Hello all!  Another week, another COVID19 update from us 🙂

Clinic updates: 

  • As you all know, we continue to offer COVID-19 testing.  Updates since we launched it this weekend:
    • We are still prioritizing DPC members.  Feel free to fill out the respiratory symptom questionnaire or reach out via phone/email to discuss if you should proceed with testing.
    • BIG UPDATE: We are also offering testing — at the same price — to your loved ones, friends, family members, etc.  Please feel free to share this information within your social networks:  your referrals may fill out the HIPAA-compliant questionnaire, we will review their information, and we will send along the link to schedule after reviewing it and confirming they need testing.
    • After confirming a few things with our lab vendor (and trying to help you all use whatever insurance benefits you have), the pricing will be broken down a bit — now in 2 payments.
      • We will still charge a $75 visit fee for testing that is not covered by insurance and will be charged at the time of booking.  This covers our operational costs, the cost of equipment, supplies, etc.
      • For the charge relating to running the test itself, our lab vendor will either 1) bill your insurance themselves or 2) send you a bill for $67 in 3-4 months.
  • This marks the last week that Laurin Myers, PBT, will work for us.  She’s (bravely!) working through her nursing degree and is prioritizing that and family for now — we wish her all the luck in the world.  
    • Due to Laurin leaving and the fact that we’re on a reduced patient schedule, we will reduce hours for the time being.  Hours will now be:
      • Monday 9-4:30
      • Tuesday 9-7:30
      • Wednesday 9-4:30
      • Thursday 9-4:30
      • Friday 9-4:30
  • Please also note that we may not be physically in the office during office hours. Please do not come by for a prescription pickup, etc. without first confirming that we are in-house. 
  • We realize that the coming months will be an economic struggle for many of you.  We are trying to figure out the best way to balance the clinic’s solvency with making sure that you all receive continued care even as your financial house becomes a bit out of order.  If anyone has suggestions or ideas, we’re all ears, and please let us know if you fall into this category.
  • On a different note, if you want to know what the last several months have been like trying to prepare for this outbreak, I wrote a piece for the American Academy of Family Physicians detailing the mess that has led up to where we are now.  Think of it as a look behind the curtain of our country’s response :).


Virus and local updates:

  • Both Kansas and Missouri have seen rising numbers of confirmed COVID19 cases; this is due both to the fact that the virus is spreading more widely and also to the fact that testing capabilities have expanded (i.e. more testing = more positives).
  • Most of the basic facts about the virus remain unchanged: it is spread via droplet, affects the elderly more frequently than the young (and affects people with conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease far more severely than people who don’t have those conditions), and can be present even in those who don’t have symptoms.
  • We don’t know if hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) treats this.  We don’t know if azithromycin (Zpack) works. We don’t know what works.  Part of the scientific method means that we really do have to be deliberate about testing therapies to assess if they work or not.  The trouble is — we really don’t have the luxury of time to be deliberate, so multiple multi-center trials are currently being conducted across the nation (and world) so we can figure out how to best treat this.
  • Vaccine development is still in the works but — like the therapies above — takes time to be tested and confirmed that they actually work and do not cause harm.  


Economic/legal updates:

  • The metro-wide shutdown starts today for “nonessential” businesses.  Of note, we will remain open but will still prioritize telemedicine (phone or video) appointments over in-person visits.  
  • The federal government passed the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act last Wednesday.  This offers some language on testing for COVID-19 (it’s not “free” so much as they’re mandating insurers to pay for it), job protection, and funding for things like food stamps and school lunches.  
  • The big federal stimulus is still in the works and not finalized as of this writing.  I’m not going to pretend like I know anything about these things and will refrain from speculating :).




Allison Edwards, MD