Dear Patients and Colleagues:
It’s clear to us that we are all in the midst of an unprecedented world event. While COVID-19 has been at the forefront of our minds these past few weeks, our office is also aware that our patients have other important on-going medical needs that existed before and may continue beyond this pandemic. I’ve been gathering the best information available in considering how my practice can support our community both in staying as healthy as possible and in continuing to serve those who are struggling with chronic issues.
We are offering three different services to try and accommodate the needs of our patients:
- House Calls
- In-Office visits
Please note that in-person appointments are offered ONLY to patients who are not acutely ill (see specific stipulations below)
Telemedicine laws have very recently been updated to allow for all patients to be seen virtually – whether they are returning or new patients – and for us to code these visits for your insurance company reimbursements with the same codes as we would an in-office visit. We are quickly working to launch a HIPAA compliant video appointment system that will also allow me to make a distance diagnosis and to order new prescriptions even if you are a new patient or have not been in to see me within the last year.
Starting the week of 3/23/20 I will expand my house calls availability on select days. I will be traveling only via my personal car, which has been and will continue to be thoroughly cleaned and wiped down. I plan to travel with a table for hands-on therapies, as well as have with me the ability to administer IV therapies, conduct a basic exam, and review and adjust any important protocols.
If you are coming into the office, we will be taking thorough measures to provide the safest possible environment for our patients and staff. These include:
Only seeing patients with a chronic issue or for preventive IV therapies.
PLEASE DO NOT come to the office if you have ANY acute cold or flu symptoms, even if you are certain they are not due to COVID-19.
We will be calling each patient the day prior to their appointment to remind them of this new policy and to help assess their current condition.
To maintain appropriate social distancing practices, we will be spacing out appointments with the goal of having no patients overlap.
Please be on time and plan to leave immediately after your appointment; do not bring anyone to the office with you unless you are someone who requires extra assistance.
Between each patient we will thoroughly clean and sanitize all surfaces.
We will be running an IQ Air medical grade air purifier in the reception area that filters viruses and bacteria
Tiffany, our receptionist, will be working from home to reduce the amount of people in the office at one time.
Please note: No one in my office will be using a mask; nor will I increase my use of gloves. If this concerns you, please make a telemedicine appointment.
House calls will be subject to the same symptom criteria as in-office visits (no acute illness). This service will be available in Manhattan below 125th Street and select areas in Brooklyn; surcharges will be assessed by zones. Please call the office for details.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and will notify you if further adjustments need to be made. We appreciate your flexibility in this time of uncertainty. In addition, we will not be charging for any late cancelled in-office appointments.
In this time of fear and chaos we would like to be a pillar of support for our patients. We will be posting some tips for staying healthy, reducing stress, increasing joy – as well offering guided meditations and recipes on our website and Facebook page throughout the coming weeks. For now, I would like to share with you my talk from the GFIM World Congress of Integrative Medicines in the hopes that it helps illuminate a new perspective on this pandemic – “Evolving from Fear into Love.”
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please call our office at: 212-223-4225.
Benjamin F. Asher, MD