Frequently Asked Questions
A co-pay is the portion of your healthcare visit fee that you are responsible for paying at the time of check-in. The amount is specified by your insurance company and it is considered a portion of the cost for your office visit. You can check the front of your insurance card or call your insurance company for more information. Our clinic will charge a processing fee in addition to the co-pay amount if the co-pay is not paid at the time of the visit, so we recommend that you come prepared.
Please give us at least 24 hours’ notice so that we can offer your appointment slot to someone else. Some patients ask to be put on a waiting list and your consideration in letting us know that you can’t come in will help other patients who are anxious to be seen. You will also avoid the late cancellation fee ($25.00 for regular appointments; $75 for full physicals).
We are pleased to offer free, above ground parking for your convenience.
Our clinic is fully ADA accessible and we are pleased to have a level ground entrance for all patients.
Here are a few resources that you may find helpful:
Infusion therapy refers to the delivery of medication directly into the veins of a patient. This is also known as IV therapy or Intravenous administration. Many new and effective medications (Biologic medication) cannot be taken orally like a pill, because they become inactive once exposed to the digestive system.
An infusion center is a physical location where infusion/injectable medications are routinely administered under the supervision of a healthcare provider (Medical Doctor and Nurse Practitioner). Infusion Centers are more commonly found in the specialties such as Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, and others.
Complex biologics are highly selective medications that act on one specific part of the immune system to regulate its activity. These medications do not permanently alter the immune system.
At Overlake arthritis and osteoporosis center, we treat autoimmune and rheumatologic conditions some of which require treatment with biologic medication:
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Giant cell arteritis (Temporal arteritis)
Wegener’s vasculitis (ANCA-associated vasculitis)
Chronic plaque psoriasis
Infusion therapy is not better than taking pills. Getting medication by infusions provides an effective alternative when pill forms are not available or are ineffective.
The decision to start an infusion therapy is determined by your physician. There is no, “one size fits all” approach. Each person’s unique circumstances will determine the best option for managing their medical conditions and improving that patient’s quality of life.
Side effects of some medication during infusions include itching, rash, hives, fever, chills, cough, redness in the face or neck area, swelling of the tongue, lips or eyelids, nausea, muscle or joint pain. Although these allergic reactions may occur, they are rare. Our physicians and registered nurses are well trained to manage any reactions to medication.
|Cimzia (certolizumab pegol)|
|Simponi Aria (golimunab)|
There are a number of biologic medications that are effective for treating Rheumatoid arthritis. There is no “one size fits all”. You and your rheumatologist will determine which biologic medication will work best for your unique medical condition.
The infusion is administered by injecting a needle attached to a small tube directly into one of the patient’s arm veins. This tube is connected to an IV bag containing the prescribed medication. Once attached to the patient’s arm, the solution slowly drips into the bloodstream.
This varies depending on the medication: from a frequency of once a month, once every 2 months to every 6 months.
Our office-based state-of-the-art infusion center is a location where a physician-led team provides infusion/injectable medications as a distinct part of our dedication to patient care. We have created an Infusion Center to serve our greater community and are providing individualized care in a comfortable environment that is more efficient than in-hospital infusions. The NICA (infusioncenter.org) statements confirm that the Office-Based Infusion Center is currently the most cost-effective site of care for patients needing infusion/injectable therapy.
It typically takes at least 3 weeks. Insurance companies typically will require prior authorization or predetermination. Our staff with work on your behalf to get your medication authorized.
A loading dose in the initial set of more frequent medication infusions that are given at the beginning of infusion treatment, before decreasing the frequency and to a lower maintenance dose.
Arrive on time for your appointment. Drink plenty of water and hydrate the day before and on the day of your infusion, this makes your veins easier to access.
Wear comfortable clothing.
Bring snacks or reading material as you may be there for a while.
Bring a list of your current medication.
Amenities that we offer: WIFI, pillows, heated blankets, additional snacks/drinks.
Office-based Infusion Centers are critical parts of our healthcare system:
- They are generally more accessible geographically than hospital sites of care.
- They are more affordable and efficient than hospitals and many other alternative sites of care.
- They have a more controlled environment and are often more patient-friendly due to their focus on infusion medication administration.
- Our infusion centers are supervised by experienced physicians and registered nurses to provide the best care possible.
