COVID-19 UPDATE # 2
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To all of our patients it is our intention to continue to keep you updated as we gather new information and learn more about this NOVEL Coronavirus. With new information will come new guidelines and new recommendations.
The Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization and The White House now strongly advocate SOCIAL DISTANCING & WIDESPREAD TESTING as vitally important measures to best slow the spread of this highly contagious virus.
In keeping with these recommendations Ballantyne Medical Associates is now able to conduct most medical care via TELEMEDICINE through our websites PATIENT PORTAL ( NOTE: This function is NOT available on your smart phone’s Healow App.) During this time of National Emergency. TELEMEDICINE visits will be coded and billed just like regular office visits so you need not have current TELEMEDICINE/ Virtual Visit additional insurance coverage to take advantage of this service. Additionally, so that patients with high deductible plans are not deterred from seeking medical care for this pandemic virus, many insurance companies have also committed to covering the costs associated with suspected COVID-19 regardless of your insurance deductible.
Additionally, as of 3-16-20, Ballantyne Medical Associates has been performing nasopharyngeal & throat swab PCR testing for 34 separate respiratory pathogens, including the NOVEL Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are then able to obtain and call you with your results within 48 to 72 hours.
While we continue to consider symptomatic individuals with close exposure to COVID-19 confirmed positive patients or individuals from high endemic regions of COVID -19 infection to be at highest risk we have extended testing to any and all patients with any acute respiratory illness. As an update from my first COVID-19 e mail we have decided to pool our resources and close our Walk - In Clinic until further notice and at such a time when schools re-open or child care becomes more available so that many of our employees are able to return to work.
With these rapid and recent changes we have decided to set up an evaluation and testing containment zone located at that private parking lot directly adjacent to the rear of our Main Office building. Patients will be seen, evaluated and tested while they sit in their car by one of the Ballantyne Medical Associates physicians or physician assistants who will come out to your car in PPE (personal protective equipment). Under no circumstance will we allow patients suspect of respiratory illness within our building so that we can continue to protect all of the other patients with on site appointments and the working employees of Ballantyne Medical Associates.
The rapid adoption of this new technology will be instrumental in helping to keep you, as well as your friends, family and colleagues as safe as possible while also slowing the spread of this highly contagious pandemic virus throughout our community.
Dr. Bauer and all the doctors, physician assistants, research coordinators, clinical staff and administrative staff of BALLANTYNE MEDICAL ASSOCIATES, PLLC
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To all of our patients at Ballantyne Medical Associates, we want to thank you, your family, and your friends for entrusting your health to us. We value our relationship with you and during these rapidly changing, stressful and uncertain times we want to assure you that we will do everything we can to protect your health and the health of our community.
With confirmed COVID-19 infection now in Charlotte, NC, the purpose of this e mail is to update you on how Ballantyne Medical Associates is working to prevent the spread of the coronavirus for both our patients and our employees. The health and well-being of the BMA Family and all the patients we have developed relationships with during our service to the Ballantyne Community over this past 13 years is of the utmost importance to us.
In light of this Novel CoronaVirus ( COVID-19) pandemic we are taking the following additional measures to stop the spread of this highly contagious virus in an attempt to minimize, as much as possible, any disruption to the routine and regular medical care of all of our patients:
Sanitizing treatment tables, exam rooms, otoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, door handles, and keyboards after every patient visit with a special antiviral solutions.
Asking our employees to stay home if they have ANY respiratory illness symptoms.
Rapidly triaging patients that present with respiratory illness symptoms to quickly remove them from common patient waiting areas.
More frequent anti viral sanitization of patient waiting areas.
Deploying a telemedicine / virtual visit platform to triage and treat patients remotely.
Redirecting any and all respiratory illness patients to our Walk In / Rapid Access Clinic. This will allow our main office to continue to safely evaluate and treat common chronic medical conditions such as: Diabetes, hypertension, asthma , COPD, hyperlipidemia, weight loss, opioid use disorder, attention deficit disorder, depression, anxiety , insomnia , chronic pain syndrome, HIV disease, thyroid disease and hormone replacement therapy to name a few.
Suspending the scheduling of occasional, episodic, routine medical appointments at the Walk In Location until further notice.
Fast Tracking all of our Research patients through a separate main entrance, bypassing our waiting room, and moving directly into our Research Clean Room.
Extending the hours and appointment availability of our IV Hydration Clinic to better help high risk patients confront and recently ill patients recover from illness.
We are in regular communication with the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control to stay up to date on the latest and most current day to day COVID-19 information. Patients are encouraged to frequently monitor CORONAVIRUS.GOV for the latest up to date information on this National Emergency.
IMPORTANT: If you HAVE respiratory illness symptoms AND have travelled recently from outside the country in an area with sustained community transmission of COVID-19 OR had close household contact, within the past 14 days, with a person confirmed positive for COVID-19 you are considered HIGH RISK!!! Access our Virtual Visit / Telemedicine portal as soon as you can for guidance and treatment recommendations from one of our providers. Do not proceed to either office, an urgent care or hospital emergency room unless you are in the need of immediate emergency treatment. This will help contain this virus.
Thank you for being a part of the BMA Family and entrusting us with your care. We are committed to keeping you, your family, close contacts and our community healthy!