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COVID-19 Information (Coronavirus)

Dear New and Established Patients,

     To limit the spread of COVID-19, we are are OPEN and offering all of our upcoming new and follow-up patients TELEVISITS in lieu of OFFICE VISITS for the safety of our patients, our staff and physicians.  We understand that some of our patients would obviously prefer to see our physicians in person but in our current situation, we feel that televisits can be just as productive and are a safer alternative to an in-office doctor’s visit. We have been doing televisit for many years and have found that they work well to discuss patients’ symptoms and diagnose and treat most endocrine diseases. These televisits are intended to be a temporary solution and we will recommend seeing you in the office as soon as it is safe to do so.  

     At your televisit, your physician will be discussing your symptoms and any prior labwork, imaging, etc as they normally would at your in-office appointment-  they can even discuss vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, etc) if you are able to obtain these before the visit.  Your physician will be ordering labwork as we normally do through the major national labs (ie. Labcorp, Quest) and any imaging that needs to be ordered can be done at the imaging center of your choice.  Only the physical exam cannot be completed fully but this can be remedied at a future appointment. 

Please keep your appointment even if pre-visit labs are not completed as the doctor must still have a tele-visit with you for compliance purposes, in order to receive continued medication refills, and to triage when procedures and certain testing can be done. Click here to see details of how we will conduct televisits for certain patient types

     Please be aware that Labcorp and Quest are still open and drawing blood as they normally would.  Also be aware that Labcorp and Quest do NOT test for COVID-19 at their patient service centers and instead all testing for COVID-19 must be done through a PCP's office.  For this reason, you SHOULD NOT EXPECT THERE TO BE ILL COVID-19 PATIENTS AT THE LAB- see the following link: 

Labcorp and Quest are the most commonly used laboratories for our patients. IT IS SAFE to use their lab patient service centers during the COVID-19 outbreak and you can see details here which include senior hours: 

Labcorp:  https://www.labcorp.com/coronavirus-disease-covid-19  (the first business hour each day serves people who are 65 or older, and those with serious underlying medical conditions)

Quest:  https://www.questdiagnostics.com/home/Covid-19/Patients/

If you are worried about visiting the Labcorp or Quest patient service center, you can utilize a mobile phlebotomist who comes to your house and will draw the lab order you need They draw in Greater Houston Area and Katy within 25 miles of the 610 loop. BUT, there is a $27 charge, not covered by insurance paid to company called Drawmylabs.com. Regardless you can meet your doctor without labs completed to discuss best next steps. 

For mobile-phlebotomy:

1. Let us know via patient portal that you want to "Send lab orders to Drawmylabs" so we can send your order there. If you have the paper order you may submit directly to them

2. Select "Routine Blood Draw" for general labs and "Blood Draw & Specimen Pick Up" (urine, 2 hours timed testing) from their website https://drawmylabs.com/collections/all  

3. Enter discount code HTES25 for the $27 non-insurance charge.

http://www.houstonendocrine.com/pre-register-as-a-new-patient


     You will receive a text 24 hours and 30 minutes before your scheduled televisit appointment with a link that you can click on, to bring you into your doctor’s virtual waiting room. You can see details of how our televisits works at this link.  We may also be sending you a confirmation text to confirm that you will be present at your televisit appointment- although you may have already responded to a similar text previously, please respond with a YES if you plan on keeping your televisit appointment. Only respond with a NO if you are wanting to fully cancel your appointment.  Also be aware that we will not be charging no-show fees for the immediate future.

Patients scheduled  for office visits for these procedures take note:

1. Thyroid ultrasounds:

The doctor and patients will discuss safe follow-up and decisions about imaging via a scheduled televisit. The ultrasound will either be completed and rescheduled to a future visit or if urgent, ordered at another imaging facility

2. Thyroid FNA biopsies:

These procedures will be rescheduled to a future date or another facility if available. You can discuss specifics for your case via a scheduled televisit with the doctor. 

3. Thyroid nuclear treatments:


The already-scheduled in-office procedures will be done in the office as scheduled if nuclear material can be obtained. Otherwise, new procedures will be scheduled for at a hospital nuclear medicine department. Please schedule a televisit to discuss your concerns with the doctor.
The Houston Health Department has opened a COVID-19 call center for all Houston residents who may have questions or need information about the disease. The number to contact them is 832-393-4220 and they will be open Monday-Friday from 9am to 7pm and Saturdays from 9am to 3pm. Voicemails left outside of those hours will be answered in the order of receipt on the next business day. Physicians and emergency rooms equipped to diagnose COVID-19 have asked that symptomatic patients and patients with a history of international travel should call ahead to tell staff about recent travel and symptoms so arrangements can be made to receive you

We appreciate your understanding during this difficult time and we, at Houston Thyroid and Endocrine Specialists, hope to be able to continue to keep you safe and healthy for the foreseeable future.

http://www.houstonendocrine.com/pre-register-as-a-new-patient

There are a few important things to be aware of to make your upcoming televisit as productive as possible:

  1. If you have not already sent over any pertinent medical records, please upload your records using this link:http://www.houstonendocrine.com/submit-records or faxing to 713-795-0855.
  2. Please use a smart phone or ipad/tablet if possible (rather than a desktop or laptop computer) and connect to wi-fi rather than use cellular service. PLEASE DO NOT DO THESE VISITS WHILE DRIVING. 
  3. If you are able, please click into our virtual waiting room 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment time and our staff may be able to test your televisit connection to make sure everything is working smoothly.
  4. If you have access to a recent blood pressure heart rate or temperature, please let us know what it is at the time of your appointment.
  5. For follow-up patients, please be sure to complete any labwork prior to the appointment if this was requested by your physician.
  6. If you are concerned about insurance payments, please see the following notice from Governor Greg Abbott who has stated that all insurances including Medicare will cover televisits in the same way they cover office visits for immediate future. We may need to contact you prior to your upcoming appointment to get more insurance information and to take copay/deductible payments in the same way we would if you were seeing the doctor in the office.

For up to date Coronavirus information from the CDC, click here.