13 Oct 2020
Since our state has moved into Phase 3 of reopening, we are now allowing more in-office visits than in the past 6 months. Patients may come into the office for their appointments, as long as they are comfortable doing so. High risk patients who need to continue social distancing can still have their visits performed by telehealth if they so desire. Just make sure to inform the scheduler of this at the time the appointment is made. Face coverings are still required in the building.
Due to the State of Florida Stay at Home order issued by Governor DeSantis, effective on April 3rd,all routine appointments will be conducted by telehealth. You will receive a text or email link to connect with your provider when they are available for your visit. Please rest assured that our urgent care remains open during normal business hours for sick visits and essential appointments that cannot be conducted by telehealth. We will continue to post updates and changes as they occur, so please monitor this site frequently.
31 Mar 2020
Patients and Families of Healthpoint
We continue to monitor the coronavirus situation carefully and would like to give an update on our clinic operations.
We now have the capability to offer telemedicine visits. These visits are billed through insurance just as the usual office visit would be, so the typical co-pays or deductibles would apply. Telemedicine visits are available for cash-paying patients as well.
Over the past 2 weeks, we have been mostly focused on identifying our highest risk patients for telemedicine. However, we are also offering telemedicine visits as an option for any of our patients who wish to avoid any unnecessary exposure. Keep in mind that there may be situations for which telemedicine is not appropriate, in which case an in-office visit can be arranged.
We will continue to maintain our usual hours for in-office visits, including Urgent Care. If you exhibit any symptoms or answer yes to the screening questions posted on the doors, we ask that you enter through the Urgent Care entrance. We are also offering the option to wait in your car until you are ready to be seen, but you would need to check in at the reception desk first. We can then call you when we’re ready for you to come in. Please avoid bringing any non-essential family members to further reduce exposures.
We would also like to announce that we do have capability (FINALLY!) to test for COVID-19. Consultation would be required before any testing is ordered, and can be arranged through telemedicine. If appropriate, we can arrange for in-car testing.
It is important to recognize that the COVID19 tests are not perfect, so while a negative test is reassuring, it is not a guarantee that you’re clear. The bottom line is, if you are symptomatic or have a known exposure, do your best to self-quarantine.
Finally, a few informational points. To date, 3/31/2020, there are 7 confirmed COVID-19 patients in Bay County. Testing capabilities seem to be ramping up, so the numbers will likely be increasing.
There has been talk about serologic (blood) testing for coronavirus, which would help to tell us if a person has had a recent infection, or possibly even already had the coronavirus and recovered. These tests are being developed, but are not presently available to the public.
Regarding treatment, there has been a lot of talk about several different medications possibly being effective for treatment, including chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, remdesivir, favipiravir, ...the list goes on. These drugs are being investigated for possible TREATMENT of hospitalized patients with known COVID-19, but evidence for the effectiveness of any of these drugs to date is weak (and that’s being generous).
Therefore, while it might be reasonable to try these drugs in a hospitalized patient with known COVID-19, prescribing them for the general public to use as prophylaxis is a
good way to guarantee a shortage for those who might really need them. Kinda like toilet paper. So please do not ask us to prescribe them.
Thanks to everyone for being patient with us as we adjust to the chaos. Stay well.
Healthpoint Medical Group
Patients and Families of Healthpoint -
We are monitoring the coronavirus situation carefully and would like to relay some updated information regarding our operations.
A lack of information is our biggest challenge at this time. As a result, we are choosing to proceed with an abundance of caution and will adjust as more information becomes available.
To date, we are unaware of any confirmed coronavirus cases in our area. However, we are still limited by a severe lack of testing, and so we feel that it is best to operate under the assumption that the virus is in our area until better data is available.
The primary symptoms that would raise concern for coronavirus are fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. In the initial phases, coronavirus presents as a “flu-like” illness. More severe cases tend to worsen after the first week, with increasing shortness of breath potentially requiring hospitalization for further care, including ventilator support.
The primary goal at this time is to slow the spread and prevent the exhaustion of limited resources. This is best accomplished by social distancing. Avoid crowds, stay home, wash hands, and self-isolate if having symptoms of illness.
For patients without symptoms scheduled for routine visits:
We will be calling our higher risk patients who are scheduled for routine office visits and performing either video or phone consultations. Please be patient, as these are new processes for us and there will inevitably be some kinks. We will otherwise continue with routine appointments as scheduled.
For patients with symptoms:
If you are in a low risk group ( <60 years old, no significant chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis), we ask that you stay at home and self-isolate. Monitor your symptoms, stay hydrated, and take Ibuprofen or Tylenol as needed. Treat yourself as you would with the typical flu.
For those at higher risk of severe illness (age >60, chronic health conditions), self-isolate and call the office for further guidance.
Please avoid seeking care at ER facilities unless you have urgent symptoms requiring immediate attention, as there is potential for ER facilities to be overwhelmed caring for the sickest of patients.
Keep in mind, once again, that testing is very limited and there is no known treatment other than supportive care, so there is little to gain from seeking care at an ER unless absolutely necessary.
We plan to continue to remain open and will provide updates as the situation progresses.
Stay well and be safe.