COVID-19 Clinic Update March 23rd
Our thoughts are with you all as we try to navigate this ever-changing environment. As many of you know, our office temporarily closed to patients on 3/18/2020 due to recommendations by the CDC and the spread of COVID-19. We have been closely following the updates and anticipate that our office will need to be closed for a minimum of three weeks, but we are making preparations for a longer-term closure.
We hope to be able to provide Virtual Visits (telehealth sessions) starting no later than March 30th. The length and frequency of these Virtual Visits will vary patient to patient. At this time, all Virtual Visits will be with Dr. Frazer and not your regular therapist. These Virtual Visits will help you continue to progress your visual skills in order to meet your goals. For now, continue to work on your home activities and feel free to reach out to Dr. Frazer if you have any problems or questions about your current home program. Email: email@example.com Phone (please leave a voicemail): 608-849-4040
Things you should know about Virtual Visits/Telehealth Visits:
Progress Evaluations: At this time, there is not a way that progress evaluations can be done virtually so if you are due for a progress evaluation, Dr. Frazer will talk through how things are going but she will need to wait until she can see you again in the office to truly measure progress.
Privacy: Currently, we are looking at various options to see what would work best for our office. We are looking at an application that is web-based and HIPAA compliant. Dr. Frazer hopes to be able to do most of these visits at the office, but if circumstances change, she may need to conduct them at her house. Complete privacy cannot be guaranteed but is something we strive to protect.
Equipment: As Dr. Frazer reviews patient files, she will also be looking at equipment and is working on a way to have patients pick-up equipment depending on where you live. Until then, we will use your existing equipment or what can be provided online. Much of what we can provide online will require you to print-off materials to be used during the sessions. If this will be difficult for you, it is important we know BEFORE the session begins. Also be sure to have the equipment ready and available at the time of your virtual visit.
Parent Involvement: Patients under 13 years old will be required to have an adult/parent with them to help with set-up, equipment and to ensure that they are attentive to the task. Understandably, it is best to not have other siblings in the room during these visits.
Internet: Internet access and a phone/computer is required for the Virtual Visit. Due to the large demand being placed on the internet, it is best to not have any other devices streaming or placing extra demand on your Wi-Fi/server at the same time as your session. If you do not have internet that is capable of streaming, please contact us to see what other options might be available.
Fees and Payment: Virtual Visits require more time and preparation than regular visits. We realize that for some, there may be less financial security today than there was before starting the program. We are working on a fee schedule for patients who will be paying per visit. This will give you the ability to decide which is best for you and your family given your current situation.
• Global/Pre-Pay Patients: If you have paid for a global treatment plan or prepaid for a unit and are still receiving in-office vision therapy, Virtual Visits will be included in what you have already paid. If needed, we will extend your global treatment period and/or add additional sessions. Dr. Frazer or Ashley will be reaching out to you soon regarding scheduling.
• Pay Per Visit Patients: If you normally pay at the time of service, you will be sent an invoice via Square. Prompt payment of your Virtual Visit is required in order to continue to receive Virtual Visits. We are working on a fee schedule that will be time based.
• Insurance: At this time, we presume insurance companies will NOT cover these visits even if you were previously getting reimbursement for evaluations and/or vision therapy. The procedure codes that are used for tele-health sessions are different from our usual billing codes. In the past, we have submitted claim forms to non-HMO insurances as a courtesy. Due to limited staffing hours, the submission of your claims may be delayed.
• Group Health Cooperative, Workers Compensation, Etc.: At this time, we are uncertain if Virtual Visits will be covered but will try to get those questions answered soon.
Please keep in mind, Virtual Visits are not a direct substitute for in-person visits. There are many procedures we do in the office that we will not be able to do during a Virtual Visit. We do think that observation and interaction with patients via these Virtual Visits will be the next best thing and certainly much better than doing nothing. Our main goal is to help all patients continue to progress as best we can. Daily home practices become even more important in this situation.
If you would like to request a Virtual Visit, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t already done so, please consider following us on Facebook facebook.com/newhorizonsvisiontherapy for regular updates. We hope to continue to share information on vision and learning, visual skills, vision development, visual processing skills, visual dysfunctions after a concussion and much more in the coming weeks.
Thank you for your patience and stay well,
Valerie Frazer, OD, FCOVD and Staff