As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads you and your family are experiencing unprecedented challenges and we are here to help. We wrote you last week and this message is being broadcast to a larger audience with new details and an explanation of the disease and it cardiac impact: The video entitled Coronavirus and your Heart is worth watching and available at Learnyourself.org.
Our primary goal is to provide uninterrupted and unparalleled care, as we always have done with the most cutting-edge technology and approaches that CVMG and our research foundation CVRF are known for. We are committed to do so thereby assisting the “front line” waging the COVID-19 war. CVMG is committed to you and your family to provide continued care and the most advanced testing available. The challenge will be for us to create an environment where you will hardly notice any changes in convenience, quality and responsiveness. And these changes are not necessarily temporary as experts expect a resurgence of the disease in the fall, with the prediction being that it will take many months or years before this threat goes away completely. We hope not, but we will be prepared for an extended battle, so we have modified who we are and how we operate to best manage the new landscape.
This letter helps you understand the changes we have made to ensure uninterrupted quality cardiovascular care now and in the future.
When you come to the center you will notice substantial changes. There are now video cameras for your safety to monitor social distances in the locations allowed by the medical privacy laws. There are no video cameras in exam room, physician offices, or any other location as clarified by common sense and existing privacy laws.
Prior to your visit, in order to maintain health safety, we will undergo a telephone screening. We will need forms completed acknowledging the inherent risk in coming to a medical office during a pandemic. You will be asked detailed questions regarding symptoms, travel, contact etc. Even if you are healthy, we are required by the CDC to ask patients and family to remain at home if they have recently travelled in higher-risk areas. We can email the forms or will find what you need on-line at our website: Forms at CVMG.
On arrival your temperature will be taken, and you will again be further screened for possible risk of COVID-19 infection. This will happen in a “staging area” before you enter the office space. Patient volume will be kept purposely low and we will practice rigorous social distancing with markers on the floor to help remind you. Things you normally might touch are cleaned multiple times a day and may be covered with a time they were cleaned. When appropriately cleared patients will be taken directly to their procedure or examination room isolation as feasible. All relevant areas are disinfected between each patient visit. Our staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriate for their interaction with you and consistent with current Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines when interacting with patients. We have also set up a designated isolation room to triage an ill patient, which we hope will never be used.
At Cardiovascular Medical Group, our primary goal has always been the safety and well-being of our patients, staff, community at large and have therefore instituted these new policies. We are focused to deliver the care and comfort that you have come to expect.
Currently there are many reimbursement hurdles thus we are reminding patients to become compliant with our annual administrative fee of $500. (If you have challenges with this kindly speak with our administration). Also, inquire about obtaining additional non-covered services including direct physician availability and other personal services in our concierge service plans. Please contact your physician to learn about these programs. This may be the care you prefer during these unsettling times.
Many have asked us what if we do need hospitalization? Where and under what circumstances? We believe Cedars-Sinai is one among several stellar centers nationwide of excellence which have risen to this challenge. Of course, should you be at any other facility our physicians will continue to guide you through the process. Many fine hospitals with dedicated staff literally risking their lives are doing an amazing job. Please pray with us for their wellbeing.
Finally, each of us can help by “practicing random kindness and senseless acts of beauty each day.” This simple act helps defines who we are, and measures what we did during this crisis of the 21st century.
Together, we can move through this most challenging time. No matter what, please know that we are deeply committed to you, and our commitment is unwavering to remain your resource for the guidance and the compassionate care you have come to expect from us.
Your physicians and staff of CVMG.