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Rheumatology Telemedicine Services

UPMC offers a few ways to receive rheumatology care via telemedicine to people in the Pittsburgh area and throughout western Pa.

Our doctors diagnose rheumatic diseases early, manage chronic conditions, and provide follow-up care.

What to Expect During Your Telemedicine Visit

We offer 2 key methods of telemedicine care based on your unique needs. What happens during the visit depends on which type you choose.

Both use secure connections to protect your privacy.

My UPMC video visits

You can receive virtual care from your rheumatologist from the comfort of home. All you need is a tablet or smartphone.

With video visits, your doctor can see your range of motion.

Telemedicine Center visit

We have tele-consult centers at UPMC Bedford, UPMC Northwest, and UPMC Cole.

All have a full administrative staff, registered nurses (RNs), and exam rooms with audio-visual equipment.

During the visit:

  • A rheumatologist will interact with you in real-time using the latest telehealth technology.
  • An RN will do an in-person exam under the doctor's direction.

Remote joint exam for arthritis

Some conditions, such as arthritis, require a physical exam for proper care.

UPMC doctors offer remote joint exams at tele-consult centers for people with joint pain, swelling, or stiffness from arthritis.

Many people come to our centers for arthritis care closer to home. Tele-consult centers are convenient for those in rural areas who can't travel far for care.

During your visit, a rheumatologist will:

  • Appear on a large video screen in the exam room.
  • Take your medical history.
  • Ask about your arthritis symptoms.

Next, an RN will do an in-person joint exam while the doctor stays on the screen.

During the exam, the RN will:

  • Inspect the joint.
  • Look for any swelling.
  • Palpate areas of tenderness.
  • Assess range of motion and stability.

The RN will use telehealth devices and cameras to show the on-screen rheumatologist any areas of concern that require a closer look.

The doctor will give you a diagnosis and discuss the next steps for management and treatment.

Benefits of Rheumatology Telemedicine Services

Telemedicine allows people who live far from Pittsburgh to get expert rheumatology care.

Doctors can remotely:

  • Order tests.
  • Write prescriptions.
  • Refer you for in-person or specialty care.

Telemedicine also helps you:

  • Access UPMC's world-class care, especially if you live in a more remote area or are can't travel.
  • Limit the number of trips to Pittsburgh.
  • Save time and money.
  • Avoid in-person care if you have concerns about COVID-19.

Who Can Use Rheumatology Telemedicine Services?

New and current adult patients can use tele-health services.

Rheumatic conditions we treat include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Systemic lupus
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Vasculitis
  • Scleroderma
  • Myositis

Health insurance plans we accept

UPMC accepts most insurances, and many cover telemedicine visits.

Contact your provider or your health plan if you have questions about insurance coverage.

Learn More