Welcome To Our Office!

  • We offer the full breadth of neurological services, including Neurological Evaluations and Consultations, Independent Medical Examinations (IME), Records Review, Work Injury Evaluations, EMG/NCS, EEG interpretations, Cognitive Testing, and Autonomic Testing — all under one roof, in one convenient location, in North Macon.
  • We also offer the full range of treatment options for your neurological condition – including Therapeutic Botox and Infusion Therapy.
  • We also offer state of the art, “Hi-Tech” neurological treatment options, including Deep Brain Stimulation and Vagal Nerve Stimulation.
  • We are involved in clinical research trials. If you qualify for one of these trials, you may be eligible for research medications through our office.

  • Dr. Athni has multiple degrees in multiple disciplines.
  • Fully USA trained:  College –> Medical School –> Residency
  • Dr. Athni is Board Certified by the Am. Board of Neurology & Psychiatry.

  • If you are a new patient to our practice, please spend a few moments browsing the various pages published on this web site.
  • We would also encourage you to consider downloading a pre-registration packet, as well as reviewing our insurance and payment policy under the “Insurance Information” section.
  • If a service is not listed, please call our office and speak to our office manager

What is a Neurologist?

What type of training does a Neurologist have?

  • A Neurologist is a Medical Doctor, specialized in the study of the Nervous System.
  • The field of Neurology includes the study of diseases of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and muscles.
  • After 4 years of college and 4 years of medical school, a Neurologist obtains specialty training in the field of “Neurology”. This includes 4 years of Neurology Residency, during which time the “Neurology skills” are fine tuned.

What disorders are treated by a Neurologist?

  • Some common “symptoms” evaluated by a Neurologist include: headaches, neck pain, lower back pain, weakness, sleep problems etc.
  • Some common disorders diagnosed and treated by a Neurologist include: Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Alzheimer’s, migraine headaches, “pinched nerve”, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, ALS, Myasthenia Gravis, Polymyositis, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and Seizures.

How does a Neurologist evaluate a patient?

  • A Neurologist will obtain a detailed neurological history and a detailed neurological exam to better understand your condition.
  • The Neurological exam is probably very different from any previous medical exam you might have undertaken.
  • This evaluation process may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

What tests might be ordered by the Neurologist?

  • After the evaluation, some diagnostic tests may be ordered, such as : blood tests, MRI, CT scan, EMG-NCS, Sleep Studies, EEG, VNG, Ultrasounds, or Neuropsychology tests – to name a few.

How is a diagnosis made?

  • After reviewing the results of the diagnostic tests, in conjunction with the neurological evaluation, a diagnosis will be made, and a treatment plan will be recommended.
  • This evaluation process may take numerous visits, over a period of 4-8 weeks. Please do not expect a firm diagnosis on your first visit.

 

Thank You!

Dear Patient,

As part of our commitment to providing exceptional care, our office plays an integral part in medical education, helping young doctors-in-training learn Clinical Neurology.

I want to express my gratitude for your willingness to participate in medical education. Your contributions play a vital role in shaping the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Why Your Assistance Matters:

    • Educational Impact: By allowing students to observe and learn during your appointments, you contribute to their understanding of real-world patient interactions. Your experiences provide invaluable insights.
    • Clinical Exposure: Students gain firsthand knowledge of various medical conditions, diagnostic processes, and treatment plans through your case. Your openness fosters a rich learning environment.
    • Empathy and Communication: Your interactions demonstrate effective communication, empathy, and patient-centered care. These qualities inspire students to emulate best practices.

How You Can Help:

    • Be Open: Continue sharing your experiences openly. Your insights into symptoms, coping strategies, and treatment outcomes are invaluable.
    • Ask Questions: Feel free to ask students about their learning goals. Engaging in dialogue helps them refine their skills and knowledge.
    • Feedback: Provide constructive feedback. Let us know how we can enhance the educational experience for both you and the students.

Benefits for You:

    • Enhanced Care: Student involvement often leads to thorough assessments and comprehensive care plans.
    • Empowerment: Knowing that you contribute to medical education empowers you as an active participant in your own health journey.
    • Community Impact: By educating future healthcare providers, you positively impact the broader community.

