Health Care Center Update March 20th 2020

March 20,2020: Updates from Martin’s Point

Helping You Stay Informed and Healthy

  • Telehealth Appointments are Coming
  • Routine Appointment Suspended for Patients
  • Mobile Testing Available by Appointment Only
  • COVID-19 Testing—General Information

TELEHEALTH APPOINTMENTS ARE COMING

In order to maintain our relationship with you during these times and improve access to care while limiting the risk of exposure to you and our staff, Martin’s Point is preparing to offer telehealth services beginning the week of March 23. These services will allow our providers to assess and treat patients over the phone. These services will not, in some cases, replace the need to see you in person. While we will begin with telephonic visits, we plan to offer a more personal virtual interaction over time.

  • When approved by our medical staff, you may use telehealth visits as a replacement for some in-person office visits.
  • We will begin telehealth services next week and will keep you updated on any changes.

IN-PERSON ROUTINE APPOINTMENTS FOR ALL PATIENTS

We will begin to suspend in-person routine appointments for all Martin’s Point patients. While this applies to most routine appointments, further conversations with your provider will determine if you’ll need to receive care in-person. Routine appointments that will be suspended (unless your provider determines otherwise) include the following:

  • Annual physical exams
  • Medicare Annual Wellness Visits
  • Routine periodic check-ups for those with chronic health conditions whose symptoms are stable
  • Mammograms
  • Any non-urgent visits

IMPORTANT NOTE: We will contact you if you have previously scheduled appointments that are affected by these cancellations. Please do not call your Martin’s Point Health Care Center regarding cancellations or rescheduling. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we work together to keep our phone lines open for patients with urgent care needs during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

COVID-19 MOBILE TESTING AT MARTIN’S POINT

On Friday, March 20, mobile COVID-19 tests will be available (by appointment only) at outdoor testing facilities at the Martin’s Point Portland Health Care Center. Our Brunswick–Farley Road and Portsmouth Health Care Centers will begin mobile testing next week.

To help protect patients and staff from exposure to the virus during the mobile testing process, patients will remain isolated in their vehicles while both waiting for and undergoing the testing.

Mobile testing is available by appointment only. This policy ensures that we will be able to give priority to those most in need of the test and reduce wait times for our ill patients at the testing sites.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and believe you should be tested, please call your Martin’s Point Health Care Center. Your provider will assess your health situation and determine whether scheduling a mobile test is recommended for you.

COVID-19 TESTING: GENERAL INFORMATION

We understand that many of you are appropriately concerned about COVID-19 and would like to be tested. Due to a national shortage of test kits, we are following CDC recommendations and initially screening patients over the phone. Most people with COVID-19 are able to care for themselves at home through rest and drinking plenty of liquids.

If we determine that it is necessary, we will schedule you to be evaluated (currently in-person). A Martin’s Point provider will determine if a test is warranted based upon your symptoms, risk factors, exposure to COVID-19, and the availability of test kits.

PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to perform a test on a patient who is not experiencing symptoms.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE

All of us at Martin’s Point understand the concern this new coronavirus has caused and we’re working hard to provide the best service possible to our patients during this challenging time. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work together to help keep our community as safe and healthy as possible.

Jonathan Harvey, MD

Chief Medical Officer