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Safety Precautions for Patients and Staff During COVID-19


Posted: 4/25/2020

Just like you, this COVID-19 experience has brought us to places we would not have imagined even 6 months ago. And just like you, we are anxious to get back to “normal,” though our lives – and our offices - may look a little different moving forward.

The instant CCP became aware of the COVID-19 impact on the community, we went into action. We established a COVID Response Team, under the leadership of Dr. Ron Musto, Medical Director and Executive Vice President, to implement CDC and NYS Department of Health guidelines. Since then, we have kept in constant communication with our 425 practitioners and our entire CCP care team to provide them with the right tools to keep our 370,000 patients safe.

The past few months, our practices have done what we can to slow the spread of the virus, but it’s important to know we remain open for business.  Medical care has always been considered essential, so we have been practicing under very careful guidelines. We have postponed some visits and suspended walk-in hours. We’ve moved many appointments to telemedicine video or phone visits, which our patients have thankfully found very convenient.

But we need to look forward. We have implemented our plans to safely bring our patients back into our offices. Telemedicine will not go away as long as insurers allow it, but the fact remains, some visits just need to be addressed in person and can’t be delayed. We have enhanced cleaning and safety procedures in place to keep everyone safe and healthy. Our offices are safe to visit.

Our enhanced our procedures for Covid-19 (coronavirus) provide for both patient care and community protection. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and thank you for following our guidance to keep our teams, you, and your fellow patients safe.  We have worked diligently to approach this situation with a mix of caution and accommodation as your healthcare provider. We want you to feel confident when you visit us. You should know the safety precautions we’ve put in place for you:
 

  • We screen patients over the phone for COVID-19 symptoms and travel history to determine how best to care for you. Please be honest with us when answering these questions. We ask that you don’t just walk into our offices without an appointment, but instead, call first before coming in to avoid unnecessarily exposing others to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 
  • Most CCP practices offer telehealth phone and video visits when needed for care. Many insurances have waived the out of pocket fee for telehealth visits during the COVID-19 crisis. However, not all have, and coverage changes often as the situation evolves. Your insurance company determines if you are charged a copay, coinsurance or your deductible for these visits.
  • Our offices move patients quickly through check in and check out
  • We promote social distancing in the office and waiting rooms and we minimize the time you have to wait
  • Our teams wear the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times and we ask all patients and visitors (includes those accompanying patients) wear their own mask or face covering upon arrival to our building through the duration of their visit. This applies to people over age 2 who can "medically tolerate" a mask or face covering. You can make your masks from household items you likely have lying around, or at really low cost. The CDC has guidance on how to make them, wear them, and wash them. The masks should cover your mouth AND nose, and we ask that you please don't wear valved masks, but rather surgical or cloth masks
  • We have infection response teams, when applicable, to handle any patients with respiratory illnesses and have dedicated rooms and entrances for these patients
  • We screen all staff and patients for fevers and symptoms
  • We have enhanced cleaning procedures of exam rooms between patients using EPA-approved products for use against the COVID-19 virus, and increased frequency and types of cleanings of our facility by our professional cleaning partners
  • We also ask patients have only 1 visitor with them during appointments as necessary and this person must wear a mask as well. Some offices, due to their populations of patients and the type of care they provide, have even stricter visitor policies. Before coming to your appointment, please be sure to check with the office to see if you are permitted to bring a visitor with you. We understand some people need assistance getting to and during their appointments. If medically necessary, we can make accommodations. Please be sure your visitor follows the guidelines we've put in place to keep everyone safe and healthy.
     

Rest assured that we take a very high level of caution and feel that we can keep you safe when you visit our office. We do not see patients who have active COVID disease in the office, but instead, route them to our Urgent Visit Centers who are equipped to handle these respiratory illnesses.

Please follow the procedures we've put in place for the safety of our family and yours. Remember, you do not need to postpone your medical visits. If we advise you to come into the office for your visit, please trust that our offices are safe to visit, especially with our protocols in place. If you have an appointment scheduled and you are now sick (and you haven't yet notified your doctor's office), you need to call us before coming into the office so we can best direct you based on our protocols for coronavirus. Please be assured that we are taking all possible steps to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff, and your help with this process is greatly appreciated.

We are hopeful that life will open up again for us all. We are proud of all that you’re doing during this time. Know that one thing from the old world will remain – we are always here to care for you. Call us.


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