We are committed to providing an exceptional patient-care experience through each step of the treatment process. For example, testing your blood can be the key to determining the cause behind many rheumatologic issues. Our on-site moderate complexity lab is equipped to conveniently perform the diagnostics our patients need while meeting the industry’s highest standards.
Our lab is Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified. To meet these quality standards, we must complete recurring proficiency testing and follow stringent rules and regulations. By maintaining these standards, our patients can be confident that they will receive the highest level of care in the industry.
While most of the labs that our provider’s order are processed in-house, some are drawn on-site and sent out for processing to Quest Diagnostics for clinical reasons or to accommodate insurance requirements. Labs processed by our lab will be billed by us and submitted to your insurance company along with your office visit charges. If we send your labs out to Quest Diagnostics, they will bill you directly for outstanding out-of-pocket balances. Please contact Quest Diagnostics directly to discuss your bill at 866-MYQUEST (866-697-8378).
Lab-only appointments will be confirmed 24-48 hours in advance. If you need to cancel or reschedule your lab-only appointment, please do so no later than noon the day before your appointment. You may be charged a no-show fee for failing to keep an appointment that has not been canceled or rescheduled in advance.
Lab results are generally discussed at follow-up appointments. If you happen to have an abnormal lab result, your provider’s Medical Assistant will contact you to discuss the results. Lab results are also made available on the patient portal after your provider has reviewed them. If you would like to obtain a copy of your results by fax or need another physician to receive a copy, please contact your provider’s Medical Assistant to arrange for your labs to be sent.
If you are notified of abnormal lab work by another physician that may impact your rheumatologic management, please contact our office to arrange to have those results sent to us so that your provider can review them.
Arthritis Centers of Texas offers high-quality diagnostic imaging to assist in diagnosing and treating complex rheumatologic conditions. Modern imaging technology combined with our years of experience equips our radiology staff and providers to meet the imaging needs of each patient.
When diagnostic imaging is needed to identify or to clarify a disease, we ensure our patients are treated using advanced technology by the most qualified technicians and providers, either on-site or in conjunction with outside imaging centers.
We perform several imaging services on-site, including bone densitometry (DEXA), x-ray, and ultrasound.
A bone mineral density (BMD) test, also called a DXA scan, allows us to evaluate your bone health. Through the use of low dose x-ray techniques, we can determine many factors, including:
This technique allows us to determine whether you have osteopenia or osteoporosis.
A BMD test does not require any special preparation and can be performed through your regular clothing. The arm of the DXA scanner passes over you, reading your bone density in different areas of your body. If you are already being treated for osteoporosis, your doctor may order a follow-up DXA test to see how you are doing.
Physicians recommend BMD testing for many different patients, including patients taking steroid medication and patients with hyperthyroidism. These patients have had a fracture in which osteoporosis is suspected, and postmenopausal women with risk factors for osteoporosis. Other risk factors contributing to thinning bones or osteoporosis include family history, Caucasian (white) or Asian descent, small or thin build, smoking, infrequent exercise, excessive use of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, or a diet deficient in calcium and vitamin D.
Osteoporosis and associated fractures can rob you of your mobility and independence. Osteoporosis is a ‘silent disease’ that reduces the strength of your bones, causing them to become brittle and prone to fractures. Many women over the age of 50 have osteoporosis and are at risk of an osteoporosis-related fracture. With your test results, you and your doctor can determine what lifestyle changes or treatment measures should be taken. If osteoporosis is diagnosed, treatments are available that can increase bone density and reduce fracture risk. Early diagnosis can make a difference in your life.
Arthritis Centers of Texas offers a variety of intravenous (IV) infusion medications to treat acute and chronic health disorders involving rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases. We strive to create a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere for all patients in the infusion room. Our patients receive infusion therapy under the care of compassionate infusion staff who on-site medical providers supervise. Our infusion rooms are equipped with recliners, wireless internet access, and televisions. Patients may want to bring a book, laptop, or other forms of entertainment. Outside snacks and drinks are welcome. In addition to our staff that provides direct patient care in the infusion rooms, our business office staff works diligently behind the scenes to secure available financial assistance, confirm insurance coverage, and verify benefits.
Based on the infusion medication therapy selected for the patient, providers may order specific blood tests or radiology images. After all testing and imaging are completed, our business office staff assists each patient and their insurance company to obtain approval for the infusion treatment. Once the treatment is approved, our scheduling staff coordinates infusion appointment times convenient for our patients.
Patients are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids for the 2-3 days before their infusion visit. This has been shown to aid with needle placement and contribute to a successful infusion treatment.
Our infusion nurses will check your vital signs and review your overall health condition when you arrive for your infusion. Please make the infusion team aware of any recent surgery, scheduled surgery, or infections as this could interfere with that day’s scheduled treatment.
Once all assessments and reviews are completed, the infusion nurse inserts a small IV needle into the hand or arm. Depending on the medication therapy selected for treatment, infusion times will vary from 30 minutes to six hours. Every patient is closely monitored from start to finish. Most patients feel normal after their infusion and can resume their daily activities, while others experience acute fatigue. Therefore, we encourage patients to consider having transportation available to them.
Infusion therapy is a quick and effective way to deliver the medication you need to treat your particular condition. Medication is delivered directly into your bloodstream via an intravenous (IV) drip, which bypasses your digestive tract. Oral medications can be inefficient or ineffective in treating rheumatic diseases because they take a long time to reach your bloodstream and take effect. Also, the drugs used in infusion therapy rely on specially designed proteins to carry out their mission. These proteins can be damaged and rendered inactive when they pass through your digestive system.
If medical procedures make you anxious, knowing exactly what to expect on the day of your infusion therapy might ease your nerves. Our infusion rooms are equipped with comfortable reclining chairs for you to sit in as the treatment occurs. After your IV has started, you are free to fall asleep, watch a movie, have a snack, read a book, or browse on your phone. Following the infusion, a small dressing will be placed over the area where the needle was removed. After that, you are free to leave and continue the rest of your day. The dressing can be removed after about 30 minutes.
Arthritis Centers of Texas offers an extensive list of biologics and other medications available for infusion therapy. Your provider may recommend infusion therapy with one of them as part of your treatment for:
If your provider believes that infusion therapy is an appropriate addition to your treatment plan, they will discuss how it fits in and which medications they feel are right for you.
To prepare for an easy and comfortable infusion therapy experience, we suggest:
Remember that your infusion may last for several hours, so please be sure to set aside the appropriate amount of time out of your plan for the day.
We offer a range of intravenous-administered biologic treatment options for a variety of rheumatologic disorders, including:
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, and Ankylosing Spondylitis:
• Simponi Aria
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
At Arthritis Centers of Texas, we are focused on the needs of our patients. We understand how frustrating and devastating rheumatic diseases can be. This is why we strive to provide thoughtful care to patients, whether the problem is a benign commonplace problem or a complicated life-threatening illness. In addition, in this era of rapidly expanding treatment options, we are committed to the timely and appropriate use of both established and cutting-edge therapies.
We believe in tailoring therapy to the needs of our patients. Arthritis Centers of Texas has nine board-certified rheumatologists and two rheumatology-trained nurse practitioners. We diagnose and treat a full spectrum of musculoskeletal pain syndromes and rheumatic diseases, including regional pain syndromes, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, seronegative spondyloarthropathies, gout, osteoporosis, lupus, and vasculitides.
As a consultative rheumatology practice, we cooperate with primary care physicians and other specialists to provide comprehensive care to our patients.