Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) Referring Physician Update #1 — 3/21/2020
With COVID-19, we’re all living in a new, rapidly changing world. Because we value our relationship with you and the privilege of caring for your patients, we wanted to reach out and share how Texas Retina Associates remains committed to preserving our patients’ eye health and vision while keeping them as safe and healthy as possible during this pandemic.
Our entire care team is following guidance and recommendations provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). First and foremost, all of our offices currently remain open to serve you and your patients. However, in addition to the general recommendations everyone has been asked to follow, we are taking some additional steps specific to our practice:
1. At this time, we will continue to care for patients with vision-threatening retinal conditions. If you have a patient you believe requires an emergency, same-day referral, please call 1-800-695-6941 and ask to speak with one of our physicians.
2. Health permitting, we recommend that patients who require ongoing treatments to maintain their vision keep their appointment to avoid vision loss.
3. Patients with new vision changes can call to make a new patient appointment.
4. Staff in our offices are available to assist patients if they have questions about routine appointments or rescheduling.
5. Our physicians are continuing with surgeries that cannot be delayed due to threat of vision loss. This decision will be made on a case-by-case basis.
6. We are limiting exam areas to patients only unless the patient requires physician or language assistance, and are asking all other guests to wait in their vehicles.
7. We are doing our best to get patients into an exam room or private waiting area as soon as possible upon arrival to help meet the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing.
8. We are ensuring that our care team members are vigilant about their own health, including staying home the proper amount of time if they are ill or have been exposed to someone who is.
We are also providing all of our staff and patients with the following resources for additional information about COVID-19:
• Texas Health and Human Services encourages all Texans in need of COVID-19 information and referrals to community resources to call the 2-1-1 Texas hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Texans, no matter where they live, can dial 2-1-1 or 877-541-7905 and select option 6 to get information and referrals to COVID-19 social services, including testing, community clinics, unemployment benefits and more. Texans can also dial 2-1-1 to find information about local community resources such as financial assistance for utilities or rent and food pantries, housing assistance, crisis counseling, utility payment assistance, and senior services.
• Texas Health Resources Hotline: 682-236-2101
• Medical City Hotline: 833-582-1974
• Lubbock UMC COVID-19 Screening Hotline: 806-761-0111
• Waco-McLennan County Public Health District COVID-19 Hotline: 254-750-1890