Frequently Asked Questions
Got a question about TLI? Chances are, other patients have asked us the same questions. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about TLI and our procedures.
General Frequently Asked Questions
- What to Expect
- Financial Policy
- General FAQs
- What is TLI?
The Texas Liver Institute, based in San Antonio, is globally renowned as a multi-disciplinary center for the research and treatment of liver disease. In affiliation with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, phase 1-3 clinical trials and studies are performed at The Texas Liver Institute supporting ground-breaking research and state of the art clinical care for treatment of viral hepatitis, liver cancer, cirrhosis and fatty liver disease. For more information, visit www.txliver.com. Together, we diagnose and treat most disorders of the liver.
When was TLI founded?
The Texas Liver Institute was founded by Dr. Eric Lawitz in 2004 as Alamo Medical Research. In 2013, a new facility was built and the name changed to The Texas Liver Institute to best represent comprehensive liver care and research.
TLI is conveniently located downtown San Antonio, just blocks from I-10, I-35, I-37 and US 281. We are 15 minutes away from the San Antonio International Airport.
You may need a referral, depending on your insurance provider and insurance plan. Please contact your insurance provider for details.
While we encourage you to remain with your current TLI physician for continuity of care, transfer requests are considered on a case by case basis.
No, TLI does not handle Workman’s Compensation claims.
TLI physicians provide ongoing updates to any and all primary care and/or referring provider as documented in your medical records.
TLI physicians provide coverage at all major hospitals in San Antonio. You may contact your TLI physician’s office for more information.
We will routinely schedule new patients for the first available appointment. We will also make every attempt to schedule patients with more serious concerns into our clinical hours.
TLI physicians treat patients who are age 17 and above. Children age 16 and younger should be seen by a pediatric hepatologist.
• Liver biopsy • Ultrasound • Fibroscan
Most procedures are scheduled within 1-2 weeks of seeing the doctor for your medical history and physical. It may also be sooner than that time period as well.
Your procedure may be cancelled. It is dangerous to receive sedation if you have had something to eat or drink before a procedure.
The medication that you are given to relax you and relieve any pain during the procedure may cause you to forget events, and may impair your judgment and reflexes. If you attempt to drive it you will be considered “driving under the influence.”
No. This is dangerous since you will have received narcotics and sedatives during your procedure. You must not mix alcohol and these medications.
This will depend on your physician directions but most patients may resume their normal diet. You may be asked to avoid spicy or greasy foods for the next several hours.
A liver biopsy typically takes 20-30 minutes. You will be at TLI approximately three hours from arrival until discharge.
You are awake and able to hear and follow commands but you will not feel any pain.
No, this is not allowed. The physician will talk with your designated family or friend immediately following the procedure.
TLI has its own pathology laboratory, Camden Labs, which provides pathology services for patients seen at the Texas Liver Institute. Camden Labs has a highly skilled laboratory staff and board-certified pathologists who provide high quality pathology results. Having an onsite laboratory facilitates direct communication between our physicians and the pathologist. The results of this improved line of communication are better coordination of care for our patients and quick results to the physician.
Camden Labs is CLIA certified and contracted with most major insurances.
What to Expect FAQs
Yes, you will meet your physician in the office when your medical history and physical is completed.
Yes, you will receive pain and sedation medications.
Procedure results will be reviewed with you at your next scheduled follow-up appointment.
- BCBS HMO/PPO
- Beech Street
- Bravo / Health Spring
- Care Improvement Plus – Medicare
- Cigna PPO
- Community First
- Coventry Advanta (Medicare Advantage PPO)
- Coventry/First Health PPO
- GEHA/ First Health
- Health Payors
- Humana HMO/PPO/Medicare
- Interplan Health Network
- Superior Health Plan (Medicare, Medicaid)
- Today’s Options Medicare
- United Health Care
- Wellcare of Texas – Medicare
This listing may not include all plans TLI accepts. Please contact TLI if your plan is not listed.
Your physician will order tests that he/she feels are medically necessary depending upon your symptoms or previous diagnosis. Should any of these tests be considered not medically necessary, you will be asked to review our Advanced Beneficiary Notice explaining the services ordered, the cost of the services and the reason why Medicare may not consider these medically necessary. Should you choose to proceed with the treatment, you will sign the Notice accepting financial liability for those tests/services.
Should a claim for services be denied, we will assist you in working with your health plan.
Co-insurance is the percentage that you are responsible for according to your health plan. For example, your insurance covers 70 percent of the allowable fee for a specific service. You are responsible for the remaining 30 percent. This is called co-insurance. Co-insurance is not a co-payment.
There are many variables to this question depending upon the services provided. You will be provided with a co-insurance, co-pay, and deductible and an overall estimate prior to services being rendered.
Yes, traditional only.
Financial Policy FAQs
As a courtesy, TLI will file health insurance claims to your health plan. You will be financially responsible for satisfying deductibles, co-payments and co-insurances.
You must first see your primary care provider (PCP) for your illness. If your PCP feels it appropriate, his/her office will contact your health plan to order a referral. This referral must be on file with our office by the day of your visit. If not, you will be financially responsible for services provided during that particular visit.
It is the patient’s responsibility to remit payment at the time of service. We understand that from
time to time circumstances can arise that create a hardship. Please speak with a manager BEFORE your
clinic visit or procedure if you will be unable to pay your balance in full on the day of your
Our offices will contact your health plan to obtain this information. Please be advised that this
information can change on a daily basis, dependent upon any other health claims that have been
processed on your behalf from other healthcare providers. We provide this information as an estimate
Once your insurance carrier has sent in payment for your visit or procedure, any balances owed will be
billed to you. Payment is due upon receipt.
Not at this time.
Please contact our billing office at 210.572.4975. If you are asked to leave a message, please leave
your name, account number and a phone number where you can be reached during our normal office hours.