ACS of Md
Comprehensive Arthritis Care
for All Ages


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Arthritis Care Specialists of Maryland.


 

 

We are a group of 8 clinicians, including 4 Adult Rheumatologists, 2 Combined Adult/Pediatric Rheumatologists and 2 Physician Assistants practicing in Howard County, Maryland.  

As a group, we provide comprehensive evaluation and management of musculoskeletal and systemic inflammatory diseases within the specialty of rheumatology for both adults and children.  We are each board certified in our specialties (see About Our Doctors and PA page).  Also, several of our doctors have been voted as Top Doctors for both Baltimore and Washington service areas by our peers in the medical community.

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING COVID19 AND THE ONGOING RISKS

(As of August 1, 2021)
Through the most difficult time of the COVID19 pandemic, we have been able to maintain essential services to our patients at Arthritis Care Specialists of Maryland including office visits, in-office infusions, joint aspirations and injections and new patient consultations.  Telehealth proved to be extremely helpful for maintaining routine care for our patients, allowing assessment of status, medication refills, dosage adjustments, medication changes if necessary, ordering laboratory monitoring studies and deciding on further testing, if indicated.  Telehealth visits are still available on a case by case basis, but fortunately have been less necessary.  Our office staff has been vaccinated but may continue to wear masks for direct patient contact, until the true risks of the Delta varient of COVID is determined.  We are hopeful that our patients and their families will also become vaccinated as the risks of the disease are much greater then the risks of the vaccines for our patients and many of their elderly contacts. 

Learn about COVID19 and the vaccines:
We are aware of the confusion that many have regarding wether or not the vaccine is adequately studied, safe and effective.   If you are interested in learning more about the virus and the vaccine from one of our nations foremost coronovirus experts, please watch the following excellent You Tube video:  

                                                      https://youtu.be/HtSXyGM0n-U

We will be posting other literature that we feel presents the information in a factual and easy to understand manner.
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Policies and Procedures:
In order to assure the safety of our patients and staff, we have instituted several requirements:  1)  All employees who are in direct contact with patients will wear face masks. 2) Hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizers are required after any patient contact.  3)  Employees will continue to wipe down all waiting room areas every morning and all exam room surfaces after every use.  4) All patients and necessary family members entering the office are instructed to avoid skin contact with door handles, counters and any other surfaces unless unavoidable.  5)  All patients are instructed to use hand sanitaizers on arrival and on departure from the office and as needed during the visit.  6) Nonessential family members are asked to stay home or wait outside of our office.  7) We will continue checking temperatures on all employess and all visitiors to our office on arrival.  New noncontact digital thermometers have been installed at our intake stations.  8) 
Plexiglass barriers have been installed between front desk staff and visitors.  9) As the waiting room is a very busy and dynamic area, with patients entering and leaving on a continuous basis, it may be difficult to control spacing and numbers.  Based on the shape and size of our waiting room, we will try to bring patients into available exam rooms, as soon as possible.  We ask that those entering yield the right-of-way to others trying to leave. 
We are scheduling routine new patient consultations/referrals, again.  The infusion room is operating as scheduled, with increased spacing between chairs.  

If you are currently suffering from an acute respiratory illness with cough and/or fever, please reschedule your appointment for a time when you are recovered.  Please consider contacting your PCP or going to an urgent care clinic or the emergency room depending on the severity of your acute illness. 

For our patients on long term maintenance medications for rheumatologic diseases (for instance, methotrexate, Enbrel, Humira, Cosentyx, Xeljanz, and other such medications):
1) If your arthritis or inflammatory disease is stable on these medicaitons, please do not stop them without input from your rheumatologist.  Some people have expressed concern that these meds may compromise their ability to handle the COVID19 infection.  As of this time, there is limited evidence to base this concern regarding coronavirus.  The ability to recover from other viruses while taking these meds has been demonstrated for many years.  The part of the immune system that deals with response to viral infections is not significantly altered by these meds (except for the case of reactivation of Shingles).   A flare of your rheumatologic disease with systemic inflammation may actually compromise your ability to respond to COVID19 infection.  The viral infection may also cause complications of your rheumatologic disease if it is active during exposure.  Furthermore, it appears that some of the medications used for treating rheumatologic diseases may offer benefit for certain stages of the COVID 19 infection.  At this time, it is most prudent to maintain your arthritis regimen unless specifically instructed by your rheumatologist to do otherwise.  
 2) If you do have fevers from an undiagnosed infection, it is appropriate to hold some arthritis medications, particularly the antiTNF biologics, as is our standard practice.  Call your rheumatologist for specific advice in this regard.  

For patients possibly exposed to the COVID19 coronavirus:
1) If you are considered to be immune compromised, and you become acutely ill with fever, loss of taste or smell, or respiratory symptoms, particulary cough, please notify your PCP or Urgent Care clinic for nasal swab testing.  After testing, you will need to self quarantine until the results of the test are available.  If you feel like you are getting worse, please go to the emergency room.  If your test is positive, you will be instructed by the clinic on how long to quarantine.  You should also contact your doctor about your arthritis medications.
2) Do not come to our office as we do not have testing kits or capacity to handle patients with acute respiratory compromise.

Please know that we are keeping our patient's needs as our priority.  We have learned a lot about the virus over the past year and need to pay attention to the available information.  


Information regarding treatment of our patients using telehealth
We remain concerned about the safety of our patients due to the COVID19/coronavirus outbreak.  Consequently, it may still be appropriate for you to stay home and to do our virtual appointment with you via an internet-based telehealth visit. We continue to use a program called Doxy.me.  This may be accessed using your computer, smart phone or tablet, provided that it has a built in camera and microphone.  Be sure that you know which email address you want us to use and provide that to us in advance.  We will send the link for the Doxy.me meeting to you via that email.  
A few minutes before your scheduled telehealth appointment, simply click on the link in the email or copy and paste it into your browser.   You will then be asked to type your name followed by a request to enable video and allow use of the device's microphone.  This will open a screen that will automatically run the video launcher program and put you into the waiting room while you wait for your doctor to join you.  
Note:
1)  Doxy.me works best if your default internet browser is either Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox.  You may have trouble if using Microsoft Edge or Internet Exployer.
2)  Be sure that your parental controls or antivirus settings aren't set to block programs from running or accessing audio and video. 
Please call our front desk (410-992-7440) if you have any questions or problems.


 

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