Your Child’s Rheumatology Appointment

Scheduling an appointment

Patients come to the Division of Rheumatology for evaluation and second opinions. Most are referred to us by primary care pediatricians or specialists.

To schedule an appointment for your child, call us at 215-590-2547.

Before your child’s appointment

Once your child’s appointment is scheduled, we encourage you to contact your child’s insurance provider to obtain any referral paperwork or pre-authorizations needed.

Referrals need to be in place at the time of your child's appointment at CHOP or the visit may be delayed or rescheduled.

Please also call your child’s primary physician — and current rheumatologist if applicable — and ask them to mail all of your child’s medical records to our office or your home. Please bring these records with you to the visit.

One to two days before your child’s appointment, you will receive a reminder call.

The day of your child’s appointment

The day of your child’s appointment, please have your child dress in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, such as shorts and a T-shirt. This allows the physician to examine your child’s joints and skin. Patients should remove any nail polish before their appointment.

Please bring the following to the appointment:

  • All outside medical records, including copies of documentation for labs, radiology and procedure tests — even if the results are normal — and a copy of your child’s recent growth chart (if available). If you prefer, these records can be faxed or mailed to our office.
  • Referral paperwork.
  • Any pre-authorization your insurance company may require.
  • Immunization records.
  • Co-pay or co-insurance for the visit. If you have any questions, please call 1-800-664-7855 or see Billing and Insurance.
  • The name and phone number of your pharmacy.
  • A parent or legal guardian must be present for all appointments. If you are a legal guardian, please bring proof of guardianship. 
  • All of the medications your child currently takes — including over-the-counter medications — in a bag. If you’d prefer to write a list of medications, we will need the medicine name, dosage, frequency, prescribing doctor, pharmacy name and phone number, as well as how long your child has been using this medication. Most families find it easier to toss everything in a bag and bring it along!

If you need to cancel your appointment, please give us 72 hours’ notice. Another family will be grateful for your time. Please call 215-590-2547 to cancel.

When you arrive

The Division of Rheumatology is located on the fourth floor of the Richard D. Wood Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center, on CHOP’s Main Campus. Paid parking is available below the Wood Center.

When you arrive for your child’s first visit, you will register your child with the front desk. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your child’s scheduled appointment so we can review all of your paperwork and ask any additional questions.

If you arrive late, you risk being seen later or having your appointment rescheduled. Please call us at 215-590-2547 if you are running late.

Your child’s examination

When your child’s name is called, you and your child will be escorted to a private examination room where a member of our clinical team will:

  • Take a full medical history of your child, including any family history of illness.
  • Perform a physical exam of your child.
  • Discuss your child’s symptoms, what brings you to this visit, and possible next steps.
  • Review your child's medications and allergies. Please bring any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications your child is taking.

You will have the opportunity to discuss your child’s symptoms and ask questions.

Depending on your child’s condition, additional testing or outpatient procedures may be recommended. Some lab tests and radiology exams can be performed the same day; others will need to be scheduled.

Please also check with your insurance plan to make sure your child is permitted to have testing performed here. In some cases, a referral from your insurance company and/or a consultation with a Children's Hospital physician may be necessary.

In-office treatments

Some rheumatology procedures, such as intra-articular joint injections or ultrasound, can be performed on the same day as your child’s initial visit. Other outpatient procedures will be set up for future dates. Insurance pre-approval may be necessary for certain procedures, and some procedures may be only partially covered by insurance. Please check with your insurance company before the procedure to understand your responsibility.

We encourage you to bring toys, music or electronics to help distract your child and minimize discomfort during outpatient procedures.

Follow-up

After your child's visit, you will receive a visit summary form detailing your child’s examination, recommended next steps and instructions for your child's care. A copy of the report will be sent to your child’s physician to ensure your child's care plan is well coordinated and communicated.

Follow-up appointments can be scheduled with your child’s regular provider. If necessary, additional follow-up can be scheduled with the rheumatologist.