The coronavirus (Covid-19) has changed everyone’s lifestyle on a global basis since the beginning of March 2020. Changes, including restrictions on social gatherings and “quarantine in place” orders, are now occurring daily and everyone must adjust to meet these government regulations.
As of March 30th, 2020, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has announced a “stay-at-home” executive order, although residents can still go to the grocery and pharmacy stores. He also requests that citizens only purchase enough food and other goods for up to a week, to avoid overtaxing the supply system.
But what do you do if a medical issue arises and you need medical help unrelated to Covid-19 and you are stuck at home? Many doctors’ offices are closed to walk-ins right now, as are hospitals and walk-in family medical centers. Yet, you need help quickly to avoid having worse health issues if the infection is not treated properly. Here is what you can do to get help.
Step One: If you have a regular family doctor that you see at least once a year for checkups, call that doctor and see if you can “visit” with the doctor by video or by phone. Explain your situation and that you need medical help, even though your injury (or other medical problem) is not enough for you to go to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. For those on workers’ compensation, you may need to adhere to special instructions to ensure the protection of both your doctor and you, where it concerns any federal/state regulations.
If your medical issue is a wound or an infection (i.e., an infected, painful boil), you may need to take a picture of it and send it in by email or through your smartphone. You can take the picture in advance, so it is ready to send quickly when your doctor requests it.
If you do not have the ability to take a picture and send it in, have a family member or close friend help you do this, ahead of calling your doctor. It is essential to provide as much information as effectively as possible to your doctor to maintain proper medical records and filing on your insurance. You may also have to make a co-payment by phone as well.
From there, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics or whatever else you need for your medical issue. As your doctor already has your medical records from previous visits, the interview will likely not take long.
Step Two: If you do not have a regular family doctor, make a list of all the medical walk-in family centers in your area, and begin calling to see if they can help you by a video or phone consultation. Again, you will need to have that picture ready ahead of the call.
Be aware that some medical centers are only treating potential Covid-19 patients who need testing and they will not be available to help you with anything else. Just move to the next center to make the call.
Ask if you need to fill out a medical form so they know what questions to ask you during the call. You can have the form sent to you by email or by fax. As before, if you do not have access to either function, get someone to help you out.
You may also be required to send in a photocopy of your driver’s license, your insurance card, and add in your prescription plan card, too. The doctor can use that to determine which prescription will be covered by your plan.
Avoid physical contact with others outside your home as much as possible. Take your temperature daily just to be aware of any drastic changes. If you feel unusually ill for more than one day, call a doctor and find out how you can be tested for COVID-19. You can also call Banner Health’s Hotline at 1-844-549-1851 for COVID-19 help.
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