Feel Confident Every Step of the Way


We understand the fears and anxiety that often accompany a cancer diagnosis, and we are here to help. We strive to help educate, support and assist you in feeling confident with each new aspect of your journey to recovery.

In this section, you will find helpful office visit tips, commonly asked questions and more pertaining to patient life. We hope this information helps ease your fears and prepares you for your initial visit.

If you have additional questions, reach out to any of our offices and a staff member will assist you.

We welcome the opportunity to provide you with the comprehensive cancer care and personal attention you deserve.

New to Our Practice

Welcome to Tennessee Cancer Specialists!
We look forward to providing you the utmost in quality and compassionate cancer care at every visit.  It is common to feel anxious about your first visit.  Meeting your oncologist/hematologist and other members of your medical team and learning about your treatment options for the first time can be unsettling.  We will do everything we can to make you comfortable.

We encourage you to bring a family member or friend with you, and we will spend time thoroughly explaining your diagnosis and treatment options. We will answer any questions you may have completely and honestly, and we offer a variety of educational resources and support services designed to help you better understand and cope with your disease.

Most patients are referred to us by another physician.  In these cases, your physician’s office will make the initial contact with our staff and schedule the appointment for you.

Some of our physicians will accept self-referred patients and those desiring second opinions.  If you have not been referred by your doctor, call the office and ask them to refer you.  Most physicians will honor patient requests.

What You Need for an Appointment
In order for us to provide the best care, we ask you bring the following items to every office visit:

  • Your insurance card(s), including any prescription card, you might have at the time of your visit.
  • If your insurance requires a co-pay, be prepared to pay at the time of your office visit.
  • A photo ID
  • A list of your medications including over-the-counter.

Patients who fill out their forms prior to their initial visit are more at ease during their appointment. It also saves you valuable time while you are in our office.

To fill out your new patient forms, click on the link below, print the form and fill out as many fields as possible.

Bring the forms with you to your first visit. Take your time when filling out the forms and provide as much information as you can about your complete health history.

If you do not have access to a printer, our offices will gladly mail the forms to your home prior to your initial visit.


We look forward to providing you the utmost in quality, compassionate cancer care at every visit. To learn about scheduling an appointment and other helpful details about your visit, refer to the information below.

Should you have additional questions give us a call, and one of our staff members will assist you.

Have You Been Referred?
Most patients are referred to us by another physician. Your physician’s office will make the initial contact with our staff and schedule the appointment for you.

Are You Self-Referred or Seeking a Second Opinion?
Some of our physicians will accept self-referred patients and those desiring second opinions. If you have not been referred by your doctor, call our office and ask for a referral. Most physicians will honor patient requests. If you cannot get your doctor to refer you, call one of our offices and ask if self-referrals are accepted.

What Should You Bring?
At each office visit, you will need to bring the following items:

  • Your insurance cards
  • A list of your medications, including over-the-counter
  • A list of questions you have for your physician to ensure you discuss issues important to you
  • A friend or someone close to you (if you would like company or someone to help listen to your discussion with your physician)

What Should You Remember?
At each office visit, you will need to do the following things:

  • Show your insurance cards to the receptionist when you sign in
  • Let us know if you have additional insurance or if it has changed
  • Inform us if you have changes in employment, marital status, address or telephone numbers
  • Schedule your next appointment, whether for follow up with your physician, lab or treatment

Do You Have Questions?
If you have questions prior to your initial appointment, visit our Commonly Asked Questions section or reach out to one of our offices for help. Our staff will answer your call and any questions you may have about your upcoming visit.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

You are more than just a person with cancer – you are our patient. We take the time to get to know you and understand your unique situation and special needs. We serve you, not just your condition, and strive to do everything in our power to provide you with the best quality of life possible while seeking cancer treatment.

Patient Bill of Rights
As a Tennessee Cancer Specialists (TCS) patient, I have the right to…

  1. Full information about my rights and responsibilities as a patient at TCS.
  2. Be treated with courtesy, dignity and respect of my personal privacy by all employees of TCS.
  3. Be assisted in a prompt, courteous and responsible manner.
  4. Receive an explanation of my diagnosis, benefits of treatment, alternatives, recuperation, risks and an explanation of consequences if treatment is not pursued.
  5. Participate in decision-making regarding his or her care, including sufficient information, except in emergencies, to make an informed decision regarding his or her care.
  6. Decline treatment, including participation in investigational studies, and withdraw previously given consent. In this event, the patient has the right to be informed of the medical consequences of this action.
  7. Be free of physical and mental abuse and neglect by all employees of TCS.
  8. An explanation of all rules, regulations and services provided by TCS, the days and hours of service and provisions for possible emergency care, including telephone numbers.
  9. Complain or file grievance with TCS Operating Managers or Practice Administrator without fear of retaliation or discrimination.
  10. Choose the type of medical plan which is best suited to my particular situation and work with the physician
    members within my healthcare plan.
  11. Participate in the development of Plan of Care, including Advance Directives, and to receive my own copies.
  12. Disclosure of any teaching programs, research or experimental programs in which TCS is participating.
  13. Full financial explanation and payment schedules prior to beginning treatment.
  14. Receive expert professional care without discrimination, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sexual preference, handicap, sex, age or health plan coverage.
  15. Confidential treatment of my condition, medical records and financial information.
  16. Access to my personal records and to obtain copies upon written request.
  17. Assistance and consideration in pain management.
  18. The protection of my health information as described in TCS’ Notice of Privacy Practices.

