OFFICE CLOSURE DUE TO COVID-19
A follow up note to our patients:
As of March 17, the Center for Disease Control has updated its guidelines to recommend that all routine vision examinations are to be indefinitely postponed. In order to do our part to help prevent this dreadful condition from rapidly spreading, we will be complying with these guidelines effective immediately.
What does this mean for you? As you may have noticed, things develop quickly, and many things are still up in the air. But here is the best of what we can tell you with the information on hand:
1) If you have an examination upcoming in at least the next two weeks, please do not come in. Please contact us so that we might reschedule at your convenience when the local situation is improved. Our phone lines will remain open for now, although limited hours.
2) We will continue to maintain some staffing at each location as long as possible to answer phones, pass out glasses, etc. However, we are shutting down our optical departments, meaning we will NOT be available to adjust your frames, fit new glasses, etc. If you have a pair on order, call us when you arrive and we will bring your glasses out to you. Just like the restaurants, we are “carry-out” only.
3) We will have a doctor on call to cover all urgent conditions. In fact, through this week we will continue to staff each location with a doctor. Therefore, if you have an eye urgency such as loss of vision, red eyes, painful eyes, or other issue, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE rather than your primary care physician. This may be done through the phone, or even better your online portal. We will be able to triage and handle your issue quickly and sufficiently.
Along those lines, if you are a doctor, nurse, physician, or work in healthcare: you probably have your hands full right now. If you have patients with vision or eye concerns, do not hesitate to send them our way.
4) Telehealth medicine: This capability was literally added last night during a late national conference call. If you have a concern, we can try to diagnose and manage it while you stay at home, using technology such as FaceTime or Skype. We should still be able to bill these telehealth exam to your insurance company.
5) Many of our patients have medical eye concerns other than emergent issues. We are not going to forget about you. We are reviewing our charts of postponed patients to triage those patients most in need of followup during this break. If you have concerns about the progression of your glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic eye health, etc. you may still reach out to us, and vice versa. We may check in to see how you are doing.
6) If you are going to run out of contact lenses during the next few weeks, please call our office and we can re-authorize your prescription and order you a three-month supply to get you through. Please check your inventory, because if the quarantine situation changes nationally, you could be out of lenses until it is lifted.
We said this the other day, and it is worth repeating. Our patients are our lifeblood, and we need you all to be safe, and to be smart through this awful ordeal. Please maintain your social distancing, and remember to keep washing those hands for at least 20 seconds: a full verse of “Hound Dog” (55years+) “Oops I did it Again” (Millenial), or “Karma Chameleon” if you just somehow really love the eighties. Remember that we’re there for you if you need us, otherwise, most of us are going to go home and ride this out with our families just like you.
Be well, and God Bless all of you.
Doctors and Staff of Ritter Hagee Optometry