Thank you for your generosity and willingness to be part of our educational mission. Your partnership ensures that compassionate, competent care continues to thrive.

Warmest regards,

Sudhir S. Athni, MD
Medical Director, Neurology of Central Georgia
Assistant Clinical Professor, Medical College of Georgia
President, Georgia Neurological Society

Illnesses We Treat

We will evaluate and treat the full range of Neurological diseases, including:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Neuropathy
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia (facial pain)
  • Dementia / memory problems
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Concussions, TBI and Closed Head Injuies
  • Plus many more …

In the process of making the above diagnoses, we will perform a variety of diagnostic tests.
Please take a look at our “Diagnostic Tests” page to read more about the various neurological tests
Also click on the “Educational” link to learn more about these diseases.

Information for New Patients

When should I come to the appointment?

  • We request ALL new patients to arrive at the office at least 1 hour BEFORE their scheduled appointment. After you fill out the required paperwork, the office staff needs to enter all the information into our computer system before you can be seen by the physician.
  • Arriving early will ensure that all paperwork and computer entry issues are completed before your scheduled appointment time. Otherwise, your consultation time will be delayed.

What paperwork will I have to fill out?

  • You will be asked to fill out a “Registration” form, and a “Medical History” form.
  • To minimize your office wait time, you may wish to download all the necessary registration forms, and bring the completed forms with you.

What should I bring to the office?

  • To make the registration process easier, please bring ALL your medications with you. Also, bring your insurance card and your drivers license for identification purposes. We will make copies of these cards.
  • If you have had any MRI scans, CT Scans, or any other X-rays which might be relevant to your condition, please bring the ACTUAL FILMS or CD of any imaging studies, paper copies of imaging reports, and paper copies of prior medical records with you on your visit (we will scan your medical records into our EMR system).
  • Please do NOT drop off the films at the office prior to your visit.

Identification and Insurance Cards

  • You must bring your current insurance card, as well as a valid government issued picture ID, such as your driver’s license, your passport, a state-issued-ID, etc.
  • Per federal insurance laws, we must verify the identification of the patient. We will make copies of the insurance card and your picture ID. Without proof of insurance coverage or valid picture ID, we will not be able to see you as a patient.

What notes do we need before your office visit?

  • You MUST make sure any and all relevant office notes from your primary care physician (PCP) are faxed or mailed to our office prior to your visit.
  • If you have previously seen a different Neurologist, we must be forwarded all those notes before an appointment can be made.

If you are a minor, or if you are a student…

  • If you are less than 18 years old or if you are still a student, you MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Who will be allowed into the exam room?

  • If you are an adult, then only the patient and immediate next of kin, will be allowed into the exam room (unless another family member is needed for medical reasons).
  • If you have small children, PLEASE make other arrangements for them, as they will NOT be allowed into the exam room.

What about my medications?

  • Please bring ALL you medications to the office. Depending on the situation, Dr. Athni may want to see the actual meds.

Who will be performing the Neurological Evaluation?

  • Our office does NOT use a “Physician Assistant” or a “Nurse Practitioners”.
  • Your visit will be a comprehensive one. Please do not expect Dr. Athni to just “read the old notes”. He will expect you to answer all questions in full detail.
  • The Neurological Evaluation is usually done in 3 parts:
    • (1) an initial evaluation and neuro exam will be performed by an upper level medical student or medical resident, followed by
    • (2) a prolonged private discussion (sometimes 45 min to hour) between Dr. Athni and the student / resident, followed by
    • (3) another detailed assessment by Dr. Athni
  • Due to this comprehensive process, be prepared to spend 2-3 hours in the office.
    • PLEASE NOTE: Although you will have filled out the registration forms, Dr. Athni will be re-asking many questions about your “past medical history” in great detail.

