Now Offering Elective Procedures

Now Offering Elective Procedures

We are pleased to share that, because of all we have done together to flatten the curve, we are now able to offer additional services, including elective procedures. The safety of our patients, providers and teammates remains our priority, and we have developed a thoughtful plan to phase in our services over time. On May 4, our team began reaching out to patients to reschedule procedures that had been postponed due to COVID-19, beginning with those whose health will be most negatively impacted by any further delay in care.

Keeping You Safe

We know you may have concerns about coming to a healthcare facility, and it’s important to know we are taking additional measures to ensure our care centers and surgery centers are safe places to receive and provide care. As we begin the process of resuming normal services, we will:

  • Pre-screen all patients over the phone when confirming appointments to establish if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have traveled to an area deemed to have widespread community transmission of the virus. If a patient has symptoms or has traveled to such an area, they will not be seen in the office and will be offered a telehealth appointment.
  • Screen teammates, patients and visitors once again upon arrival by checking for fever, cough, shortness of breath and flu-like symptoms. We will also ask each person about recent travel or current travel plans to evaluate any risk.
  • Ask patients to wait to be seen in their cars, in some cases.
  • Limit the number of procedures per day in order to allow for social distancing and thorough cleaning of each room between patients.
  • Require everyone to wear a mask or covering over their nose and mouth at all times. If a patient arrives to an appointment without a face cover or mask, they cannot be seen. Providers will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including, but not limited to, gowns, aprons and gloves when appropriate to keep them and our patients safe. Providers will continue to practice strict hand hygiene.
  • Clean all frequently-touched surfaces often, including keyboards, workstations, countertops and doorknobs. We have removed frequently touched items such as magazines and televisions. To reduce unnecessary touching of surfaces, doors will remain open whenever appropriate.
  • Arrange chairs six feet apart in the waiting room to allow for social distancing.
  • Not permit visitors to accompany patients unless medically necessary.
  • Receive co-pays and other advance payment over the phone to limit personal interaction once inside our facilities.

As we establish our new normal, we will work with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and our local and state officials to ensure we are following the most up-to-date guidelines.

Questions

We are eager to see you again soon. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about what we are doing to safely and responsibly resume services, please call our office.

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

Gastro Health is steadfast in our commitment to providing you with outstanding medical care throughout this public health crisis and well into the future. We want you to know that our offices are open and we have resumed elective procedures. In accordance with CDC recommendations, we are continuing to minimize exposure risks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at our locations. We continue to offer telehealth visits, for patients to get the care they need safely from home. Patients need a device with a camera and microphone. Please call your doctor’s office to find out options available to you.

Florida

In order to protect our patients and staff, we have taken additional safety precautions to help ensure our offices are a safe place for all who receive care. We are conducting pre-screening prior to appointments and again upon arrival at the office. We are asking that anyone who answers yes to the following questions not enter our locations. We will, instead, schedule a telehealth visit or reschedule the appointment at a later date.

  • Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or other flu-like symptoms?
  • Have you recently traveled or been in contact with someone who has?
  • Have you been in contact with a person who has been diagnosed with coronavirus disease?

Everyone (patients, employees and visitors) entering our offices should always been wearing washable cloth or surgical face masks. Also, we ask that, consistent with the CDC’s social distancing recommendation, you attend your appointment alone. If it is essential for you to have someone accompany you to your appointment, please limit it to one person. In addition, that person will be subject to the same screening as others.

The health and safety of our patients and healthcare workers is paramount. For more information, contact your doctor’s office or surgery center.

For additional information related to offices in various states, please visit our state-specific pages below:

For questions related to gastroenterology or your appointment, please call our office. (Find your doctor’s office number here.)

Gastro Health Guidance for Our Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to our entire global population. No one is spared the anxieties of the uncertainty we face. We recognize that our Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis patients are challenged with the added concern of whether they are at increased risk of contracting the virus, or at increased risk of having a more severe disease course.

At present, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation has issued guidance for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. To summarize:

  1. IBD patients should be meticulous about social distancing, minimizing outings for any purpose that are not absolutely vital, frequent hand washing, avoiding touching their nose, eyes, or mouth, and frequent disinfecting of surfaces.
  2. Medications that contain mesalamine do not affect the body’s natural immunity and should be continued.
  3. Steroids such as prednisone do affect the immune system, but it should be a clinical decision whether to continue based on the medical need. It can be dangerous to abruptly discontinue steroids making it vitally important that any of our patients on steroids reach out to their Gastro Health physician to discuss how to optimally manage their regimen.
  4. Immunomodulators (6MP, 6-Mercaptopurine, Azathioprine, Imuran), methotrexate, and Tofacitinib (Xeljanz) should be continued.
  5. Biologics include any medications for Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis that are given by injection or given intravenously and should be continued. Even temporarily discontinuing these medications can diminish or eliminate their benefit. It is important that patients who are on biologics communicate with their Gastro Health provider if adjustments to medications need to be considered.

These guidelines are based on expert opinion and naturally can change as more is learned. A global registry of patients with IBD who have contracted COVID-19 exists and is being monitored closely.

In this time of uncertainty, you can take comfort in the fact that your Gastro Health physician is invested in making sure that you benefit from the latest science-based information to guide you in this trying time.