Rheumatology

Refer a Patient

If you are unsure about whether to refer your patient, please call our Clinical Intake Nurses at 206-987-2080, option 1.

Appointment availability

Updated November 2020.

We are accepting new referrals. Patients who wish to schedule an appointment must have a referral.

Wait times are approximately 2 months for new patients. To reduce waits and improve patient access, we are:

  • Recruiting a new provider in addition to two rheumatologists we brought on earlier this year.   
  • Reviewing referrals daily and prioritizing patients who need specialty care most urgently.
  • Redirecting patients to primary care when that is the most appropriate setting for care. For instance, many cases of growing pains, hypermobility, and low positive antinuclear antibodies (ANA) (or other autoantibodies) without other concerning symptoms or findings on physical exam.

Telehealth appointments are available for stable, follow-up patients who are approved by their specialist to have a telehealth visit. During these visits, our specialist will usually be at the hospital/other location and the patient will be at their home.

Referral requirements

Please submit a referral that is complete. This helps us schedule your patient’s appointment in a timely manner and ensure their first visit is smooth and productive.     

Required (referral will be returned if the following are not indicated):

  • Service/specialty clinic requested.
  • Reason for referral: what is the clinical question for the rheumatologist?
  • ICD-10 diagnosis.
  • Last clinic note and last labs and imaging, including but not limited to X-ray, MRI, CT, etc. Please include both report and films; they can be sent directly to Radiology (images can be uploaded to PowerShare).
  • Patient’s full name, DOB, sex, address, guardian contact information and insurance.
  • Referring provider’s name, phone, fax and the referral coordinator’s email address so that we may contact you if additional information is needed.

Preferred:

  • If the referral is urgent (see within 4 weeks) or routine (next available)
  • Visit type:
    • New patient consult, transfer of care, second opinion or return visit/ongoing care
  • Other relevant clinical documents, i.e.:
    • Clinic notes
    • Medication history
    • Growth charts/curves 
    • Previous specialty evaluations
  • Preferred clinic location (current locations are Seattle and Bellevue; outreach includes telehealth and in-person clinics in Montana and Alaska)
  • If an interpreter is needed (specify language)
  • Any known barriers to performing a successful telehealth (video) visit with the family

Please note:

  • We see patients through age 17 only. If your patient is 18 or older, we ask that you refer them to a rheumatologist for adults.
  • Patients who have not been seen by Rheumatology in the last 3 years will need a new referral.
  • Patients referred for the conditions below will be redirected to the clinics named. You are welcome to send your referral to the clinic directly.
    • Chondromalacia patella/anterior knee pain syndrome: Referral will be redirected to Orthopedics.
    • Fibromyalgia or central sensitization or pain syndromes or reflex neurovascular dystrophy (RND)/complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS): Referral will be redirected to Pain Management Clinic.
    • Hypermobility/benign hypermobility joint syndrome (BHJS)/Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS): Referral will be redirected to Genetics.
    • Urticaria/rash: Referral will be redirected to Dermatology for workup; they will refer back to us if appropriate. Less than 5% of these cases are autoimmune-related and need to be seen by Rheumatology.
  • We do not see patients with POTS. Please see our “Resources for PCPs” below for information on diagnosis and treatment.
  • Please refer to the algorithms developed by our team for the following conditions for guidance on when it is appropriate to refer your patient. All documents are PDF:

Submit a referral

New Appointment Request Form (PDF) (DOC)

Step-by-step guide to submitting a referral

New Patient Referral FAQ

Pease call our Clinical Intake Nurses if you need assistance: 206-987-2080, option 1.

We’re committed to partnering with you

If we evaluate your patient and determine they do not have a condition that requires ongoing evaluation and management in a specialty setting, we will return them to you with suggestions for an appropriate plan of care.

We offer tools to support PCPs in caring for patients with conditions that can be evaluated and treated in primary care. See Resources for Providers below.

We are always available to answer questions and support your care of your patients.

  • Diagnosis and treatment options: Call 206-987-7777 (Provider-to-Provider Line, ask for rheumatologist on call).
  • Referring or transporting a patient to our Emergency Department or Urgent Care: Call 206-987-8899 or toll free 866-987-8899 (ED Communications Center). If it is a known Rheumatology patient, please also consider discussing with on-call rheumatologist via the Provider-to-Provider Line so we can streamline and offer the best care for the family.
  • Questions about scheduling and referrals, including locating or expediting a referral: Call 206-987-2080 (Clinical Intake Nurses).

Learn more about managing your patients at Seattle Children's, including viewing your patient’s records.

Meet the Rheumatology team

See our locations (hospital main campus and Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center).

What Your Patients Can Expect

  • Patients with a referral should call us at 206-987-2057 to schedule their appointment. Our high number of referrals prevents us from being able to routinely call out.
  • Wait times are approximately 2 months. If the family believes the patient’s condition is worsening, please ask them to call their primary care provider, who can then contact us to discuss their case via the Provider-to-Provider Line at 206-987-7777 to help triage them appropriately.
  • We keep a cancellation list. Families can ask to be added by calling 206-987-2057.  
  • We review openings and the patient referral queue daily. As openings become available, we call families to schedule based on our provider availability and the patient’s condition and acuity.

Resources for Providers  

To suggest additional resources from Seattle Children’s that would be useful to primary care providers, please email physician.relations@seattlechildrens.org.

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