Information on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Arizona.
Warner Family Practice is dedicated to doing our best to provide a safe and healthy environment for our patients and their families. Due to growing concerns about the potential spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Arizona, and in an effort to keep your family healthy and prevent the spread of germs, we are doing all we can to prevent the spread of the disease in our office and our community. We want to assure you that Warner Family Practice is maintaining our high level of cleaning and disinfecting protocols, as well as following all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to help prevent the spread of illness.
HOW IS COVID-19 SPREAD?
COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person cough or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory illnesses spread.
Touching a surface where the virus is present. For example, an infected person coughs in their hand and then touches a surface (door handle, counter, etc.) before disinfecting their hands, they have now left that virus on a surface. If a person then touches that surface and rubs their nose, touches their face, eats a piece of fruit, etc. the virus can now infect the 2nd person.
WHAT IS WARNER FAMILY PRACTICE DOING?
Warner Family Practice is offering telemedicine visits (see more info in our updates below)
Warner Family Practice is performing a temperature check for all patients and employees before they enter the building
Warner Family Practice is separating the sick and well patients.
Warner Family Practice is continuing a regularly scheduled office cleaning to meet our quality standards as well as those of OSHA and the CDC.
Warner Family Practice has increased the cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas, door handles, phones, and other frequently touched surfaces.
Warner Family Practice has provided hand sanitizer at all counters and rooms for those entering and exiting the office, so it is easily accessible to patients and staff.
Warner Family Practice continues to stay informed by participating in CDC webinars for medical offices and hospitals. We are checking CDC recommendations throughout each day and implementing anything new that might be suggested.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP PREVENT COVID-19 AND OTHER ILLNESS?
We are asking that you help us keep Warner Family Practice a healthy environment by following the CDC’s prevention recommendations.
- Know the symptoms: Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and may include:
- Fever (any temperature over 100.4)
- Shortness of breath
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of tissue in the trash. If a tissue is not available, then cough or sneeze into your elbow. Avoid coughing into your hands as that will spread germs.
- Please use the provided hand sanitizer when entering and exiting Warner Family Practice.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday or ABCs twice) before eating; after going to the bathroom or changing a diaper; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your face or the face of others unless your hands are clean.
- Be prepared and informed on COVID-19 by obtaining regular updates at www.cdc.gov.
WHAT IF I HAVE A FEVER WITH A COUGH OR SHORTNESS OF BREATH?
- If you have symptoms, please call our office for an appointment at 480-831-8457, option 1.
- You will be directed to our Chief Compliance Officer, Chris Snay, who is monitoring this very closely with our provider team.
- As in most illnesses with a fever, once the fever subsides you are no longer contagious with that illness (flu, etc.).
- The majority of people that have no underlying respiratory disease or compromised immune system (COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Emphysema, Moderate/Severe Asthma, Cancer, etc.) will experience these symptoms like any other virus they may have had in the past.
WHAT IF I DO NOT HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS BUT HAVE BEEN IN AN AREA WITH A CONFIRMED CASE?
Maintain the preventive guidelines listed above.
What changes we have made in the office:
- Separating sick/well
Current testing Criteria from the State of Arizona:
The State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee) SDMAC met and agreed on a testing stance that prioritizes testing in the inpatient environment. Specifically,
- Healthcare workers, first responders, and employer identified critical infrastructure personnel* with COVID-19 symptoms
- Individuals living in congregate settings with symptoms of COVID-19
- Individuals hospitalized with respiratory symptoms
Community-based COVID-19 testing (drive-through, walk-up, etc.) should be focused on making tests available to the three priority groups above.
Because of these limitations we are adding tests and equipment to service our patients the following ways:
- In-house COVID Antibodies tests – this will allow us to see if patients had COVID but were unable to be tested due to the lack of availability or if they felt exposed but were asymptomatic we can check their antibodies
- In-house COVID testing that we can get results in under an hour, whereas now the results we receive are 4-9 days.
UPDATE: APRIL 17, 2020
COVID-19 Antibody Test Now Available
We now have the ability to test for COVID-19 antibodies.
As actual COVID-19 testing has been limited, we are aware many people had COVID-19 and were never tested over the past 4 months. We can now test to see if those patients did have COVID-19 and have now created antibodies.
