Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Where is TLI located?
We have offices in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.
San Antonio: We have 2 locations where patients can be seen. TLI-Central is our main location and is located at 607 Camden St, San Antonio, TX. We also have TLI-North which is located at 3619 Paesanos Pkwy, Suite 212, San Antonio, TX
TLI-Central 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.
Austin: Our Austin office is located at 7940 Shoal Creek Blvd, Suite 205, Austin, TX
Dallas: Our Dallas office is located at 7515 Greenville Ave, Suite 600, Dallas, TX 75231
Do I need a referral to visit TLI?
You may need a referral, depending on your insurance provider and insurance plan. Please contact your insurance provider for details.
May I transfer care to another physician within the TLI group?
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.
Does TLI handle Workers’ Compensation claims?
No, TLI does not handle Workman’s Compensation claims.
Will my primary care provider get a copy of my procedure and/or updates on my care?
TLI physicians provide ongoing updates to any and all primary care and/or referring provider as documented in your medical records.
What hospitals do TLI physicians consult at in the area?
TLI physicians provide coverage at all major hospitals in San Antonio. You may contact your TLI physician’s office for more information.
How long will it take to get an appointment?
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.
Do you treat children?
Yes, our hepatologists will see individuals of all ages with liver disease.
What procedures do you perform?
• Liver biopsy • Ultrasound • Fibroscan
How soon can I have a procedure performed?
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.
What will happen if I eat or drink something right before (or a few hours before) my procedure?
Your procedure may be cancelled. It is dangerous to receive sedation if you have had something to eat or drink before a procedure.
Why can’t I drive after the 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.”
Can I drink wine or beer after the procedure?
No. This is dangerous since you will have received narcotics and sedatives during your procedure. You must not mix alcohol and these medications.
What can I eat after the procedure?
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.
How long does a biopsy take?
A liver biopsy typically takes 20-30 minutes. You will be at TLI approximately three hours from arrival until discharge.
Will I be awake during the procedure? Is it painful?
You are awake and able to hear and follow commands but you will not feel any pain.
Can my husband, wife, family member or friend come in with me during the procedure and watch?
No, this is not allowed. The physician will talk with your designated family or friend immediately following the procedure.
What to Expect FAQs
Can I meet my physician prior to the procedure?
Yes, you will meet your physician in the office when your medical history and physical is completed.
Will I be sedated during the procedure?
Yes, you will receive pain and sedation medications.
What staff can I expect to meet during my procedure?
You may meet several clinical staff during your visit, including medical assistants and ultrasound technicians. You will also meet the front office staff that will check you in and assist you withcompletion of all needed paperwork. All of our staff have additional training that is Hepatology specific, as well as ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) and BLS (basic life support).
Should I bring a family member or friend to my procedure?
You will definitely need to bring someone with you to the Center. Additionally, you will not be allowed to drive or take a taxi home without a responsible adult with you.
How soon will I receive the results of my procedure?
Procedure results will be reviewed with you at your next scheduled follow-up appointment.
What insurance carriers do you accept?
- 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.
I have Medicare. How do I prove that my procedure is a medical necessity?
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.
Can you help me negotiate with my insurance company?
Should a claim for services be denied, we will assist you in working with your health plan.
What is co-insurance?
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.
What can I expect to pay out of pocket?
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.
Do you accept Medicaid?
Yes, traditional only.
Financial Policy FAQs
What is TLI’s financial policy?
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.
My insurance carrier is requesting a referral. How do I obtain one?
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.
I’d like to work out a payment plan with TLI. What should I know?
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
Who is responsible to get an estimate from my insurance carrier for my procedure?
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
How long do I have to pay my bill?
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.
Does TLI have an online billing option?
Not at this time.
I’m having trouble understanding my bill. Where can I get help?
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.