Hello Dear Patients!
In order to decrease the risk to all of us from the coronavirus, we have been limiting all our office visits to Virtual Visits, which are now approved by all insurances. The Virtual Visits can be used for essentially all types of care including sick visits, medication refills, mental health visits, Medicare Annual Wellness Visits and much more. While an in-person visit might have been better, we are going to do our best handling all Primary Care through this Virtual Visit method indefinitely. So, please consider setting up one of those visits now.
Though there are some that say we should soon get back to work, please continue to do your part to help eliminate the spread of COVID-19 through the use of social distancing. By this I mean that I recommend staying home, and only going out for very urgent matters such as required grocery store trips. Specifically as of March 26th, I continue to recommend not going to work in an office setting, nor socializing at all. I suspect that this will be my recommendation until after we can be sure the “curve” of new cases has begun to decline. I will update my www.SpringValleyIM.com website as soon as things change.
For those of you who are experiencing any upper respiratory symptoms, I am asking that you schedule a Virtual Visit today if possible with one of our providers, rather than going to the ER. Our providers will review your case, and determine if you successfully qualify for COVID-19 testing under current testing rules. If you do meet the standard set by the Dept of Health, we will make arrangements for you at a drive thru testing center right away. As many of you are aware, the COVID-19 testing centers continue to have lots of rules about who can receive coronavirus testing based upon severity and nature of symptoms. If you do not meet the “criteria” but are suspected of having the disease, we will identify the best next steps, including future testing, the need for quarantine, possible treatment options, and how to handle your exposure to other people. And please know that we are working every day to keep track of all of the available testing centers in the DMV area, and hopefully will find one soon that will test more than just those who meet “criteria”. The first step to COVID-19 testing is scheduling a Virtual Visit with one of our providers. Our Virtual Visits are offered Monday through Thursday 7:30am-7pm, Friday 7:30am-4:30pm and Saturday 9am-2pm.
Update for all Medicare Patients:
Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, doctors and other health care providers can use telehealth services to treat COVID-19 AND any other medical concerns from offices and places of residence (homes and nursing homes). As of March 6th, 2020, Medicare now covers Virtual Visits. Please note that coinsurance and deductibles may apply. Also, if you have coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan, you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 tests.
Medicare has recommended that at this time we schedule Annual Wellness Visits virtually to ensure the health and safety of both our patients and staff. All of our Medicare patients will receive a call from our office to schedule these visits. The Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is a yearly appointment to create or update a personalized prevention plan. This plan may help prevent illness based on your current health and risk factors. Due to this recent outbreak, it is now an important time for us to schedule these Annual Wellness Visits to ensure optimum health. Keep in mind that the Annual Wellness Visit is not a physical exam and it is separate from what we typically describe as a Physical Exam, which would naturally need to be done in person, and should wait until we are back to our regular office hours. The Annual Wellness Visit includes a health risk assessment/questionnaire which asks about your health status, injury risks, behavioral risk and urgent health needs. It also includes a screening for cognitive impairment, depression and includes health advice/referrals. This can be completed via a Virtual Visits, and Medicare is recommending we do these with our patients annually. Please call the office at (202) 244-0812 to schedule your visit today!
We will continue to post updates as we receive them. Thank you for your patience and understanding through this difficult time.