Below are some of the most frequently asked questions from patients. Just click the question to find the answer. If you have more questions, please contact us.

    What is a Nephrologist?

    A nephrologist is a doctor who has been trained in kidney diseases, kidney transplantation and dialysis therapies. After graduation from medical school, a nephrologist must complete three years of training in general internal medicine and two more years of subspecialty training caring for patients with kidney disease, those patients on dialysis and those who have had kidney transplants. At the end of this training, most kidney doctors take a national examination to become certified as a nephrologist.


    What does it mean to be “Board Certified” Nephrologist?

    Every physician must hold a license to practice medicine, however a board certified physician has passed a specialty board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Typically, physicians who have completed a period of training ("residency") in a particular specialty and who pass an examination given by the board of that specialty are then qualified to become "board certified”.


    What is the difference between a Nephrologist and an Urologist?

    A Nephrologist is an Internal Medicine physician who has specialized training in the diagnosis and medical treatment of kidney-related conditions, including dialysis and kidney transplantation. Urologists are surgeons who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the urinary system in men and women and in disorders of the male reproductive system that typically involve surgical intervention.


    What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

    Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to keep you healthy. If kidney disease persists and worsens, waste can build to high levels in your blood, making you feel sick. You may develop complications like high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage. Also, CKD increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel diseases, problems that may progress slowly over a long period of time. CKD may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure or other disorders. Early detection and treatment can often keep CKD from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it can lead to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or kidney transplant to maintain life.


    Why did my primary care doctor ask me to see a Renalus Center for Kidney Care Physician?

    Your primary care physician may have noticed a symptom or lab result that could indicate a problem with your kidneys. Early evaluation and treatment is the best protection against chronic kidney disease (CKD) and potential failure. At Renalus Center for Kidney Care, our physicians are specially trained in detecting and treating high blood pressure, blood chemistry or electrolyte imbalances, and kidney disorders. We can confirm diagnosis and provide advice and/or treatment plans that require specialized training and expertise in kidney care.


    Do I need a referral to see a Renalus Center for Kidney Care Physician?

    In most cases we do require a physician referral. The Renalus Center for Kidney Care team will need to receive a patient medical history (including office notes, laboratory data and radiology reports) from the referring physician before prescribing and beginning treatment.


    How can I get information about my lab results?

    Visit our Patients Portal.


    What will I experience during my visit first visit?

    You will be greeted by our front desk staff who will verify your demographic and insurance information, ask for your photo identification and insurance card, and ask if they may take a picture of you to be placed in your medical records. The medical staff will then ask you to provide a urine sample, check your vital statistics, and review your medical history and medications with you. In the exam room, you will meet with your doctor who will conduct a physical exam followed by a discussion about your treatment options. Upon exiting the exam room, you will be directed to our billing/scheduling department where the scheduler will set up your next appointment and provide to you any requests for lab work, special dietary instructions, and/or medication changes that the physician has ordered. If an office visit payment is due, it will be collected at this time. Any new prescriptions will be sent to your pharmacy.

     What are Electronic Health Records (EHR)?

    Longitudinal electronic health records of patient information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting. This information includes patient demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital statistics, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data, and radiology reports. The EHR automates and streamlines the clinician’s workflow by generating a complete record of a clinical patient encounter – as well as supporting other care-related activities, directly or indirectly, via interface – including evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting.


    Do I have a choice of which Renalus Center for Kidney Care office to visit?

    Yes, depending on when and where appointments are available, you may select which office is most convenient for you.


    Will I always see the same physician when I have an appointment at Renalus Center for Kidney Care?

    With most visits you will see the same physician; however there may be some visits where you will see one of our nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

    What is the difference between a Nurse Practitioner and a Physician Assistant?

    Nurse Practitioners: A Nurse Practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) who also has a Master’s degree and clinical experience. The NP may work independently or as a member of a health care team and has a collaborative relationship with physicians.

    Physician Assistants: A Physician Assistant (PA) is a licensed health professional who has passed the national certification exam that is administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. The PA works under the supervision of a physician to provide preventative, diagnostic, and therapeutic health care services. The PA helps take medical histories, examine patients, treat patients, order and interpret lab tests, order and interpret x-rays, make diagnoses, and provide treatment for minor injuries. In most states, a PA also has prescribing privileges.


    What do I need to bring with me to my first appointment?

    For your first appointment you will need to fill out and bring the New Patient Packet that you either received by mail or downloaded from our website.


    Who can help me with insurance, billing or other financial questions?

    For billing questions, please contact the Renalus Center for Kidney Care Billing Department at 850.444.4700, Option 3.


    What insurance do you accept?

    Please check with your insurance carrier if you have questions regarding your coverage and for verification of participating providers.

    • Our Participating Partners
      • Advantage 65 (BCBS Medicare Supplement)
      • Aetna
      • Blue Shield of Alabama
      • Blue Shield of Florida
      • Blue Shield of Florida – Health Options
      • Cigna
      • Coventry Healthcare
      • First Health Network
      • Medicaid of Alabama
      • Medicaid of Florida
      • Medicare
      • Medicare Replacement Plans
      • Poarch Creek Band of Indians
      • Tricare
      • United Healthcare
      • VA