Skip to Main Content

Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect at my consultation visit?

During your initial consultation, you may see a surgeon, nurse practitioner (NP) or physician’s assistant (PA). Your provider may request an x-ray prior to your visit, which can be done within the Hilo Medical Center facility within an hour of your consultation. At the clinic visit, you will be evaluated by your provider, review imaging studies and health history. Your provider will then determine a plan of care. Surgery is not performed at the consultation visit.


Where are the surgeries performed?

All surgeries are performed at Hilo Medical Center operating room. Your surgeon will determine if you will be admitted or be discharged the same day as your surgery.


How do I find out what my cost will be for surgery?

The price estimator and standard charges tool can assist in providing an estimate of your financial responsibility. Keep in mind, this is only an estimate and cost fluctuates with supplies used in surgery, time spent in surgery, length of admission, and medications administered. Please visit the Price Estimator and Standard Charges tool at Price Estimator and Standard Charges – Hilo Medical Center


Do I require a referral to be seen?

Yes, a referral is required by your primary care provider to be seen for non-urgent matters. If seen in the emergency room, you may be referred directly from the ER physician. Although your insurance may not require a referral to specialty care, the East Hawaii Health clinics require it in order to obtain appropriate medical records regarding your health history, diagnostic studies supporting your diagnosis, and if needed, a preoperative clearance prior to surgery.


After a referral is received, how quickly can I expect to be scheduled?

When the referral is received, it is forwarded to our medical providers for triage. They will screen the referral to determine the urgency of the referral. This will determine how quickly patients will be scheduled. If it is an urgent diagnosis, you can expect to be scheduled within a week. If it a non-urgent diagnosis, scheduling usually occurs between 2-4 weeks, depending on the availability of the surgeon that is requested.


Why am I scheduled with a Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant instead of a Surgeon?

The East Hawaii Health Orthopedic Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants are specially trained in orthopedic care and work closely with the surgeons to determine a plan of care. They are qualified medical providers that can prescribe medications, order diagnostic studies, perform pain relieving injections, perform any work up needed prior to surgery and many more aspects of orthopedic care. Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants fulfill a crucial role of our health care system to ensure patients can be seen in a timely manner and support our surgeons throughout the entire surgical experience.