March 22, 2020
Dear Parents, Patients and other Caregivers,
We are living in truly extraordinary, historic times right now. Our lives have been altered in ways we would have thought unimaginable just a few short weeks ago. Truly, there is not a person in the world who is unaffected by the cornavirus pandemic, and that is an awe-inspiring reality.
As we have shut schools, stores and entertainment venues, we have pared life down to what is most important: health, family and friends. We are connecting with friends from afar in really creative ways. And with regards to health, we at Silver Spring Pediatrics are here to help you, both through this crisis and for those issues that existed before and will persist after the coronavirus pandemic diminishes.
In order to continue to provide care to your children and to support our strong commitment to social distancing as a moral obligation, we are implementing telemedicine services here at Silver Spring Pediatrics. We will be using a web-based system—doxy.me—to provide this care.
Telemedicine visits will work as follows:
* The visits will require check-in over the phone before the scheduled time.
* Insurance is covering telemedicine visits, similar to in-office visits. Copays, if required by your insurance, are still applicable. Considerations with regards to deductible plans are the same as in office visits. You will be billed for the difference. In other words, there will be no difference in the billing for a telemedicine visit and an in-office visit.
* After checking in, you will go to our office website (www.silverspringpeds.com) and click on the telemedicine link.
*You will then click on the name of the doctor with whom you have the telemedicine visit.
* This will take you to a virtual waiting room, at which time the doctor will be notified of your arrival and will log on for the visit.
* There will be situations in which a telemedicine visit must be converted to an in-person, in-office visit. In those situations, you will not be billed twice.
At Silver Spring Pediatrics, we intend to use telemedicine in two ways:
(1) In order to minimize office exposure of children who are due for check ups but do not require immunizations at that visit, we are likely to postpone those visits. However, we realize that some children/adolescents have ongoing, chronic medical issues that need to be managed at the present time and should not wait. This would include, but is not limited to, such issues as ADHD, behavior concerns, constipation, allergies, asthma, mental health issues, nutrition concerns, to name a few. Discussion of these issues are well-suited to a telemedicine visit.
(2) The recommendation regarding acute management of illness that may be consistent with mild coronavirus infection is that care be done at home, where possible, without exposing other people to the infection. We hope to provide telemedicine visits as a way of “seeing” the patient and discussing appropriate management. This also allows us to lay eyes, if not hands, on your children to help us assess the severity of their illness in a way that phone calls cannot.
As we all know, the recommendations and restrictions with regards to coronavirus are evolving rapidly. As we introduce telemedicine for the current coronavirus situation, we will adjust how we use this service.
We hope those of you who do utilize telemedicine through our office will provide feedback after your experience so we can help optimize the care we provide remotely.
We look forward to working with you as we find our way safely through this pandemic.
Everyone at Silver Spring Pediatrics