When Should I Visit an RLS Quality Care Center?

April 11, 2024 When Should I Visit an RLS Quality Care Center? This article is based on the QA from the webinar titled “When to Visi...

April 11, 2024

When Should I Visit an RLS Quality Care Center?

This article is based on the QA from the webinar titled “When to Visit an RLS Quality Care Center,” presented by Avinash Aggarwal, MD. Dr. Aggarwal is the Quality Care Center Director at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA. The complete webinar recording can be found in the Member Portal on www.rls.org.

1. What is the desired outcome of a visit to a Quality Care Center? Reduced symptoms? Lifestyle changes? Dietary changes? Exercise?

When visiting a QCC, all of these issues are addressed. A thorough medical history of past and present medications, including supplements and over-the-counter medications, will identify potential RLS triggers. Physicians and patients work together to determine the desired outcome of their visit.

2. How do you ensure you will get assigned to the expert who can treat your severity of RLS?

Only the providers listed on the RLS Foundation website at www.rls.org/treatment/quality-care-centers are certified RLS experts. Patients should thoroughly research each physician on the Foundation website and ask for an appointment with the provider that is close in proximity and is a fit for all healthcare needs.

3. Which medical records do you bring to your first appointment?

Bring all medical records available and send them ahead of time, if possible. Medical records include physician notes, a list of previous medications and their side effects, current medications, and test results, specifically results from a complete iron panel.

4. What does a QCC offer me if I have a local doctor and have already tried all known classes of medications?

QCC providers think outside of the box, considering the patient’s complete history and a comprehensive neurological examination. All patients are administered the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group Rating Scale (IRLSSG) on both their initial and subsequent visits. With adequate treatment, the severity rating can decrease from high to extremely low, sometimes zero. As experts in the RLS field, QCC certified providers can identify triggers and treat patients based on the latest guidelines.

5. What should I expect from the first visit, and can follow-up visits be done remotely?

The first visit is typically about an hour long. A QCC provider performs a thorough history and examination, reviews the current treatment plan, and discusses available therapies. The International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group Rating Scale (IRLSSG) is also administered on the first visit to gauge RLS symptoms. A tailored treatment plan is developed for the patient utilizing a shared decision-making process. Follow-up visits can be done remotely.

6. How can we find the QCC closest to where we live? Is there a list of locations?

There are 10 QCCs in the United States and two in Europe. A list of all centers as well as contact and appointment information is available on RLS Foundation website. If you need assistance, contact the RLS Foundation at info@rls.org.

7. How long is the wait time for an appointment?

Every center is different and wait times are variable. At the QCC in Pittsburgh, there is a cancellation list that reduces waiting time.

8. What training and expertise do the QCCs have that sets them apart?

QCC physicians are board-certified in sleep medicine and many are neurologists. All QCC providers abide by the latest RLS treatment guidelines and provide comprehensive care. QCC physicians undergo a rigorous process to be credentialed.

8. If I have visited a QCC in the past, are there any reasons I should visit one again?

If symptoms are not controlled, if there are significant side effects, or if a patient is not satisfied with disease control, another visit to a QCC may be considered.

10. Are Canadians able to visit the QCCs?

QCCs welcome patients from around the world. Patients should speak to their insurance company to determine if there is coverage or if there will be out-of-pocket expenses.

11. Can out-of-state quality care centers continue with opioid therapy?

Opioid therapy coverage depends on individual state and insurance company regulations.

12. Is there a QCC available for consultations and treatment for out-of-state patients who are not able to travel?

Since COVID, some out-of-state appointments are available. Coverage will depend on the insurer and out-of-pocket expenses may apply.

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