Scheduling Appointments

  • We are a “referral only” office.  We require a referral from your primary care physician.
  • As soon as our office receives your referral, we will first verify your insurance benefits to make sure we are part of your insurance network. (Please look at “Insurance Networks” on the web site to see our network affiliation.)
  • We request you forward a copy of your medical records prior to scheduling your initial appointment.  We will review your medical records before an appointment is given.  We reserve the right to NOT schedule an appointment – after reviewing your medical records, we may decide we will not be able to participate in your medical care.
  • Our office staff will then contact you directly to schedule the initial appointment.
  • We try to see patients within 2 weeks of receiving the referral, but sometimes new appointments can delayed upto 8-12 weeks.
  • We normally see new patients on Thursdays, all day.
  • If the appointment involves a Work-Comp issue, we must obtain a written approval from the WC adjuster prior to scheduling the appointment.
  • We request ALL new patients to arrive at the office at least 1 hour BEFORE their scheduled appointment.
  • This will ensure that all paperwork issues are completed before your scheduled appointment time. Otherwise, your consultation time will be delayed.
  • Be prepared to spend 2-3 hours in the office as we conduct a very detailed neurological evaluation, consisting of:
    • (1) an initial evaluation with an upper level medical student or medical resident, followed by
    • (2) a prolonged private discussion (sometimes 45 min to 1 hour) between Dr. Athni and the student / resident, followed by
    • (3) another detailed assessment by Dr. Athni.

 

Consent – Who Can Accompany Patient Into Exam Room

  • If you are being seen thru Worker’s Comp, we will only allow the patient in the exam room.  If a NCM or Adjustor wants to meet with Dr. Athni, they will need to schedule a separate appointment with the front office.
  • If you are an adult and are being seen thru your private insurance or Medicare or Tricare, we will allow your spouse into the exam room.
  • BUT, for anyone else, we will need a Medical Power-of-Attorney (Medical POA) or a Notorized letter stating the third-party is allowed to be involved in the patient’s care.  This would include friends or a parent of a patient or an adult child of a patient.
  • This is a standard practice in Psychiatric offices.  Although we are not treating Psychiatric illnesses, many of our patients have cognitive issues.  To make sure decisions are being made in the best interest of the patient, we require such a POA.  Even if you do not have any issues which involve your cognitive abilities, we have one policy for all patients.
  • We hope you understand the rationale for this policy.  We are merely trying to make sure unauthorized people (who may not have the patient’s best interest) are not involved in medical decisions.

Expected Payments

If you are a Work Injury or IME patient – No payment is required at time of office visit

  • If you are being seen as an authorized Work Injury patient or as an authorized IME, you will NOT be asked to pay anything. All your bills will be handled through your Worker’s Compensation Insurance Company or your attorney.

What is your payment if you have Medicare?

  • If Medicare is your primary insurance, then we expect 20 percent of your “Medicare allowable charges” and any deductible required for the calendar year.
  • Per federal regulations, the Medicare deductible for calendar year 2022 is $226.

What is your payment if you have commercial (PPO or HMO) insurance?

  • We will typically verify your insurance before you arrive at our office.
  • If we are a “participating provider” for your insurance plan, then we will only collect the co-pay (either a set dollar amount or percentage).
  • You may also be asked to pay any deductible that may not have been met for the calendar year.

What if we are NOT in your insurance network?

  • If we are not in your insurance network, you may be asked to pay your bill in-full.
    Please discuss this with our office manager prior to your office visit.

What if you have NO insurance?

  • If you are a NEW patient without a valid verifiable insurance, we will NOT be able to see you as a patient
  • If you are an existing patient and have lost your insurance or we are no longer in your insurance network, then we expect full payment at the time of service.

Insurance Verification:

  • We will verify your insurance PRIOR to your office visit.
  • This verification will inform us of your insurance contract stipulations, including any co-pays you are required to pay.

WHEN to Pay:

  • We expect payment at the time of service.

TYPE of Payment:

  • Our office prefers cash or credit card (MC, Visa, Discover, and Amex).
  • You may also pay On-Line thru this web site. We offer a Secure Payment process, powered by Pay-Pal.
  • Due to the high number of “bounced checks”, we do NOT accept checks as a form of payment.

Important Pages







NOCG Education Portal

 

Click here to access our office Digital Business Card.

Office Hours

Mon: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Tues: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Wed: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Thurs: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Fri: 8:30 am to 12 Noon
Weekends & Holidays – Closed

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