At UPMC in Central Pa., we are always accepting new patients. That’s why we schedule most initial appointments within 24 to 48 hours of your first phone call.
Our highly skilled non-surgical providers will assess your back, neck, or joint pain and will treat your symptoms with skilled care and sense of urgency.
Your First Appointment
Getting referrals, insurance, and copays
We accept physician referrals and self-referrals, as well as most insurance plans.
Our support staff will collect all insurance copays at the time of your visit. We also accept uninsured patients, but we may require a deposit at your first appointment.
What to bring
Our skilled support staff will provide you with all the information you need to help you make the most of your first visit. From scheduling to checkout, our goal is to make the process as convenient as possible.
To make sure your visit goes smoothly, we recommend bringing the following documents:
- Insurance card
- Photo ID
- A list of treatments and medical history
- Any imaging scan CDs (if the imaging studies were not done at a UPMC in South Central Pa. facility)
- A complete list of all medications that you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements)
- Notes from your last few physician visits, if applicable
A Quick and Accurate Diagnosis
Determining the source of your pain is an important first step to effectively treating your condition.
We use a variety of tests and services to arrive at a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan, such as:
- X-ray. A conventional x-ray scans your body to detect broken bones or an injured vertebra as well as arthritic changes of the bones and joints of the spine. (Injured muscles and ligaments or a bulging disc are not visible on a conventional x-ray.)
- MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is an imaging technology that produces detailed ’pictures’ of your body. It is used to evaluate the spine (cervical, thoracic and/or lumbar) for bone degeneration or injury, or disease in tissues, nerves, muscles, ligaments and blood vessels. Open MRI units are available.
- CT scan. A computerized tomography (CT) scan is a painless test that takes a cross-sectional image of any part of your body using a special x-ray machine.
- Myelogram. A contrast dye injection enables an x-ray to reveal spinal cord and nerve compression caused by herniated discs or fractures.
- Bone scan (SPECT). This nuclear medicine imaging test can rule out subtle fractures, tumors or infections in your vertebrae that are not visible in an x-ray.
- Electrodiagnostic testing. This assesses electrical activity in a nerve and can detect if your muscle weakness is a result of injury, or if it is due to a larger problem with the nerves that control the muscles.
- Bone density screening. Bone densitometry measures your bone mineral content and density. This screening uses minimal x-ray or ultrasound procedures to produce images of your heel or finger to determine if you need further testing. Free walk-in heel or finger scans are available at most of our outpatient imaging sites.
- Bone density test (DXA). The DXA scan, sometimes referred to as a bone density test, uses special x-ray technology called DXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) to determine if you have osteoporosis. It scans your hip, spine or even your entire body to detect early bone loss. Chronic bone loss can lead to spinal fractures.
Need More Info?
Contact us for more information.