Gastroenterology is a specific branch of medicine which deals with the digestive tract. There are a number of reasons why you may need to see a gastroenterologist, and finding the best possible one is crucial for your health and safety.
In this guide, we will consider what gastroenterology is, when to see a gastroenterologist, and who are the best gastroenterologists (including those who accept Medicaid) in Pennsylvania.
What is a Gastroenterologist?
The term “gastroenterologist” comes from the latin root of “gastro,” meaning stomach, and “enterology,” which means the study of the intestines. A gastroenterologist is therefore a doctor who specializes in the digestive system, the gallbladder, the pancreas, the liver, and the bile ducts.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) official website, for a person to become a gastroenterologist they must have:
● Successfully completed a 3-year Internal Medicine residency
● Gone through fellowship in gastroenterology following their residency
Below, we will consider different reasons why you may need to see a gastroenterologist. You can skip this next section to head over to the list of the best gastroenterologists in Pennsylvania state.
When Should I see a Gastroenterologist?
Conditions for which you would see a gastroenterologist include abdominal pains, digestive problems including bloating, constipation, and belching, colorectal cancer, or irritable bowel syndrome. You would also go see a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy.
According to the MedlinePlus government website, abdominal pain is defined as “pain that you feel anywhere between your chest and groin,” most notably in the ‘stomach’ area. Medline lists four main kinds of pain you may feel. These are:
● Generalized pain
● Localized pain
● Camp-like pain
● Colicky pain
These can be caused by a multitude of different factors, including constipation, food intolerance such as gluten or lactose intolerances, or the stomach flu. If you feel abdominal pain, drinking water, exercising, limiting foods which produce gas such as beans and legumes, eating small meals regularly, and eating lots of high-fiber foods can help. If the issues persist, you should consult a medical professional.
Digestive problems are any kind of problems dealing with the digestive, or gastrointestinal (GI), tract. The digestive tract includes the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. According to Medline, indicators of possible digestive problems include:
● Troubles swallowing
These can be mild to severe issues which may or may not require seeing a medical professional. That being said, if you notice irregular digestive problems, or have issues which persist and impact your daily life, it is important to seek medical consultation immediately.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a colonoscopy is “an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (coloc) and rectum.” Anyone over the age of 50 should receive a colonoscopy and anyone at risk of colon cancer. To get a colonoscopy you will need to see a gastroenterologist who will perform the exam.
Top 10 Gastroenterologists in Pennsylvania
1. Dr. Ali Abbas MD
2690 Southfield Dr, York, PA, 17403
2. Dr. Gebran Abboud
1015 Franklin Street, Johnstown, PA
3. Dr. Faten N. Aberra
3400 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA
4. Mark S. Codella
1403 Rhawn St, Philadelphia, PA 19111
5. Dr. Eugene Mayer
2000 Grant Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19115
The Best PA Gastroenterologists Who Accept Medicaid:
6.Dr. Sean A. Connelly, DO
100 Knowlson Ave
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania 15010
7. Michael F Gaugler
820 Bryan St Suite 1
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 16652
8. Dr. Thomas J McGarrity, MD
“500 University Dr
Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033”
9. Dr. Mark L Bierhoff, MD
2000 Grant Ave Ste 103
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19115″
10. Robin Suzanne Midian
“1307 Federal St Maternal Fetal Medicine; Suite B100
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212”
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a federal and state government-run insurance program which provides low-cost to free health coverage to qualifying individuals or families. People who qualify for Medicaid include disabled, pregnant, low-income individuals and families, and the elderly.
Eligibility Requirements for Pennsylvania Residents
The exact eligibility requirements for Medicaid vary from one state to another. The Pennsylvania Government Department of Health Services (DHS) offers a comprehensive list of who is eligible for Medicaid. These requirements are defined as:
● Low-income (at or under the federal poverty line) adults between 19 to 64 years of age
● Blind or disabled people aged 65 years or older
● Families who have children younger than 21 years of age
● People with conditions of Special Medical Assistance
If you fall under one or more of these categories, you may be eligible to receive Medicaid health coverage. If this is the case, you can go ahead and begin the application process.
How to Apply
The application process for Medicaid in Pennsylvania can be done online, over-the-phone, or in-person. When applying, you will need to provide: household income, federal tax information, SSN, current health insurance (if applicable), housing expenses proof, proof of citizenship or required documentation for qualifying non-US citizens, and resource information.
To apply online, you will need to go through the COMPASS website. To apply over the phone, you will need to call the Consumer Service Center for Health Coverage at 1-866-550-4355 for more information. In person or by mail you will need to fill out the required documents and either send them in or drop them off at your local county office. You can follow this link to find out which is your Pennsylvania county assistance office.
Whether you are dealing with a one-time or recurring health issue, knowing a good medical professional is crucial to ensure you receive the best possible health care. In this guide, we listed the top ten gastroenterologists in the state of Pennsylvania, including those which accept Medicaid coverage.