COVID-19 Denver Tech Dermatology Associates Update

Dear Patients,

These are unprecedented times and the first time we have had to face a pandemic of this proportion for more than 100 years. We are conforming to the recommendation of “social distancing” in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in an effort to avoid a collapse of our health care system and to preserve scarce personal protective equipment (PPE) for providers caring for patients with COVID-19 infections.

Given the “shelter in place” order for all Coloradans, we will be offering virtual visits (also known as telemedicine) immediately. If you have an appointment between now and April 17th 2020, you will be called and asked if you would like to reschedule your appointment or convert your existing appointment to a virtual one. You can certainly call us if you need to set up an appointment during this time. If we are unable to answer, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible. We will not be in office unless we need to meet you for an urgent or emergent matter.

Conditions such as acne, rashes, rosacea, eczema, itching, evaluation of growths, Accutane follow ups, psoriasis, among others, are examples of what we can handle remotely. If a biopsy or other procedure is needed, we will arrange a time for you to come in for this purpose. If you have a history of skin cancer or a history of very atypical moles, and are scheduled for a routine complete skin check, then these visits still need to be done in person once the “shelter in place” order is lifted. If you are worried about a lesion, then you may want to have us evaluate it sooner via a Telemedicine appointment. If we are concerned about it, we will have you come into the office for a biopsy.

We have suspended all non-essential and non-medically necessary procedures such as cosmetic and aesthetic treatments until further notice. If you need to purchase any products from us, please call us and we will gladly mail them to you.

Our office staff will be reaching out to patients starting today to figure out how we can best communicate with you for virtual visits. Several platforms exist that can be used: Facetime, Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp, in addition to phone calls. Within a few days, we will also be able to see you via the PocketPatient Modernizing Medicine App, which you can download on your phone or mobile device and interface with our providers. We will instruct you over the phone on how to download this app. In order to see you via Telemedicine appointments, we will need your verbal consent to perform your visit in this manner. We will eventually have you sign a consent to have on file in your chart. The government has temporarily relaxed the HIPPA rules that would ordinarily make virtual visits difficult to do.

If you need to be seen in clinic in person, then the following applies:

If you or any one of your immediate family members (those with whom you are in close physical contact) have the following symptoms, we ask that you call us and reschedule your appointment and do not leave your home if at all possible, so as to avoid potential spread of disease.
 
  • Fever of 100.4 or greater
  • Runny nose, sore throat, cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath
  • Flu-like symptoms such as intense fatigue and muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite or diarrhea (these symptoms may present before any respiratory symptoms do)
As another precaution, if you or anyone in your immediate family have come into contact with a person who is sick or has travelled to a high impact area such as any Summit County Ski Resorts, Eagle county, Pitkin county or Gunnison county, we kindly ask you to reschedule your appointment with us. We will get in touch with you over the phone if you need to reschedule and set a time in the near future during which one of our providers will call you and figure out the next best steps.

 

Rebecca Aronoff, PA-C and Dr. Insley Puma will be available for in person visits if needed Monday thru Friday, in conjunction with one staff member and will be rotating days when they are physically in the office. This strategy will allow us to see one patient at a time in the office and reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19.

We have a thorough protocol in place to clean rooms and high touch surfaces after each patient has been seen, our bathroom after every use and our office in general at beginning of the day, at the noon break and in the evening after patients are no longer in office.

Our providers will be wearing personal protective equipment such as goggles, masks and gloves, as well as practicing proper handwashing before and after each patient has been seen. Hand sanitizers and sinks for handwashing are available for patients to use as they come into and leave the office.

A virtual appointment will be billed to insurance. The government has relaxed their beneficiary cost-sharing provisions and you will not be obligated to pay your copay at the time of the appointment; however, we would encourage you to pay it as soon as you are able. This can be done via a check mailed to the office or by calling in and paying by credit card. If you need to physically come into the office another day for a procedure, you will not be billed another copay to do so. Certain circumstances may arise in which this exception may not apply to you.

The following links have updated information about the coronavirus if you wish to read more about it and how you can contribute to slowing the spread of this dangerous virus:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://covid19.colorado.gov/
https://www.uchealth.org/today/covid-19-coronavirus-recent-updates/
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Thank you for your patience as we navigate through these uncertain times together. Your health, the health of our community, as well as the health of the Denver Tech Dermatology team is our number one priority. We look forward to the day in which we can welcome you to the practice in person again.

Please call us with any concerns, suggestions or questions,

Thank you for your patience as we navigate through these uncertain times together. Your health, the health of our community, as well as the health of the Denver Tech Dermatology team is our number one priority.

We hope to be able to continue to deliver dermatologic care over the next several weeks and months. Please call us with any concerns, suggestions or questions,

 

Very Sincerely,

The Denver Tech Dermatology Team