Dr. D. Keith Helton

Specialist in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics

A LITTLE ABOUT ME

Galen East Internal Medicine and Pediatrics is comprised of nine physicians, one physician assistant, and one nurse practitioner.  Four physicians specialize in all aspects of both adult medicine and pediatrics, five physicians specialize in pediatrics only, and our two mid-level providers specialize in internal medicine only.  Our staff knows the importance of good health from birth through the end of life.  Our desire is to treat illnesses as well as help prevent them.

Our physicians believe in and support the importance of immunizing children according to the American Academy of Pediatrics immunization schedule as they feel this is the best way to protect our children from serious illness or death from vaccine preventable diseases.  For this reason, parents who refuse to immunize their children according to the AAP schedule will not be accepted into our practice. 

I SPECIALIZE IN:

  • Adult Internal Medicine
  • Pediatric Medicine​
  • Preventive Healthcare​
  • Weight Management​
  • Wellness and Physicals​

I'M LOCATED AT

Galen East Internal Medicine and Pediatrics

1651 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 302

Chattanooga, TN 37421

  • Call: (423) 899-2904
  • Fax: (423) 892-5058

BEEN IN PRACTICE FOR:

 years.

MY CARE PHILOSOPHY:

Our mission is to provide  

MY EDUCATION:

M.D. | East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Certification | 

I'M AFFILIATED WITH:

Hospitals: 
 

Organizations:
 

SERVICES & PATIENT RESOURCES:

Our primary care physicians specializing in internal medicine, a discipline focused on the care of adults emphasizing use of the best medical science available in caring for patients in the context of thoughtful, meaningful doctor-patient relationships.

Our providers are equipped to handle a broad and comprehensive spectrum of illnesses that affect adults, and are recognized as experts in diagnosis, in treatment of chronic illness, and in health promotion and disease prevention—they are not limited to one type of medical problem or organ system. Whatever medical concern a patient brings—no matter how common or rare, or how simple or complex we are specially trained to solve puzzling diagnostic problems and can handle severe chronic illnesses and situations where several different illnesses may strike at the same time.

Preventive medicine is practiced by all physicians to keep their patients healthy. It is also a unique medical specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Preventive medicine focuses on the health of individuals, communities, and defined populations. Its goal is to protect, promote, and maintain health and well-being and to prevent disease, disability, and death.

Preventive medicine specialists are licensed medical doctors (MD) or doctors of osteopathy (DO), who possess core competencies in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental and occupational medicine, planning and evaluation of health services, management of health care organizations, research into causes of disease and injury in population groups, and the practice of prevention in clinical medicine. They apply knowledge and skills gained from the medical, social, economic, and behavioral sciences.

What is a wellness exam: An annual exam is a Comprehensive preventative exam with your primary care provider for the sole purpose of preventative care. An annual exam does not include discussion of new problems or detailed review of chronic conditions. Annual exams may also be called routine check-ups, yearly exams, an annual pap, or preventive visit.

Will my insurance pay for a wellness exam?

Most health plans will pay for one wellness or preventative exam per year. Your insurance provider may consider this to be once per calendar year or one year and one day since the date of your last wellness exam.

If you have had any other visit billed as preventative during this time period your plan is likely to deny your wellness exam. This would include a well-woman exam or annual pap smear. Your plan may not pay for all testing and/or labs ordered during your wellness exam. If your provider has a concern and orders diagnostic testing and/or labs during your exam you may be held financially responsible.

It is the patient’s responsibility to check with their insurance provider to see what is covered under their wellness benefit and to ensure they are eligible prior to scheduling their annual wellness exam.

What is the difference between a wellness exam and a problem visit: Preventative visits and tests ordered by your provider can help you stay healthy and catch problems early. Diagnostic visits and testing are used to diagnose a current health problem. Diagnostic tests are ordered by your provider when you have symptoms and they want to find out why. For example, your provider might want you to have a test because of your age or family history, that’s preventive care, but if it’s because you’re having symptoms of a problem,
that’s diagnostic care.

Can I have a wellness exam and problem visit at the same time: No. Billing issues prevent your provider from doing a wellness exam and a diagnostic visit on the same day. This is for your protection as your insurance carrier may deny one of these visits forwarding the financial responsibility to you. This does not prevent you from asking a
simple question or requesting refills of any maintenance medications; however, we ask that you please schedule a separate appointment, on a different day, if you have any new concerns or other ongoing health problems that need more attention. Should your wellness exam turn into a diagnostic or problem-oriented visit we will bill accordingly.