The Wellness Roundup With Dr. Jill

Frequently Asked Covid-related Questions Answered by The Healthy Kids Pediatrics Team

Our team wanted to check in with some answers to 5 questions we’ve been receiving over the past several weeks: 👍

1. Why do I have a bill from HKP for a date of service where I was not in the office?

As of March 1, 2020, HKP began billing for telephone calls and electronic communication with our medical providers. We are following all CPT coding guidelines and certain criteria must be met in order to submit a claim to your insurance company. If your insurance does not cover the fee, they may pass the financial responsibility to the patient. An e-mail was sent to all HKP patients in February 2020 to notify everyone of this change. More information on this policy can be found on our website, along with the charge for each code that may be submitted. Please note that if the concern is something where we would recommend having an office visit as soon as possible or if it is a follow-up about the same concern from an office visit in the previous 6 days, this will not be billed. We do not want you to be afraid to approach us!

2. Am I allowed to visit my family and friends during this pandemic if everyone has been quarantining?

We want a solid answer to this question, too. However, since COVID-19 is still so new and recommendations are changing by the hour, it is best to follow guidelines that are frequently updated on the following websites:

New Jersey Department of Health COVID Information Hub
https://covid19.nj.gov/)

CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html)

3. Are you testing for COVID-19 in the office or can you order us the antibody test?

At this time, not much has changed regarding our thoughts on testing since we last sent an update. Please reference the text below from our previous e-mail. We are not recommending routine testing but if you have any concerns, please feel free to call us to set up a telemedicine appointment. As more information becomes available, we will be sure to keep you updated.

PCR Testing (nose and throat swab): This test is done to see if your child is currently fighting a COVID-19 infection. If you feel that your child has symptoms of COVID-19 infection we encourage you to contact our office to set up a telemedicine appointment to discuss this further. If it is determined that testing is necessary we can give you information on local testing sites. We are not performing PCR testing in our office and we cannot guarantee that a testing site would perform the test on your child.

Serology Testing (blood test): This test is done to see if your child has already had COVID-19. Unfortunately, the currently available test shows high rates of false positive and negative results. This means that if the test is positive, it may not be accurate. That is why most experts, including us, do not advise this test, at least as of yet. We do not want people to think they are protected when they may not be. The test is licensed at this time for research and making policies about COVID-19, but not to see if any individual has had COVID-19.

4. Is HKP still seeing patients in the office?

YES! It is vitally important that children continue to receive their wellness visits and immunizations in order to detect disease and continue to stay healthy. We have a system in place where we are trying our best to keep sick and well visits separate. Almost all visits related to illness have been and will continue to be performed in our parking lot from your vehicle. We are also offering telemedicine visits during regular office hours for concerns that may not require an in-person visit.

5. What is the procedure for entering the office?

As mentioned above, we are trying to keep all sick visits in our parking lot. If you are coming to the office for a sick visit and you are instructed to stay in your car, you will be given instructions on where to park by our office staff when the appointment is made.

Upon arrival, we ask that you call our office to check in and further instructions will be given at that point. Please be sure to use the bathroom at home prior to your visit since we are trying to keep as little in-office traffic as possible.

For well visits, we ask that you do not enter the office any more than 5 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. If you arrive any earlier, please call us first and we will gladly let you in sooner if we have a room to put you in. Our waiting room is closed.

Upon entering you can check in with our front desk and will be promptly guided to one of our sanitized exam rooms. We ask that you wear a mask for yourself and all children over 2 years old. We also ask that you limit the number of people who come into the office for your child’s visit to only one parent or caretaker. We are making an exception for newborn
visits where both parents are allowed to be present.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns and be sure to follow our Facebook page for the most up-to-date information!

-HKP

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