Notice to Our Patients on the Coronavirus Outbreak
As your healthcare provider, we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and visitors. For this reason, anyone who is concerned about exposure to coronavirus, unless they are severely ill, should stay home and limit contact with others until any symptoms resolve. Otherwise, our practice remains open for both medical and cosmetic appointments. We have been monitoring information from the CDC, Arkansas Department of Health and other local government agencies to stay up to date with the latest information about COVID-19.
For now, here are some things you should know:
According to the CDC: “For most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.”
The CDC is now recommending that anyone who has traveled to a Level 3 country – even if they don’t have any symptoms – to self-isolate for 14 days. As of March 9, 2020, these countries include China, Iran, Italy and South Korea. Instructions for self-isolation are on the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
For the large majority of patients who may have flu-like symptoms, testing for Coronavirus is still not necessary. There are many reasons why someone may have fever, cough, shortness of breath. If you have severe symptoms that are getting worse, go to an emergency room and mask yourself as soon as you can.
In addition, if you are limiting your exposure to the public or would like to reschedule your appointment for any other reason, we will be happy to do that and, if necessary, provide refills by request. If you have any other questions about your visit or scheduling a visit, please call or contact us through Klara, our texting option, at 479.322.3530.
Finally, we all should be vigilant about the spread of germs – especially during cold and flu season. The best ways to protect yourself and those around you are to:
Practice Respiratory Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your bent elbow.
Practice Hand Hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60% to 95% alcohol.
Take Environmental Health Action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects like cellphones, keyboards and doorknobs.
If you have not received a flu shot, while it won’t protect from COVID-19, it is your best protection for the flu.
Thank you for choosing Premier Dermatology as your healthcare provider. This situation is continuously evolving, so we will continue to update you as new and pertinent information is available. We are doing all we can to keep you and everyone in our communities safe and healthy.
This morning we have learned of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Northwest Arkansas. We want to do everything in our power to stop the spread of this virus. In light of this, we would like to ask any patient who has any of the following symptoms to please reschedule his/her appointment:
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
If you have traveled outside of the state of Arkansas within the last 2 weeks, please contact the office to reschedule your upcoming appointment.
Please know, we are taking the following extra precautions within all of our clinics:
- Screening staff and sending home anyone with the above mentioned symptoms
- Regularly cleaning/disinfecting all surfaces
- Using hand sanitizer or washing hands after every patient contact
For those asymptomatic, we will be thrilled to see you in the clinic. We are currently looking into options for telemedicine. Once this has been implemented, we will let all patients know more details.
As of March 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) along with a handful of other insurance carriers have announced waivers of previous restrictions for telehealth services. These waivers will remain in effect while we are under the state of a Public Health Emergency or otherwise notified.
How is Premier Dermatology responding?
Our immediate plan of action is to utilize our most accessible tools - FaceTime, Skype, etc. - to provide care for our patients. Both providers and patients can connect using audio/video capabilities from desktop computers, laptops, tablets, or mobile phones. We plan to have a more permanent telehealth solution in place within the next week.
What insurance carriers are participating in these waivers?
While we anticipate updates from more insurance companies, here is the most current list:
- Blue Cross & Blue Shield (except Walmart and Tyson plans)
- United Healthcare
What types of telehealth appointments can be scheduled?
Since dermatology is a very hands-on field of medicine, we are currently limited to treating the following concerns via telehealth. Ultimately, your provider will decide if an in-office visit is required to treat your condition.
- Acne (non-Accutane)
- Hair Loss
- Nail Problems
- Rash (simple)
- Wound Check
If you are unsure if your condition can be treated via telehealth, please contact Premier.
What are next steps?
- If you are covered by one of the insurance carriers listed above AND have recently canceled an appointment, our staff will be reaching out to you to offer a telehealth appointment. Otherwise, any patient with eligible insurance can contact Premier to schedule his/her telehealth appointment.
- If you are NOT covered by the above mentioned insurance carriers, Premier Dermatology is providing a cash-pay option of $59 for a telehealth appointment. Please be prepared to provide a credit card at the time of booking. You will be given the option to pre-pay for your appointment or to add your credit card information to your secure payment profile.
As you know too well, plans during this pandemic are changing rapidly. Please know that we are still here for you and greatly appreciate your flexibility as we monitor and adjust our contingency plans. Stay tuned to your inbox and social media for the latest updates: Facebook, Instagram.