Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic Regarding Patient Appointments
The mission of our practice is to improve the health of our patients. Medical practices around the world are struggling to balance between caring for their patients and protecting their staff. During these unprecedented circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Piedmont ENT continues to see our patients in the clinic, though at a reduced capacity. However, our office is now offering visits through telehealth. This is a visit with the medical professional through video connection, either using your smartphone or computer.
Not all ENT problems can be evaluated fully this way, but many problems can be addressed with the telehealth visit. During a telehealth visit, our doctors or medical professionals will gather a history and possibly a limited physical exam and offer advice and treatment. Telehealth visits are offered to established patients, where appropriate, and new patients after a review by our mid-level staff. If during the visit, it is determined the problem requires an office visit, one will be scheduled.
If you are already scheduled for an appointment during this time and want to arrange for your telemedicine visit, call the office at 404-351-5045. If you do not have an existing appointment but would like one to be scheduled, or if you are a new patient, please call our office. Existing patients may also message us through the patient portal.
Both the Georgia Medical Board and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services agree that virtual visits are the best way to care for non-emergent patients and have quickly made changes to their reimbursement policies regarding telemedicine. Private insurers have followed in this direction, and many health plans are covering telehealth visits and are often waiving deductibles. Depending on your insurance plan, you may still be responsible for a co-pay, coinsurance or deductible.
If you do need to come into the office, we have instituted policies and procedures to ensure the safety of our patients and staff during this difficult time:
- Require that all patients wear a mask (that do not come in wearing one)
- All clinical staff and front-facing staff are required to wear masks
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) with all patient encounters
- Take the temperature of everyone upon arrival to the office
- Maintain social distancing of 6 feet in the exam rooms, when possible
- Limit the amount of guests in the lobby to maintain social distancing and ask that all patients adhere to the six foot of distance guidance by the CDC
- Non-essential guests are asked to wait in their cars of in the building lobby
- Offer hand sanitizer at check-in, check-out and throughout the clinic
- Kiosk keyboards and credit card machines are cleaned hourly
- Staff are required to wash hands between patients, touching face or using the restroom
- Exam rooms are sanitized between each patient using disinfection techniques as recommended by the CDC
- Patients are screened in advance for signs and symptoms of viral infections before they come to the office
We ask for patience as we all adapt to the significant changes emerging as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and look forward to seeing you in our clinic, or virtually. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the office if there are any questions or concerns.
The Physicians and Staff of Piedmont ENT