At First Primary Care, we are taking measures to ensure we are open and functional in addressing our members’ needs. Our offices will continue to stay open as long as we can ensure staff are not exposed to COVID-19 (the coronavirus).
In order to do this, we are enforcing no walk-ins to our offices for care, and we will scale down our clinicians and staffing during office hours. Other staff will be home on alternating days, still answering your messages via Spruce. This policy is in place so that if some of our staff is exposed and must be quarantined for 14 days, other staff will still be able to work in the office. Until further notice, the Sugar Land location will be closed.
Doctor’s offices that accept insurance would be monetarily crippled by these cautionary measures, but we are not. Our practice is not reimbursed by the number of patients walking through our doors. We have the advantage of accessibility by calls, texts, and emails. We are much more useful during this pandemic because we are available by phone triage. We can continue to refill medications, do follow up (phone) appointments, advise patients during acute illnesses, etc.
If you do require an in-office appointment during this time, our staff will do our best to make sure that you have not been exposed recently to coronavirus before scheduling the appointment. If you or your care team have concern that you may have been infected with coronavirus, our practice will advise you to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. We can advise you via Spruce if you have complications and need a higher level of care (the ER).
Some shared posts state that we are overreacting as a nation while some say we aren’t reacting enough. Regardless, the safest course of action is to be over cautious. Our best weapon to fight this virus is to limit its ability to spread to others. The best way to do this is to reduce human-to-human contact.
If you must be in a public setting, wash your hands frequently, and do not touch your face. As much as possible, meet in well-ventilated spaces or outdoors.
We have read stories from many of the physicians in Italy dealing with this pandemic. The stories tell of physical and emotional exhaustion and lack of enough resources to give patients the support needed to recover. Most at risk are people of older age (around 50 years and older) and with underlying lung issues (smokers, asthma, COPD, etc.), heart disease, and diabetes.
Please reach out to your care team via Spruce with questions. We are here to help you navigate the healthcare system especially during this pandemic.
The FPC Team