News & Announcements

Changes in Our Practice

5/18/2020
 

Over the next few weeks, we will gradually be scheduling more in person office visits. Because the re-opening of our county and state could result in a resurgence of COVID-19 transmission, we will continue the following safeguards to help decrease the spread of COVID-19 in our office.


*All visits will continue to be by appointment only; there are no walk-in visits. 


*Our waiting room will remain closed as patients should remain in their cars until our staff summons them to
enter the office. 


*All persons (staff and visitors) entering the office will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and have their temperature taken. Anyone who has a positive response to our screening procedure will not be allowed to enter our office. 


*Only one parent/guardian is allowed to enter with a patient and all individuals older than 2 years of age will be required to don a mask or cloth face cover.

 

*No aerosol generating procedures (nasal aspirate, nasopharyngeal swabs, throat cultures) will be done in the office. 

 

*Each exam room is wiped down after each use. All staff will wear a mask. 

 

*Scheduled well visits and appointments involving newborn infants will be  limited to the morning hours and performed in a dedicated portion of the office. 

 

*Afternoon appointments will primarily be for acute visits, and these will be performed in a separate group of exam rooms.  


Because of these consistence measures, our office is among the safest places to visit.

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Update 04/14/20

In our ongoing effort to continue to provide the best care possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are continually adapting how we provide our services. As a result of current conditions, our physicians will be directly responding to many of our daytime triage calls, during regular business hours. Depending on the length and content of the call, the exchange will be billed to insurance based on national medical coding guidelines. You may be responsible for some, or all of this insurance charge because of a co-pay, a deductible, or non-coverage. As always, we will not submit claims for calls made during regular office hours regarding medication refills, appointment requests, billing questions, etc.

When a physician responds to a phone message after hours, the encounter will also be billed to insurance. However, we will not submit claims for calls from parents regarding children from birth to 2 months of age.

We view this change as a necessary response to an unusually tough situation. Given the current restrictive conditions, we are in a position where we need to be more comprehensive during phone conversations since we cannot have the benefit of an in person visit to obtain information that would assist in diagnosis. This challenge translates to more time on the phone and a greater number of decisions that affect your child’s treatment.

We thank you for your understanding, and we hope you are doing well at this challenging time in history.

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Update 03/27/20

--Due to the current COVID-19 related situation, we have had to make some temporary adjustments in our services. As a result, our full time physicians are handling all clinical responsibilities for the immediate future. We also have a reduced amount of available staff so we ask that you allow extra time for non-urgent tasks.

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Update 03/23/20

--In Car Check-IN: All patients presenting to the office should wait in their car and call the office when you arrive. Dial 410-992-9339 and push 0 for the operator. Once you are checked in, you will be given a number. You should wait in your car to enter the office until a staff member comes to the door holding the number you are given. 

--Every parent and patient (if old enough) will be given a mask prior to entering the office and then escorted directly into their examination room.

--Forms: Please do not visit the office to drop off or pick up forms. Forms can be mailed in and returned using a self addressed stamped envelope. You can also fax forms to 410-964-5150 or email to medrecs@hocopeds.com (non-secure email).  Please specify how you would like to receive your child's completed forms:  via fax or email (possibly not secure), or downloaded securely from our patient portal.  Please allow extra time for form completion during this time when our capacity is reduced. 

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03/19/20

In response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19; given the current recommendations of national health officials; and considering how our patients are utilizing our services, we are making the following modifications to our practice. 

--Effective 3/17/20, our office hours will be Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. We will still have Saturday morning hours from 9 to 11:30 am. All visits need to be by appointment only; we will not accept any walk-in visit.  

--We will continue to screen calls regarding patients with fever or respiratory symptoms and provide appropriate phone advice to allow these patients to remain in their homes.

--We will continue well visit for newborns and infants/young children who still require shots.  Starting 3/23, all other well visits scheduled over the next month will be postponed.   Depending on the updated advisories from our national and local health officials in the coming weeks, we may need to restrict our well visits even further.  If this occurs, we will attempt to enact a plan to still give vaccinations in a manner that minimizes exposure to other persons.

--When coming to the office we implore you to have only one guardian per child and DO NOT bring any extra siblings along to the visit.

--We are adding Virtual Medicine Visits (face to face visits using video-conferencing) to our clinical services to better provide care for our patients.  Please see the Virtual Medicine Page for more details.

--In some circumstances, our physicians may deem it appropriate to do an extended phone consultation with a parent or patient to manage a problem rather than providing more limited advice or referring a patient to information on our website.  In these cases, if you agree to a telephone consultation, then our physicians will be submitting a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement for the extended time spent in providing care for your child.

Please stay tuned to our website, Twitter feed, or FaceBook page for updated information as this situation continues to unfold
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