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Phase 2 - Expanded Care and In-person Appointments at Atrius Health
As Massachusetts has successfully proceeded into Phase 2 of its re-opening plans, the Governor and Attorney General's office has released new guidance on the phased re-opening of medical care. These guidelines are very much in line with our planned, cautious, and incremental re-opening of in-person care at Atrius Health.
We are expanding specialties and volume at our current practice sites, adding more in-person visits, and planning for future re-opening of our temporarily closed practice sites over the summer. While most types of care are now allowed to return to our practice, we are bound by the state to strictly control patient volume with continuous attention to patient safety, physical distancing, and ensuring adequate personal protective equipment for staff and patients.
The state has also recommended healthcare providers continue to operate in a “virtual first” type of model so in the near-term we can continue to prioritize high priority patient needs for in-person care that has been delayed during COVID-19. Video and phone visits have been well received by many patients and we will continue to offer these convenient virtual care options for care whenever clinically appropriate.
In addition to focusing on high priority preventive services, pediatric care and immunizations, and other urgent procedures as part of Phase 1, under the new Phase 2 guidelines, we are also beginning to schedule in-person visits for other critical and time-sensitive services for:
- Patients with acute illnesses that cannot be addressed through telehealth (video or phone appointments)
- Patients with chronic illness
- Patients with behavioral health conditions, disability, and/or risk factors related to social determinants of health
- Adult preventive care necessary to be performed in-person (including screening/diagnostic procedures such as mammograms)
- Patients with progressive conditions that will worsen without surgery or other clinical intervention
- Patients needing in-person visits to monitor health status or assess the progression of illness
We look forward to providing more services in person as the summer progresses, and to focus on the hopeful, although more complex, work of bringing our practice back to a vibrant state of new normal. Please contact your provider’s office if you have any needs for care so that we can discuss the best appointment options for you.