Patient Responsibilities
As a Tennessee Cancer Specialists patient, I have the responsibility to…

  1. Disclose accurate and complete information regarding physical condition, hospitalization, medications, allergies, medical history and related items.
  2. Participate in developing a Plan of Care, Advance Directives, and Living Will.
  3. Assist in maintaining a safe, peaceful and efficient healthcare environment.
  4. Be considerate and respectful of all treatment staff.
  5. Provide new/changed information regarding my health insurance to the business office and to meet my agreed copay during my office visit.
  6. Contact TCS when unable to keep a scheduled appointment.
  7. Cooperate in the planned care and treatment developed for me.
  8. Request more detailed explanations for any aspect of service I do not understand.
  9. Inform my physicians and nurses of any changes in my condition or any new problems or concerns.
  10. Communicate any temporary or permanent change in my address or telephone number which might hinder contact by TCS.
  11. Relate my levels of discomfort and/or pain and perceived changes in my pain management to my physician.
  12. Inform my physician or nurse when I am going to need a prescription refill before my supply is gone.
  13. Express opinions, concerns, or complaints regarding his or her health care and rights and responsibilities in a constructive manner to TCS.

Billing & Insurance

We care about our patients’ physical, emotional and financial well-being.

We understand dealing with a diagnosis can be difficult and overwhelming. To ensure we offer you the most comprehensive care possible, we go the extra mile to help you understand and feel comfortable with all aspects of your treatment, including the billing process.

Our team of professionals is eager and ready to assist you and your family with understanding the financial part of this difficult time. Our financial counselors and billing representatives will assist you through the billing process, answer your questions and address your concerns regarding insurance, any financial responsibility you may incur, payment options and oncology support and assistance programs that may be available to you.

From start to finish, we are truly your partner in cancer care, so you are never alone on your journey.

If you have questions regarding insurance, billing or patient assistance, contact our billing office—865-862-0998.

Medicare Plans
We accept the following Medicare Plans:
Medicare – Original Medicare Program (including all supplement plans)
AARP – United Healthcare Medicare Complete
Aetna – Medicare Advantage PFFS, PPO
AmeriChoice – Secure Plus Complete
Anthem BCBS – Medicare Plan
BCBS of Tennessee – Blue Advantage PPO, Blue Choice HMO and Blue Care Plus
Cigna – Medicare Access and PFFS
Health Markets – PFFS
Health Net Life – PFFS
HealthSprings – Medicare Advantage
Humana – Gold Choice PFFS, Medicare PPO, Gold Plus HMO
Medical Mutual of Ohio – Medicare Advantage
Pyramid Life – Today’s Option Medicare Advantage PFFS
Secure Horizons – Medicare Complete, PFFS
Sterling Options – PFFS
Tufts – Medicare Advantage
UniCare – Medicare PFFS
UPMC Advantage – HMO
Windsor – Medicare Advantage

We are not participating providers for the following Medicare plans:
Amerigroup — Amerivantage HMO

Commercial Plans
We participate with most major commercial insurance companies.  If you belong to an HMO or PPO, contact our billing office to verify our physicians are a participating provider of your insurance company—865-862-0998.

We DO NOT accept the following insurance plans:
Amerigroup TNCare
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Cover TN — not accepting new patients
Kentucky Access
Prime Health Service
Three Rivers Network
Virginia Medicaid — not accepting new patients

We will accept the following exchange plans:
Community Health Alliance
Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN – Network P & S

We DO NOT participate in the following exchanges:
BCBS of TN – Network E
Any of the Humana Exchange Products
Any Out-of-State Exchange Products

Contact the Billing Office if you have any questions in regards to these policies—865-862-0998 or toll free 866-671-4827.

Kentucky Plans
We accept the following Kentucky plans:
Kentucky Medicaid
Wellcare of Kentucky

We ARE NOT participating providers for:
Anthem BCBS of Kentucky
Any of the Humana Exchange Products
Passport Exchange of Kentucky
Humana’s Commonwealth of Kentucky
Coventry Care of Kentucky
Any Kentucky Exchange plan

Contact the Billing Office if you have any questions in regards to these policies—865-862-0998 or toll free 866-671-4827.

After Hours Care

Comprehensive cancer care doesn’t end at five o’clock. Although most complications of cancer treatment can be handled during normal office hours by your regular oncologist or oncology nurse, occasional problems do arise after hours. We have made special arrangements for such occasions to ensure you receive prompt, proper care.

