Dear Patients and Families,
This is an update on the current situation with COVID-19 in our office. As you may all know, the situation is serious! Schools, universities and many institutions have already closed to reduce the risk of contagion from the virus and contain the pandemic's spread in our area.
Since last week, we have implemented a new protocol based on good hygiene practices that we have always followed. We ask for your collaboration, please, in following the new protocol.
In order to protect you and your children, we have decided that the first hours of the day will be for appointments only for healthy children, for their vaccinations and consults. We also ask that the physicals of children ages 6-10 years who do not need vaccines preferably be postponed to a future date.
We prefer that Care-First patients use telemedicine visits for mental health, laboratory review, and nutrition consultations. An appointment can be scheduled as it normally would, but the appointment itself can be accomplished by video conference.
For private and government United Health Care patients, we can provide telehealth, which is a phone consultation, one call per patient per day.
We are waiting to hear back from other insurance companies about whether we can move our non-sick patient visits to telemedicine. Priority Partners and Aetna require prior authorization first.
We assume and hope that there will be greater flexibility with the situation we face on the part of the insurance companies. We will keep you informed of the situation.
We are always prepared to receive sick children, following CDC guidelines. We just ask if you can call ahead of time before arrival. On the call, we can make a telephone triage of your child's symptoms and ask who you and they have been in contact with. When you come for your child's appointment, please bring your own masks, and if you don’t have one, we will provide you with a mask. Unfortunately, we are limited on masks and don’t have one for each patient and their family member.
Due to this situation, we ask you to limit yourselves during visits to only one family member per patient, as we cannot assure protection to all and this is a way to control the spread of infection to your communities.
For physicals, if you are unable to bring your child during our special dates and times for healthy child appointments, we request that you sign a consent-and-waiver form stating that you understand the risk that you and your child may be exposed to at other dates and times.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this epidemic.
We will always be here to help you,
Monica Pourrat, MD, MPH