Patient Center

When you or your referring provider's office make an appointment over the telephone at Metro Spine, our Patient Coordinator will begin to collect very basic but necessary information regarding your medical history and reason(s) for seeking help at Metro spine. Metro Spine must generally receive medical records from your referring health care provider (if you have one) prior to your first visit.

Please help us gather the following types of information relevant to your pain issue. Some may already have been forwarded by your referring provider. Our Patient Coordinator will review exactly what you need to bring:

  • Identification card or driver’s license
  • Insurance card
  • Pertinent medical records
  • A list of all medications you are currently taking or have taken in the past year
  • X-ray reports (and/or disk copy - preferable)
  • MRI reports (and/or disk copy - preferable)
  • CT reports (and/or disk copy - preferable)
  • EMG reports
  • Lab results
  • Anything else you feel is important for your consultation

If you would like to further expedite the check-in process you can print and complete the registration forms available on our website and fill them out prior to your appointment day.

What is my first appointment like?

You should plan to spend approximately TWO HOURS in our office for your initial consultation. When you arrive, check in with our receptionist. The receptionist will assist you in completing the new patient paperwork and take your photo for our confidential electronic records.

Some additional brief forms you will be asked to fill out are:

  • Registration information - name, address, contact numbers, insurance coverage
  • Medication agreement - necessary if you are, or might be, prescribed narcotics
  • Medical records release to obtain records from other providers

You will then be escorted to an examination room where the medical assistant will take your vital signs, collect a preliminary urine specimen (if you already take, or may be prescribed, a narcotic medication), and input some basic information on the computer record, such as your primary complaint, any medical problems that may be related to your pain or future treatment, and a review of your overall health.

What happens during the consultation

You will next be seen by a pain management specialist. This initial consultation allows for a more detailed investigation of the pain problem, including:

  • an extensive review of your pain history and prior treatment(s)
  • a focused physical exam
  • a discussion of the treatment plan
  • addressing your questions or concerns

The treatment plan developed from this initial meeting will be used to guide your future course. It is not set in concrete, and may change slightly or even dramatically as treatment responses are assessed or new technologies are indicated or become available. It is possible that no formal treatment may be started on the first visit. This decision is based on a number of factors, such as:

  • Need for a specific injection which must generally be scheduled for another day
  • Availability of adequate past records
  • Possibility of illicit drug use

It is easy to feel paranoid that we are singling YOU out. This is not so. There are two main reasons for doing urine testing and pill counts on a regular basis:

First: SAFETY!

Any one taking narcotics is carefully monitored because severe (sometimes fatal) reactions can occur in overusing these meds, or combining them with illicit medications and street drugs. We use a variety of tools to include physical assessment, patient's daily activities, pill counts, and urine testing. Urine testing validates the presence of the drug we prescribe, and the absence of potentially dangerous drugs we do not. Pill counts verify that the medication has not been overused or sold.

Second: COMPLIANCE!

The Drug Enforcement Agency mandates that we make a very serious effort to identify and report any potential drug abuse and/or diversion among patients using narcotics for pain management. Also, the State Medical Board mandates that we follow its guidelines for good medical care to include random drug screening for all patients taking narcotics chronically. Therefore, urine testing and pill count results protect both the patient and the provider from legal ramifications.