For Cancer-Related Problems
To obtain assistance for a cancer-related problem when our offices are closed, call your normal office phone number. All after hour calls route through an automated answering service where you can leave your name and phone number. The on-call physician will call you back within 15 minutes to address your concern. If there is no response within 30 minutes of your call, call the service back to ensure your message was received.

For General Problems
Problems not related to cancer or its treatment should be directed to your primary care physician or the physician covering for him or her.

For An Emergency
In the event of a critical medical emergency, call 911.

Commonly Asked Questions

Being diagnosed with cancer or seeking a cancer consultation for you or a loved one can be a complicated, scary experience. We believe knowledge is power. We want to be your empowering partner in comprehensive, compassionate cancer care. We encourage you to read the following list of commonly asked questions. We hope it helps ease your fears and prepare you as much as possible for your initial visit.

If you have an additional question, give us a call—we are here to help.

What information will I need to provide when making the appointment?
Many times, your physician will make the appointment and provide us with the information needed to get you set up in our system, but in some cases, a patient can call directly to make an appointment. When calling to set up an appointment, we will need your name, address, phone number, cell phone number, insurance information and additional identification information.

Do you accept my insurance?
We participate with most major insurance companies and will submit claims to your carrier on your behalf. Medicaid/Tncare patients are welcome. We also accept Medicare assignment. If you belong to an HMO or PPO plan, call our office to verify our physicians are a participating provider of your insurance company. Our staff will be able to tell either you or your primary care physician whether or not we accept your insurance when the first call is made.

Is there a lot of paper work to fill out?
Yes. There are a few forms that will need to be filled out upon your first visit that ask for personal data, insurance, emergency contact and medical history questions. We ask you arrive at our office 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to provide us with this needed information.

Our TCS offices have the ability to mail the forms to your home prior to the initial visit. You will need to bring these forms to our office the day of your first visit.

What do I need to bring to my first visit?
You will need to bring your medical insurance identification card(s). In some cases, many people have two or even three insurance carriers—some may even have a cancer policy. We need to know this, so we can properly bill your medical claim. We will make a copy of this card for our records. From the information you provide, we will verify your insurance benefits, obtain per-certifications or authorizations if necessary and be able to file your claim to your insurance plan. If your insurance plan requires a referral from your primary care physician, this is your responsibility; however, don’t worry—we can help you with this, too. On occasions, we will ask you to update or verify your insurance, so our records will always reflect current information.

What will my financial responsibility be?
We wish we could provide a standard answer to this question for all our patients. Unfortunately, we cannot do so. Each insurance plan has its own requirements based on its contract with the individual policy holder. Some have deductibles, co-insurance, co-pays, while others may require you to pay a percentage of the charges.

As a new patient, you will sit down with one our financial counselors and review your insurance coverage. We will not only provide prior to treatment an estimate of cost for your care, but we will also work with you and your family to find ways to meet these financial obligations—this means you and your family can concentrate on your treatment and recovery. We have several payment options to offer. Your financial counselor will provide you with the information you need.

What if I don’t have any or enough insurance to cover my treatment?
We can help. Our financial counselors will help determine your need for financial assistance during your first visit. There are several payment plans or programs available to help ease the financial burden for those that qualify. Once we determine you meet the requirements, we will seek and try to obtain assistance for you.

Are there any websites my family or I can visit for information about cancer?
Yes. There are several websites that address other questions or concerns your might have. We provide a list of websites we believe will be the most helpful for you and your family.

Association of Cancer Online Resources: www.acor.org
A unique collection of online cancer communities designed to provide timely and accurate information in a supportive environment

Cancer.Net: www.cancer.net
Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Chemo Care: www.chemocare.com
Provides the latest information about chemotherapy to patients and their families, caregivers and friends

InformationAboutCancer.com: www.informationaboutcancer.com
Provides information about many types of cancer diagnoses, cancer risk factors, cancer screening and cancer treatment

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: www.lls.org

National Cancer Institute: www.cancer.gov

What if I have more questions?
If you have additional questions, give us a call, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Patient Survivor Stories

Bobbie Adams

In November 2019, on the way to my son’s house for a weekend visit, I felt a discomfort under my right arm. The discomfort remained throughout the weekend. When we returned home, I found that there was a knot under my arm. I contacted my primary care physician for an appointment.

Read More

Jennie Talley

May of 2007, 18 family members and I were celebrating mothers day.  My nephew, who was 14years old at the time, was also 5 years out from having lung cancer.  I gathered him up in my arms and told my family that if he could beat lung cancer, then I could beat breast cancer.  Needless to say, everyone was shocked.  However, everyone gathered around my husband, my two girls and myself and prayed and cried over us.  It is one of the most precious memories I have.

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Shauna Kowaleski

On November 9, 2012  I found out I had Fallopian tube cancer.  I had been experiencing pain and figured it was because I had Polycystic Ovaries. However, I was extremely nervous because my mom had found out the year before that she had Uterine cancer so I made an appointment right away.  After diagnosis I remember feeling that they couldn’t get this stuff out of me quick enough.

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