Subject: Office Update 4/3/2020

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Office update - We're here for you...
Friday, April 3, 2020

Dear patients and friends,

I want to reach out and see how you are doing with this unprecedented situation. All sorts of routines have been upended, people are losing jobs and spending much more time at home (and with the same small circle of contacts) than ever before in our lives. Please know that we are available, are NOT over-burdened at this time with Covid patients or questions, and are here to help. Do not hesitate to reach out to our office if we can assist with your questions, symptoms, coordination issues with specialist offices and so forth.

In the office we are continuing with our adjusted hours, open from 8 am to 3 pm on Monday to Thursday and 8 am to noon on Friday. As always I am available after hours for urgent matters by calling my cell phone 503-481-5871.

Over the past two weeks we have begun using DOXY.ME as a platform for virtual visits (and occasionally FaceTime). The sign on is very simple and patients who have used it are impressed with it’s ease and how closely it resembles an in person visit.

During this time, most major insurers are covering virtual visits. We are able to schedule commercial and Medicare patients for regular follow up of chronic concerns and new medical concerns, as well as annual Wellness Exams for Medicare. I strongly encourage those of you who were scheduled or due for these visits in March, April, and May, to schedule a telehealth visit with us now, so that we can stay up to date with your health and not develop a backlog that makes scheduling tough when we finally are fully “open”. We can arrange lab testing, immunizations etc. now or when the pandemic risk is lower, after meeting with you.

Providence labs is conducting testing and accepting samples provided by physicians in the community. They are limited to about 600 tests per day and there is a shortage of the actual testing swabs and viral media used. Our office has conducted only three tests through Providence and they’ve been back in 24-48 hours (two were negative and one positive).

We are cautiously optimistic regarding the state of Oregon though things look awful in other areas of the country. St. Vincent Hospital currently has 27 hospitalized COVID-19 POSITIVE patients at this time. The hospital has shut down all but emergency surgeries, and has a good number of hospital beds and ICU beds/ventilators available. We expect to see this number grow over the coming week and all hands are on deck. Personal protective equipment continues to be in short supply. I suspect we will continue to have major disruptions to the way we do business well into the Fall of this year.

Oregon Health Authority Updates:

Stay well,
Jim Biemer, Julia Jones, and the team
James Biemer, 9135 SW Barnes Rd, Suite 863, Portland, OR 97225, United States
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