Accessibility, Affordability, Safety and Patient Experience
Please give us at least 24 hours notice so that we can offer your appointment slot to someone else. Some patients ask to be put on a waiting list and your consideration in letting us know that you can’t come in will help other patients who are anxious to be seen. You will also avoid the late cancellation fee of $200 for missed or late cancellation of infusion appointments. The reason for this is that a registered nurse is prepared and waiting for you to arrive, in addition, has done the behind-the-scenes work to get your medication and insurance authorization in place, so that your treatment proceeds smoothly. We appreciate your consideration.
Our experienced office staff will work on your behalf, to determine your medication coverage by your insurance. We accept most insurances but do not accept Medicaid, DSHS, or Apple Health.
Your doctor will work with you to find a suitable alternative or appeal the insurance company decision on your behalf.
Every infusion therapy is priced differently. At Overlake Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center, we take pride in offering out-of-pocket costs that are much lower than in-hospital infusions. Our fees are at least 50% lower than the in-hospital costs for infusion therapy.
This depends on your insurance. We will work with you to make sure you understand all your insurance requirements.
We do not accept Medicaid. Most infusion therapies are covered by Medicare. We will work with you to make sure you understand your insurance requirements and overage.
Infusion medications are prepared at the time of treatment by our experienced and registered nurses. If the medication is intravenous (IV) it will likely be prepared and added to an appropriately sized bag of sterile solution (IV Fluids) which is then administered intravenously through an IV catheter placed by the registered nurse. Some IV and injectable medications come in pre-prepared forms that may not require as much advanced preparation.
You will enter the facility, check-in and you will be seen to the infusion suite.
Infusion therapy times vary depending on the type of treatment, our staff will ensure that the experience is as comfortable for you as possible.
|Benlysta (belimumab)||1 hour 25 minutes|
|Cimzia (certolizumab pegol||30 minutes|
|Krystexxa (pegloticase)||2 hours (with 1 hour observation)|
|Orencia (abatacept)||45 minutes|
|Prolia (denosumab)||15 minutes|
|Remicade (infliximab)||2 hours|
|Rituxan (rituxmab)||4 hours|
|Simponi Aria (golimunab)||40 minutes|
|Stelara (ustekinumab||30 minutes|
|Truxima (ritiximab-abbs)||4 hours|
|Entyvio (vedolizumab)||45 minutes|
|Renflexis (infliximab-adba)||2 hours|
Your doctor will let you know about any driving restrictions. Most patients are able to drive themselves after an infusion. Occasionally there may be a need for the patients to be monitored after their infusions and before discharge from the center.
The infusion tubing is placed in the arm.
Yes. Let the nurse know and your infusion will be stopped for several minutes. Depending on the infusion, you may need assistance.
We have a well spaced out and ventilated infusion center, in addition to privacy walls. No, there are no private rooms.
What COVID-19 protocols does Overlake have in place? Will I need to wear a mask during my treatment?
Yes, masks are required during treatment, for the protection of our patients and staff.
At Overlake Arthritis Clinic, infusions are administered by experienced registered Nurses.
Infusion medications are not painful to receive. The placement of the IV catheter may feel uncomfortable to some people. Most patients compare it to getting a blood draw for lab tests.
The infusion needle is very small. Typically the same size used at the children’s hospital.
A rheumatologist is a physician that is an expert at treating musculoskeletal and certain autoimmune conditions.
A rheumatologist is a board-certified specialist who after initial training in internal medicine, qualified by pursuing additional training in management of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases.
Rheumatologists treat over 100 different kinds of conditions including Gout, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Inflammatory Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Uveitis, Giant Cell Arteritis, Osteoporosis, Polymyalgia Rheumatica, Spondyloarthropathy, CPPD Disease (Pseudogout), Still Disease, Autoimmune diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Vasculitis, Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, Myositis.
You should ideally start with your primary care physician, depending on the severity and urgency of your symptoms it may be necessary to see a rheumatologist first. Here are instances when you should see a rheumatologist. Joint pain and swelling. You have been told you have a rheumatologic condition. Abnormal autoimmune lab tests and inflammation markers. You have seen a number of physicians and still do not know what is wrong, sometimes rheumatologic conditions are difficult to diagnose.
Unprovoked pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty moving a joint.
Yes, although the treatment differs based on the type of arthritis.