Digestive Health Associates

Southwest Endoscopy Center

Durango's Endoscopy Facilities

Digestive Health physicians perform endoscopic procedures at both the Southwest Endoscopy Center and Mercy Regional Medical Center.   This page reviews some differences which distinguish the services offered by each site.  This information may be helpful to you in your choice of endoscopy facility.

Where should I schedule my procedure?

The Southwest Endoscopy Center is a Medicare-certified and AAAHC-accredited ambulatory surgery center specializing in the performance of endoscopic procedures.  It has been recognized by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy for promoting quality in endoscopy and is a participant in the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and American College of Gastroenterology's GI Quality Improvement Consortium.  

Mercy Regional Medical Center is a regional general hospital providing many outpatient surgical services, which include gastrointestinal endoscopy, in addition to a broad array of other outpatient, inpatient, critical care and emergency medical services.

Patients who are in good general health are medically eligible to have procedures performed at the Southwest Endoscopy Center.  Patients with serious active health problems, particularly related to their heart or lungs, or who have certain implanted devices such as automatic implantable cardiac defibrillators (AICDs) must have their procedures performed at the hospital.  Certain procedures require equipment or ancillary support only available at one of the facilities.

In general, care at a specialized ambulatory endoscopy center will be more private, more convenient, more efficient, and less expensive than care provided at a hospital outpatient department.

We proudly disclose our doctor's ownership of the Southwest Endoscopy Center.  Our dedication to and influence over the highly focused operation of our small facility help us provide you with the best possible health care experience.  We are interested in your opinions.  Please let us know if you think we can improve!

You may wish to consider the following in your choice of an endoscopy center:
  • Southwest Endoscopy Center
    • Check-in 45 minutes before your scheduled start time.
    • Your scheduled procedure day is secure.  We will occasionally ask our patients to come in a little earlier or later in the day than originally scheduled, but we will accommodate you on the day you have selected.
    • Procedures generally start on time, or with only minor delays.
    • Single flat facility fee (predictable charges)
    • Least expensive
    • Convenient in-town location
    • Specialized and experienced staff working together as a coordinated team.
    • Endoscopy is what we do!
  • Mercy Regional Medical Center
    • Check-in 2 hours before your scheduled start time.
    • While we respect that you have arrangements with regard to your personal schedule and that for your driver, we may occasionally need to ask you to change your procedure date on short notice a day or so prior to your scheduled examination.  This is a matter of medical necessity when we need to accommodate a patient whose urgent medical needs supersede yours.  We regret the inconvenience this may cause you and appreciate your understanding.  Of course, we will delay another elective patient's care if necessary to attend to your own medically urgent needs.
    • Start times are frequently delayed as a result of unscheduled urgent hospital needs.  Digestive Health doctors are "on call" when working at the hospital, and must attend to emergencies and urgent patient matters arising on the inpatient units and in the emergency department which may delay your procedure without notice.  We appreciate your understanding when this occurs and know that you realize that we would also do what is necessary to attend to your own emergency at the expense of another elective patient's care, should one arise.
    • Variable itemized charges for supplies, medication and time units of service
    • Most expensive
    • Full health care support services (operating room and anesthesia/surgical services, emergency department services, diagnostic imaging and laboratory services, intensive care unit services).  Fortunately, these critical services are rarely needed during or following a routine endoscopic procedure, but the availability of such support is important in the scheduling of procedures for seriously and chronically ill individuals, or for certain high risk procedures.

Comparing fees and contract rates among healthcare facilities is difficult for patients because of the complexity of current health care industry charge systems and the confidentiality mandated by health plan contract terms.  Ambulatory Surgery Centers, such as the Southwest Endoscopy Center, will typically use a comprehensive, or global, charge that reflects all services, drugs and supplies needed to render the anticipated care.  Hospitals charge differently, typically itemizing their fees for supplies and drugs as well as time-based charges for use of each hospital room or area needed (preparation, endoscopy, recovery).  A facility's "retail" fee is usually quite different than the contract rates it may have negotiated with health plans, which will vary from plan to plan.  Our staff will help you try to estimate your potential out of pocket liability based on the services we anticipate providing, our contract rates, and your insurance coverage (reflecting your copay and deductible obligations).

Some insurers are now assisting their plan members or subscribers by providing online estimates of typical prices for common services.  Please contact your own health plan or check its website for applicable details.

As an example, Anthem® Care Comparison (a tool for Colorado's Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plan, Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc), provided these estimates online on May 20, 2009*:

Screening colonoscopy - Diagnostic tests - Outpatient
For facilities within 100 miles of Durango, CO
Prices based on PPO benefits

 Facility Name  Minimum Typical Price Maximum Typical Price 
 Southwest Endoscopy Center  $851  $1,094
 Mercy Medical Center  $1,337  $1,580

*"This information is applicable to Anthem members only. The information is provided for informational purposes only and does not guarantee coverage in a particular amount. Your benefit coverage will be determined by all of the terms of your health plan, and will ultimately take into consideration factors such as the actual services provided to you, your eligibility, deductibles, co-insurance amounts, any plan restrictions such as authorization or pre-certification requirements and any exclusions or limitations. Additionally, this website presents information relating to a broad number of providers who may or may not participate in the independently contracted network applicable to your particular plan. Please check the appropriate on-line provider directory to determine whether a particular provider participates in your network.

The cost information provided here is based on a methodology Anthem has applied to help predict typical costs for certain services provided related to certain procedures or diagnostics at different facilities. This methodology may be changed from time to time. Your actual cost for the procedure may be different and will depend on the actual services provided and may also vary based on other factors as well such as the complexity of the services rendered, your plan type and Anthem's contractual arrangements with the providers who perform the services for you.

Anthem has used claims information and Anthem PPO contracted facility cost rates to help develop the cost ranges displayed and this information will be updated from time to time and may result in variation of cost ranges reported on this site. The independently contracted provider networks change periodically and provider participation should be verified prior to receiving services. The information on this site is only applicable to the facilities listed. The information is not applicable for Anthem Medicare or Medicaid members, or otherwise where Anthem is not the primary payer."