Appointments

What is the easiest way to get an appointment?

Call us at 919-235-0222. Our office hours are Monday-Friday 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

When is Dr. Bullard available for office appointments?

Dr. Bullard sees patients for office visits on Mondays and Thursdays starting at 10:00AM.

What do I need to bring to my first appointment?

Click here for a list of what you need to bring to your first appointment.

Can I get my new patient paperwork ahead of time?

Yes. You can download the new patient paperwork to the right >>>

If I’m a new patient do I have to come in early for my appointment?

If you haven’t completed your paperwork prior to your appointment, you should arrive 30 minutes early.

How long will my clinic appointment take?

We try very hard to keep to our schedule; however, we are a surgical practice and it’s difficult to predict what patients will need depending on their specific condition. Often unforeseen circumstances or emergencies prevent us from being on time. For this reason, please allow up to 2 1/2 hours for your appointment. Should this be the case on your appointment day, we will notify you and ask for your patience.

What should I expect when I arrive for my first appointment?

You can expect service with a smile! Besides that, click here for more specific information.

How long will it take to get an appointment?

Typically, new patient appointments can be made within 1-2 weeks. If you or your physician feel that you need to be seen sooner, we can usually accommodate urgent referrals within 48 hours.

What is your cancellation policy?

Please allow 24 hours notice in the event you need to cancel your appointment. Failing to provide notice has a significant impact on other patients who may be waiting for an appointment. Missing an appointment without providing 24 hours advanced notice is considered a “no show” and is subject to a $50 fee.

About Neurosurgery

What is neurosurgery?

Neurosurgery is the surgical care of the brain and spinal cord. This includes many diseases and injuries of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Our practice focus is spinal surgery, specifically conditions affecting the neck and low back.

Who is a neurosurgeon?

A neurosurgeon is a physician who has met rigorous educational requirements including 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school followed by a general surgical internship and many years as a neurosurgical resident.

What does it mean that a neurosurgeon is board certified?

A neurosurgeon who has been certified by the AMERICAN BOARD OF NEUROLOGICAL SURGERY (ABNS) has completed an approved educational training program and an evaluation process, including written and oral examinations, designed to assess the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to provide quality patient care in neurological surgery.

Board certified neurosurgeons have performed a number of surgeries, passed several rigorous tests and have successfully proven to have favorable patient outcomes in order to gain certification. Board certification is an important indicator of the level of competence of a neurosurgeon.

Who sees a neurosurgeon?

You may need to see a neurosurgeon if you experience the conditions described here. You may have also been examined by a primary care physician and told that your symptoms are neurological in nature and may require surgery.

Why should one see a neurosurgeon rather than an orthopedist for spinal surgery?

Neurosurgeons utilize operating microscopes and precise microsurgical techniques different than the methods orthopedic surgeons use. When dealing with the fine structures of the spinal cord, this training is critical. Neurosurgeons also spend more time freeing the nerve and making sure the nerve is visualized.

How should I choose a surgeon?

Word of mouth from other patients is very helpful. People who have personal experience with a surgeon are probably in the best position to give advice. This is why our practice is so proud of the fact that most of our patients are referred to us by former patients. You can also speak to doctors, nurses and other medical experts who know the surgeon and his/her results.

I have been referred to a neurosurgeon, does that mean I need an operation?

Not necessarily. Many of the conditions we treat can be managed without surgery, at least initially. We attempt to treat our patients conservatively first when it is appropriate. If surgery is recommended, we utilize a minimally invasive approach and the risks and goals of the procedure will be discussed thoroughly with you.

Questions About Surgery

Is surgery always the right option? What alternatives are available and how effective are they?

Surgery is not always the best option. Often conservative treatments such as physical therapy, change in diet, exercise, and other changes in daily activities can help improve your condition. During your evaluation with Dr. Bullard, viable alternatives for your condition will be discussed so you can make the right decision.

If surgery is recommended, will further testing be necessary?

This depends on the circumstances of your specific case. In some cases additional studies may be warranted prior to surgery. If this is the case, our practice will coordinate the diagnostic studies for you. At the minimum you will need to undergo routine pre-surgical testing. This involves basic lab tests, a chest X-ray, and an EKG. Some patients may also need additional clearances such as a medical or cardiac clearance. This information will be reviewed during your evaluation.

Will my surgery be explained to me?

Absolutely! Dr. Bullard will go over the details of the surgery and answer any questions you have. We’ll also give you an information packet about your surgery before you leave our office (available for download here). If you think of more questions after leaving the office, you can always call us with any additional questions.

Where do I go if I have surgery?

Our surgeries are performed at Rex Hospital. It is best to arrive at the hospital two to three hours before your scheduled surgery. Rex Hospital is located at 4420 Lake Boone Trail, Raleigh NC 27607.

What do I need to bring with me to surgery?

If you have your x-rays, MRI or CT scans, you will need to bring them to the hospital. Our office will instruct you if you need to bring any additional items.

How long will I be in the hospital?

It depends on what type of procedure you have. Most of our surgeries do not require more than an overnight stay. Our office will provide you with this information prior to your surgery.

How long will it take to heal?

The amount of time will depend on what type of surgery you have as well as your condition before surgery. Dr. Bullard or our Physician’s Assistant will review your treatment and recovery plan with you.

How successful is surgery and how long is the recovery process?

Surgical outcomes and the healing process is different for each individual. A lot depends on the severity of the problem, genetics, life style and attitude. Our clinical staff can tell you what other patients have experienced, and advise you on what to expect during your own recovery process. It’s important to note that studies have shown patients who participate in their health-care decisions and who receive emotional support often experience more successful outcomes than those who do not. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Will I be seen for follow up visits after surgery?

Follow up visits are very important. This is the only way for Dr. Bullard to determine how well you are recovering. The recommended frequency or timing of visits will be discussed with you post surgery.

Billing and Insurance

Can you please tell me if you are in network and/or contract with my insurance provider?

Please click here to view a list of insurance companies where we have in-network status. Even if we are not in-network, many carriers provide out-of-network benefits we can work with. Please call if you have any questions.

How much will my insurance cover?

Insurance companies provide a variety of coverage plans with different benefits for neurosurgical services. To receive the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, contact your insurance provider directly and request specific information regarding their coverage for your treatment. If you are a surgical candidate, our office will verify your coverage and process the paperwork necessary to obtain preauthorization for your procedure.

What if I do not have funds with me at the time of my appointment to pay my co-pay?

Co-pays are due when you check in for your appointment. Our insurance contracts legally require us to collect your co-pay at the time of your visit. Because of this, if you do not have your co-pay you will need to be rescheduled.

What forms of payment do you accept?

For your co-pay, we accept cash or debit/credit card only. We do not accept checks.

Why was I asked to pay for a balance due when I came into your office but I never got a bill?

We require payments and co-payments at the time of service and for services already rendered. If there is an outstanding balance on your account, it will be collected at your office visit even if we have not had the opportunity to bill you yet.

Do you accept Workman's Compensation?

Yes. Worker's Compensation treatment requires written verification and billing information from your employer. We will need your insurance company's name, address, date of accident and claim number before you arrive so that coverage can be verified. Without this, you will be responsible for payment at the time of the visit.

I was in a motor vehicle accident and my attorney is handling my case. Can you bill my attorney?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide services to you and bill a third party (other than an insurance company). In this situation, payment for your visit will be required before you see the doctor.

Do I need a referral to see Dr. Bullard?

No, you do not need a referral from another physician unless your insurance company requires one. If you are unsure, check with your insurance company directly.