Detailed consultation including history, examination and review of all results to determine what the problem is.
Discussion of the appropriate steps to manage the problem including starting new medications, joint or soft tissue injection, diet and exercise.
Musculoskeletal ultrasound is used routinely as part of diagnosis, monitoring of disease activity and for guided injection.
Most rheumatic conditions are chronic and require regular review of the condition and often also require regular blood test monitoring due to the treatments used.
In 2019, we will be introducing infusions of biologic medications (infliximab, tocilizumab, rituximab) to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. At present, these infusions are only provided in DHB hospitals.
We will also be able to provide intravenous cyclophosphamide for the treatment of certain forms of vasculitis and other serious rheumatic conditions (as long as you are stable enough to be treated in the community).
The biological medications are very expensive. The delivery of infusions requires admission to a day stay facility and several hours of specialized nursing time. Not all insurance policies will fund the high cost of the medication and/or infusion.
Each medical insurer in New Zealand has a variety of different policies, offering significantly different levels of treatment cover. Please ensure you are familiar with your policy and exclusions including exclusions for pre-existing conditions so that the cost of private medical healthcare does not surprise you.
With the exception of patients with Southern Cross Health insurance (details below), all other patients are expected to pay for the consultation and any other relevant charges at the time of consultation and then claim the cost back from their insurer.
Auckland Rheumatology and Sports Medicine has a clinical services contract with ACC, so if you are being referred because of an injury where there is a valid ACC injury claim, the consultation charges are paid directly by ACC.
Auckland Rheumatology and Sports Medicine is an Affiliated Provider to Southern Cross Health Society for consultations and a few other services. This means that if you are a Southern Cross member, we will apply for insurance pre-approval and also process claims on your behalf. If there is a shortfall, or a co-payment is needed you will be advised and asked to pay that directly at the time of your consultation.