chart before you see the doctor.

For consultation appointments: Patients are requested to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment time.

For procedures, please arrive at your scheduled time. If you are having anesthesia, please do not eat for 6 hours or drink for 2 hours prior to procedure. Blood thinners will need to be stopped prior to procedures (Plavix, Coumadin, Xarelto). Aspirin and Ibuprofen typically do not need to be stopped. You MUST contact us or your primary care doctor to make sure it is safe to stop these medications.

Wait Times: We value your time and try to minimize wait times as a priority. The average total time spent in office when you are receiving a procedure with sedation is around 60 minutes. We do accept walk in appointments however there may be a delay in being seen as we prioritize those that have appointments.

We strongly encourage patients make appointments ahead of time. Our schedules fill up quickly. The easiest way to do ensure you get your first choice timeslot for a follow up is to make an appointment for your next visit before you leave our office.

I had a procedure. What’s next?

Please read through our Post Procedure Guide. Remember that it may take 2-3 days to experience optimum results from the procedure (and up to 4-6 weeks for Radiofrequency Albations). In many cases it takes more than one procedure to achieve best results. We prefer to follow up with patients TWO weeks after the procedure, unless directed otherwise by your doctor. If you are in severe pain, we will usually schedule follow up in ONE week. Feel free to contact us at any time.

How long will it take to get authorization for my procedure or MRI?

The majority of procedure/MRI authorizations can be done within a week. We usually schedule patients a week out from when authorization requests are sent out. Because each insurance company has it own requirements and process for authorization, it can be hard to predict how long your authorization will take. Most only take a few days, while others can take weeks for your insurance company to approve. In certain cases, patients can significantly expedite their authorization by contacting their insurance provider directly. You can always check on the status of your authorization request by calling or emailing us.

Where do I go for my MRI?

For MRI’s, we refer our patients to different facilities all able to obtain authorization for you through your insurance. We partner with different locations around the greater New York City area and work closely so we can get results promptly. There are ‘open MRI scanners’ that we can refer you to if you are claustrophobic. The MRI facilities will contact you directly to schedule an appointment. For peace of mind, Hudson Spine transparently has NO financial interests in ANY imaging facility we refer patient to.

How can I get refills of my pain medications?

We believe in responsible and judicious usage of pain medications. Opiates such as Percocets, Vicodin etc are only indicated for short term usage, and not more than 2-3 times a day at most. Please read our pain management principles. Our guidelines are not only derived from extensive patient experience, but we also follow guidelines issued by the Federal DEA and California.

All opiate prescriptions are only dispensed with an office visit, no exceptions.

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