COVID-19 Update – April

All of our doctors are here and seeing patients. If you are scheduled for an infusion, we recommend that you come in to continue therapy. We will continue to see all other patients as well, but have converted over to telemedicine so that we can continue to care for our patients while also practicing social distancing. Our staff will assist you in learning how to do a video conference with your doctor. It is surprisingly easy. For urgent care we are continuing to see patients in the office. Our staff will explain how this is done. Patients need to come alone and wear a face mask. No penalties for missed visits. Patients having symptoms related to the covid-19 or exposed to someone with the virus do not come in, please contact your pcp or go to the ER. Do not discontinue taking any medications without contacting the office first.

Portal E-visits

Due to the extraordinary volume of electronic communications and the limited face-to-face encounters in our office, we have decided to bill all insurances for portal communications.  This may result in a small charge to you depending on your type of insurance.  We will need prior consent from you to continue.

For patients:

    • Patients with non-urgent conditions are being managed thru Telemedicine visits.
    • Patients should come alone to their office visit.
    • There will be no penalties for missed visits.
    • If a patient has any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, even if mild, they should NOT come to the office. They should stay home, contact their PCP or go to an acute care facility.
    • If a patient has any exposure to individuals with possible or proven COVID-19, they should NOT come to the office. Patients (especially those who are immunosuppressed) should avoid sick contacts, limit large groups of people if possible (social distancing) and practice preventive actions (wash hands frequently, avoid touching face, clean and disinfect surfaces, etc.).
    • We do not recommend routine discontinuation of immunosuppressant’s (methotrexate, azathioprine, mycophenolate, biologics), but they should be held for any symptoms of infection. Some patients may elect to hold the medications on their own, but should realize that their disease could flare. This could be especially problematic in systemic multi-organ diseases like lupus. We advise patients to continue these medications until they talk with their doctor.
    • Patients should limit use of steroids to lowest effective dose. Avoid steroid use if possible.
    • We will work with patients regarding refills for medications, and postpone labs for 4-8 weeks. This should be done on a case-by-case basis. Any patients with recent lab abnormalities may need repeat labs sooner. We could consider an outside Lab Corp visit rather than office lab visit.
    • Patients should know that we will NOT be doing testing for COVID-19 in our office for a multitude of reasons. Patients should direct testing-related questions to their PCPs or acute care facilities.
    • Patients need to notify us if they have been to the office and subsequently test positive for the virus.
    • Finally, we should reassure our patients that we are following safety protocols recommended by the CDC and VDHPS. We are keeping surfaces clean as we have always done, but with renewed vigilance.

COVID-l9 information resources: