March 20, 2020
Dear Parents and Patients,
We hope you are all doing well with continued Social Distancing and handwashing to prevent spread of COVID-19.
A few quick reminders about our office…
- Still no walk-in hours. Call us first for all visit questions
- Limit the total number of family members here for a visit. We ask that 1 parent accompany 1 child to the appointment. Leave siblings and extended family members at home.
- ALL VISITS will be screened for possible Coronavirus - please answer TRUTHFULLY
- Please make sure you are signed up for MyChart
- Continue to follow us on our website and social media and sign up for our e-newsletters if you haven’t already. Sign Up For Our Mailing List
We have had an increase in requests recently for albuterol and saline prescriptions. Please DO NOT STOCKPILE MEDICATIONS! If your child has a history of asthma, has wheezed in the past year, and has an active need for albuterol, we will refill a reasonable amount of that medication. If your child has not had a prescription for albuterol or saline in the past 2 years, we will NOT give a prescription at this time.
We are VERY pleased to be able to offer a NEW service. We will be scheduling virtual visits with our providers starting this week. Virtual visits are for medication follow-up, simple rashes, and COVID screenings. Unfortunately we cannot do evaluations by telehealth that would require a physical exam for diagnosis (ears, lungs, heart, etc…).
In order to schedule and complete Telehealth you need to be active on MyChart. Patients over the age of 12 must have their own MyChart account. Patients 13 and older will not be able to access appointments through their parent MyChart proxy account. Instructions for accessing telehealth are sent to you through your MyChart account.
We wanted to let you know about a few other changes we need to make, as well. As we know is true for everyone, the ongoing global pandemic has presented major challenges to us, and it’s been necessary to come up with solutions that will allow us to keep our doors open to providing care to your families.
With the need to have patients stay home when they can and defer appointments when possible, we’ve needed to consider ways of meeting not only our usual expenses, but the unique and unexpected costs that have come with the coronavirus (protective equipment, as an easy example). That means looking at all the services we provide, beyond standard office visits. This includes medical advice we offer in phone calls and via the MyChart portal. Even though these have been billable services for many years, we’ve waived doing so and provided them free of charge. We are simply not in a position to do so any longer. Without alternate sources of income, it’s a question of even being able to stay open.
It is our understanding that, under the direction of Governor Baker, insurance companies will be required to cover these costs. We are hopeful that your out of pocket costs will be minimal. The last thing we want is for anyone to decide not to call or contact us because they are worried about paying for it, or being a source of hardship to anyone during an extremely difficult time for everyone. If you end up with costs that are a burden, please let us know. We will work this out together.
We are also going to need to cut back on office hours where there appears to be no demand. With kids home from school, it seems that most families are able to come in for visits during normal business hours, and our later office slots have gone unfilled. In order to let our providers and staff get home to their families as soon as possible, we’re going to start closing at 5 on weeknights. We’ll go right back to normal office hours once things get back to normal.
Finally, there’s one more change we need to tell you about, which isn’t so much a change as a return to a prior policy. For most of the time since it opened, CMO charged a fee for appointment no-shows. A few years ago, with the transition in management, we decided to waive those fees. Under the current circumstances, we have to reinstate them. No-shows for appointments are a loss for us, and take away one of the slots for delivering patient care that could have gone to someone else. Starting Monday, there will be a $50 charge for no-shows. If there are ever mitigating factors we need to consider, let us know.
As always, we appreciate your patience, understanding, and cooperation. It is an honor to be the ones you entrust to care for your children, and we are in this together with you as we find new ways of providing it.
The providers and staff at CMO