This is important new information about safety protocols and new services that we’re rolling out March 16, 2020 in response to the current pandemic. Please read this carefully and contact us if you have any questions.
The safety and wellness of our patients, parents and staff are our #1 priority. Information is evolving daily. For now, this is how we’ll be tackling care and safety in our San Francisco offices and in connection with newly expanded house calls and virtual visits.
The highlights include:
- Prescreening by phone or virtual visit will be required prior to all in-office and house calls
- Well child house calls with vaccines now offered in San Francisco
- Acute/sick care house calls for some needs in San Francisco
- Phone or telemedicine (via Skype or similar) for virtual visits
- Enhanced hygiene and cleaning regimens in our offices
- In some cases, our professionals or staff may wear protective masks, glasses and gowns
- New supplements and remedies to enhance your immune function
We will be screening all requests for an appointment so we understand in advance potential risks of our patients, parents, and caregivers. For those families that would like to keep their appointments but prefer not to come to the office, we are offering virtual visits for some acute needs (via phone and/or video) in addition to home visits in lieu of in-office appointments. In some cases, where COVID-19 is suspected, we may redirect you to known testing centers or the emergency room phone lines at local hospitals.
Home Visits. For families wanting a home well child visit (including vaccines) in San Francisco, we will accommodate your request to the best of our ability during business hours. There will be a $150 travel charge in addition to our regular professional services fee. The travel charge will account for the significant additional time required for such appointments — in recognition of this challenging time, this fee has been reduced compared to our typical house call charges. Home visits will be scheduled based on availability, urgency and location of residence. Regrettably, in most cases, we won’t be able to provide house calls outside of San Francisco. If you ultimately decide to reschedule an existing appointment to a future time, instead of opting for an in office appointment or house call, we will be happy to accommodate that request and you will not be charged. Please do your best to provide advance notice if you’d like to reschedule.
Home Visits for Sick Kids. In situations where a sick visit is requested, our front office staff will review certain important screening questions with you (based on safety recommendations by the CDC and the SF Department of Public Health). Depending on your answers, you may be transferred to a provider for further discussion so we can decide how best to proceed—a virtual triage call. If the provider determines an in office visit is necessary and safe, we’ll schedule you for that. There will be no charge for families who are provided a virtual triage call and are told to come into the office for an appointment (provided the office visit does take place). Any triage call that results in a regular virtual visit and no subsequent same day, in office or home visit, will generate charges based on our usual rates.
Procedure for Potential COVID-19 Cases. If you, your child, or child’s caregiver come to an appointment with a fever or exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 despite having answered negatively to screening questions by phone, as a precaution you will be provided a mask and roomed immediately in one of our under-utilized exam rooms. Please note, a provider may need to take precautions by entering the exam room or arriving at your home in a gown, gloves, mask, and protective eye wear. If we determine that your condition may present a health hazard for other patients or staff, we may respectfully ask that you return home and reschedule your appointment to another day. There will be no charge for such a reschedule.
Added Office Cleaning. We have always maintained high cleanliness standards in our two locations. We are adding enhanced hygiene based on the necessary and UCSF/CDC approved measures for cleaning our offices and equipment to ensure a safe and healthy environment. We have also decided that we will be removing our exam room and lobby toys from each of our locations since we know the virus is able to live on surfaces such as plastic for up to several days. If you’d like to have toys or books available during a visit, please bring them with you to your appointment.
Supplements and Remedies to Enhance Immune Function. Don’t hesitate to ask us about new supplements and remedies that we are carrying or recommending to enhance immunity in your children and family.
For more information on virtual visits or house calls and our fees, please call us. The above is subject to change based on evolving information.