S. Scott Balderson, PA-C
Physician Assistant – Oncology
As a physician assistant in thoracic surgery I meet a large number of patients who have been diagnosed with a malignancy of the chest, most frequently lung cancer or esophageal cancer. It is very important for me to build a rapport with patients in those first moments because they are frequently coming to us in one of the most challenging moments in their lives. I have a responsibility to each patient to communicate in a way that allows them to understand the intricacies of how we evaluate and treat their illness. In meeting a patient wherever they are in their understanding, my role includes helping to communicate what can sound like abstract information in a way that makes sense. I can then build a relationship with them so that they can know I am there to walk along with them on their team. I take great inspiration from how patients adapt to complex situations to become empowered to make decisions regarding their care.
Ratings and Reviews
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Training and Education
Clinical Focus and Research
My primary area of interest is in minimally invasive thoracic surgery. I am involved in the development of thoracoscopic procedures as well as surgical simulation that can be used to teach these procedures. Over the course of my career I have seen better patient outcomes associated with a number of minimally invasive innovations at Duke, including VATS lobectomy for lung cancer, that have inspired me to help design and participate in post graduate training programs.
Duke Health contracts with most major health insurance carriers and transplant networks, including the ones listed below.
- Aetna Choice POS, Aetna Choice POS II
- Aetna Elect Choice HMO, Aetna Open Access Elect Choice
- Aetna Health Network Only, Aetna Health Network Option
- Aetna HMO
- Aetna Limited Benefit Insurance PPO
- Aetna Managed Choice POS
- Aetna Medicare Value Plan (HMO)
- Aetna Medicare Value Plus Plan (HMO)
- Aetna Medicare Essential Plan (PPO)
- Aetna Medicare Eagle Plan (PPO)
- Aetna Open Access HMO, Open Access Aetna Select, Aetna Open Access Managed Choice
- Aetna Open Choice PPO
- Aetna PCP Coordinated POS Plan
- Aetna Quality Point of Service (QPOS)
- Aetna Select HMO
- Aetna Traditional Choice
- Aetna Voluntary Indemnity Group Plan
- Aetna Whole Health – Duke WakeMed WKCC
- Ambetter of North Carolina
Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
- Blue Advantage
- Blue Medicare (HMO, PPO)*
- Blue Options (123, PPO, HSA)
- Blue Select
- NC State Employees Health Plan
*Duke HomeCare and Hospice does not participate in the plan.
- Bright Health
- Cigna Behavioral Health (*Limited eligibility)
- Cigna Choice Plus
- Cigna Connect Individual Family Plan
- Cigna Open Access
- Cigna Open Access Plus
*Please call Cigna Behavioral Heath to see if the provider is participating in your plan.
Duke Group Plans
- Duke Basic
- Duke Select
- Experience Health Medicare Advantage (HMO) Plan
- First Health
- Gateway Health Alliance
- Halifax Physician-Hospital Organization
- Humana Choice (PPO)
- Humana Choice - Medicare Advantage (PPO)
- Humana ChoiceCare - Medicare Advantage (PPO)
- Humana Gold Choice - Medicare Advantage (PFFS)
- Humana Gold Plus - Medicare Advantage (HMO)
- Humana Medicare Advantage Group Plan - NC State Retirees
- First Medicare Direct*
- Medicare Part A
- Medicare Part B
*This is for Wake County only.
- MultiPlan / Private Healthcare Systems
- NC Medicaid*
*Not all Duke locations and doctors participate in this plan. Please contact the location you will be visiting to determine what is accepted.
- OneNet PPO
- Optima Family Care (Medicaid HMO in VA)*
- Optima Individual & Family (On & Off Exchange Plans)
- Optima Plus (PPO)
- Optima Vantage (HMO)
*Duke Primary Care, Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, and Duke Raleigh Hospital are not participating with this plan.
- TRICARE Prime
- TRICARE Prime Remote
- TRICARE Select
- AARP Medicare Complete (HMO, PPO)*
- AARP Medicare Complete Essential (HMO)*
- All Savers Alternate Funding
- All Savers Fully Insured
- United Healthcare (HMO, PPO, POS)
- United Healthcare Charter/Charter Balance/Charter Plus
- United Healthcare Choice/Choice Plus
- United Healthcare Core/Core Essential
- United Healthcare Navigate/Navigate Plus/Navigate Balanced
- United Healthcare of the River Valley
- United Healthcare Option PPO
- United Healthcare Options PPO with Harvard Pilgrim
- United Healthcare Passport Connect Choice/Choice Plus
- United Healthcare Passport Connect Options PPO
- United Healthcare Select/Select Plus
- United Medical Resources (UMR)
*Duke HomeCare and Hospice, freestanding radiology locations, and mental health providers do not participate with the plan.
Before scheduling your appointment, we strongly recommend you contact your insurance company to verify that the Duke Health location or provider you plan to visit is included in your network. Your insurance company will also be able to inform you of any co-payments, co–insurances, or deductibles that will be your responsibility. If you proceed in scheduling an appointment and your health insurance benefits do not participate with Duke, your out of pocket liability may be higher. We will contact you regarding your coverage and patient liability. If you are uninsured, learn more about our financial assistance policy.