Digestive Health Associates

Southwest Endoscopy Center

Durango's Endoscopy Facilities

Digestive Health physicians primarily perform endoscopic procedures at the Southwest Endoscopy Center.  We have limited availability at 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 (see below for cost information)
    • 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.
    • Limited availability of Digestive Health's gastroenterologists
    • Start times may be delayed as a result of unscheduled urgent hospital needs.  Digestive Health doctors may be "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 (see below for cost information)
    • 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® provided these estimates online on October 16, 2017:

Screening colonoscopy - Diagnostic tests - Outpatient
For facilities near Durango, Colorado

 Facility Name Total Estimated Cost
 Southwest Endoscopy Center  $1,369
 Mercy Medical Center  $4,844