Please contact our office to schedule an appointment, if you fall into one of the following categories AND have been symptom free for 72 hours:
- Patient had mild COVID-19 symptoms and were not tested;
- Patient had direct exposure to a positive COVID-19 patient, but did not have symptoms or were mild; or
- Patient had a positive COVID-19 test and would like to check their antibodies.
Information on the COVID-19 IgG and IgM test.
- The cost for this test is $75. The office visit will be billed to insurance; however, this test is not reimbursable from insurance companies and will not be billed to insurance carriers.
- This test has not been reviewed by the FDA.
- Negative results do not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly in those who have been in contact with the virus.
- Results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform infection status
- Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains, such as coronavirus HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E, or past or present infection with SARS virus (no. 6).
Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on the test results along with medical history, and your symptoms.
Please call our office at 480-831-8457 to schedule an appointment or TeleMedicine screening appointment today.
UPDATE: APRIL 7, 2020
Important Update Regarding Our Patient Portal
We are constantly appreciative for the work our providers and employees have put into the daily changing landscape that COVID-19 has brought us in order to care for our patients. As technology, data, advancements and protocols are rapidly changing, Warner Family Practice is looking forward and planning for what may occur.
As we head towards the peak in the next 4-6 weeks, we as a company are putting in place protocols in the event that we have to move completely to a virtual medical world. Even if it is one day or one week, we want to plan now so as a company we can be ready.
In this event, we know our phone lines will be limited, so we are asking all able patients that have access to internet (via, computer, phone, tablet, etc…) to sign up for the patient portal. Many of our patients have been signed up for a long time and we are aware our functionality has been limited. In the event we need communication to go through the portal, we will be adding new functionality. This should be able to direct patients to correct departments allowing questions to be routed to providers and/or medical assistants for follow up.
Here is a link to sign up for the portal.
We understand not everyone will be able to access our portal due to limited access to technology, so phones will still be answered. However, instead of six schedulers, it will be a select group of 1-2 people. Therefore, we need to only have those that cannot access the portal make calls to enable us to handle the call volume as well as lessen hold times.
As we are hoping this plan will never have to be implemented, we want to be prepared in case it does.
We have additional information coming in the next few weeks. We are excited to share upcoming COVID-19 tests to confirm active infection. We will run these in house with a quicker turn around time. We will also be offering a COVID-19 antibody test that will show previous exposure. This will allow us to determine if a patient with symptoms that was not tested actually was infected with COVID-19 and now has antibodies for it. We will send an update on this ASAP.
Thank you for your understanding, patience, cooperation and for doing your part in helping to slow the spread.
Warner Family Practice
UPDATE: MARCH 23, 2020
Starting today, we will be offering TeleMedicine calls.
With COVID-19 changing our community and how we handle every day life, Warner Family Practice is committed to continue care for our patients. This means adjusting how and where we practice medicine.
TeleMedicine used in mostly rural areas and by limited plans has been opened up by insurance carriers to perform during this time. TeleMedicine uses 2- way video conferencing for the provider and patient to interact via computer or phone with each other.
We are still open to see patients in the office; however, we recognize at this time some of our patients need to remain home.
Below is more detailed information that will hopefully answer most questions.
Type of appointments can be done through TeleMedicine.
Our providers are currently making Video Conferencing calls for the following appointments:
- Chronic Disease Management (Diabetes, Cholesterol, Hypertension, Anxiety, Depression). If you are seen quarterly for these appointments, then they can be done over the phone. We are asking labs be current.
- Lab or testing results
- Annual Wellness Visits for Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans (testing can be added to an appointment in the future). Medicare Advantage Plans also allow a physical twice a year, so your testing can be done this summer or fall. Medicare testing can be added to a future appointment to be completed.
- Medication refills
- Testing Follow-Up Appointments
Type of appointments must be seen at the office.
Some appointments require a physical face-to-face visit. These can only be done in the office:
- Sick visits (fever, cough, allergies)
- Ear Infections
- Rash/Dermatology Questions
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Chest Pain
- Injection or Vaccine
- Physical Exams
- Testing (x-rays, ultrasound, lab draws, etc.)
Please note we have change protocols in our office to separate sick patients and well patients. All sick patients arriving remain in their car and are brought in a separate entrance. All well patients will be screen and their temperature taken prior to entering the building.
Also, please do not bring additional people with you to your appointment including children (that are not being seen). Exceptions to this would be a pediatric visit who need 1 parent to accompany them. Senior patients that have a care giver drive or for explanations of medications and changes are welcome, but only 1 person.
What do you need to do before your TeleMedicine visit?
In order for our providers to Video Conference you, please load Google Duo on your preferred device (iphone, android phone, or computer). Below are links for installation. At your appointment time, your provider will video-call you. Please know they are also seeing patients in the office, so if they are running behind your scheduled time, please be patient.
LINK FOR APPLE: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/google-duo/id1096918571
LINK FOR ANDROID: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.tachyon&hl=en_US
LINK FOR WEB BROWSER: https://duo.google.com/?web&utm_source=marketing_page_button_main
Are TeleMedicine visits covered by my insurance?
All insurance carriers have enacted this service for members. Medicare, Medicaid and Commercial plans are all allowing this under the Executive Order of Waivers. Copays, Co-insurance and Deductible may still apply; however, some insurance carriers are taking care of this at this time. Please check with your health plan.
How do I make an appointment for a TeleMedicine Video Call?
Please call our office at 480-831-8457 and our schedulers will be happy to make the appointment for you. If you’d like to change your existing quarterly visit or Annual Wellness Visit to a TeleMedicine Video Conference, please call our office as well.
As we move forward we are committed to our patients and staff.
We appreciate the relationships we have made over the last 40 years and intend to adjust the way we care for everyone, so care is minimally interrupted.
If you have additional questions, please call our office at 480-831-8457.
UPDATE: MARCH 19, 2020
NEW COVID-19 PROTOCOL’S EFFECTIVE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Warner Family Practice is proud to offer the best healthcare to our families every day. Thank you for trusting us with the care of you and your loved ones.
As the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak continues to unfold in our community and across the country, we understand you might feel concerned for your family and overwhelmed by all the news and information coming your way.
We hope you are reassured knowing Warner Family Practice is in contact with the AZ Department of Health, CDC, and AZ Hospital systems daily. Our number one priority is the safety of our patients, staff and community. We are finding ways to keep our patients that are currently healthy to remain that way while at the same time care for those not feeling well. Our experienced Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and staff are ready to care for your family whenever you need us.
Starting tomorrow, Friday, March 20th, we will be adding the following additional precautions to protect patients and staff from COVID-19:
Any Patients Currently Experiencing Fever, Cough and/or Shortness of Breath:
- If symptoms are mild, the AZ Department of Health is recommending patients remain home and self-isolate
- Patients who are scheduled for a sick visit for respiratory and/or fever symptoms will text 480-415-4567 with their name and date of birth when they have parked their car.
- Our staff will text them back and then escort them through a separate entrance.
- This should isolate exposure to patients and staff.
- These visits DO NOT GUARANTEE COVID-19 TESTING. We have received a very limited number of test kits and have been mandated very specific patient criteria. We are able to perform flu, strep and chest x-rays if needed during theses visits in order to help rule out other illnesses.
Patients with NO symptoms:
- All other patients will be screened for a fever before allowed to enter the building.
- Anyone coming through the front entrance and into our lobby should be arriving for well-visits (physicals, follow up, injuries, lab, testing, or other issues) and have no symptoms.
- If a patient has a temperature of 100.1 or above at the door, we will obtain a cell phone number and have them wait in their car until we can bring them in a separate entrance.
- Any patient scheduled for a lab appointment that has a temperature at 100.1 or above will also be asked to remain in their car and we will draw labs in our separated exam rooms.
Procedures for Warner Family Practice Staff to Ensure Your Safety:
- Temperatures will be taken throughout the day
- Any staff member with symptoms will be sent home
We understand this situation is fluid, and we are looking at our own operations on an ongoing basis. Our first priority was separating ill and well patients so both can obtain care. We are also looking at telemedicine calls; however, are awaiting approval before we can proceed.
There are also some easy ways you and your family can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
- PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING
- Wash your hands often
- Sneeze and cough toward your elbow
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home, if you feel sick
To help you stay current on COVID-19, get the latest information and updates by visiting the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and the CDC websites.
As the community continues to respond to this situation, Warner Family Practice remains committed to keeping our patients and families informed of any changes to our operations and visitor policies.
Please continue to look for future updates next week.
Providers and Staff at Warner Family Practice