Frequently Asked Questions
What are you doing in the office to prevent transmission of coronavirus?
- We are spacing appointment times to minimize your wait and potential person-to-person contact.
- We are actively sanitizing “high touch” areas such as shared work countertops and doorknobs throughout the day
- We are sanitizing all touch surfaces in each patient room between each patient
- We are escorting patients out of the office via a side door at the end of the visit
- Doctors and staff who work closely with patients are wearing surgical masks and droplet face shields; staff who work in areas adjacent to direct patient care are wearing surgical masks
- We are pre-screening patients for COVID19 symptoms the day prior to their scheduled visit and either shifting to telemedicine or rescheduling their appointment date
- Patients currently under home quarantine for COVID19 or who have tested positive for COVID19 are not being treated in the office although we can treat via telemedicine visits.
- Any staff member or physician with COVID19 symptoms will home quarantine for 2 weeks and then their ability to return to work will be reassessed
What is a “telemedicine visit?”
Telemedicine visits are between you and your medical provider and use a combination of photographs and video (or phone) discussion in order to serve as a visit. The visit will be recorded in your medical chart. These visits are billed equivalently to an in-person office visit. If your insurance policy requires you to pay a copay then you will still have to pay your copay but can pay this after, rather than before, your visit.
What are some types of issues that can be good for a telemedicine visit?
- Annual refill appointments for long term medications such as acne medications (including birth control pills and spironolactone), finasteride, topical steroids, doxycycline, etc.
- Accutane appointments for both males and females.
- Refill appointments for monitored medications such as methotrexate, hydroxycholoroquine (plaquenil) and dapsone as well as many of the “biologics” such as Stelara and Humira.
- Recheck appointments for chronic skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema (atopic dermatitis), lichen plans
- Following up on treatment progress such as nail fungus therapy
What issues are better addressed in the office?
The following are examples of issues best addressed in the office. It is not meant to be a complete list; just examples to help guide you.
- New or changing lesion you are worried may be a skin cancer
- Most new rashes including rashes all over your body, blistering rashes, painful or itchy rashes
- A skin problem you are worried is infected
- A full body skin examination for a person with a history of multiple skin cancers and/or multiple lesions they are worried are skin cancers
- If your doctor recommends that you see the dermatologist in person for your skin issue
- Please note, this is not a complete list! Just call us.
What if I currently have a scheduled appointment - will you cancel it?
Preventative medicine is important, especially for patients with a history of multiple skin cancers and/or melanoma skin cancer. We want to continue to see patients at high risk for new skin cancer development because we know delaying evaluation and treatment of skin cancers can lead to worse outcomes for patients. Therefore, we are currently maintaining scheduled visits for our high risk skin cancer patients. If you are not comfortable coming into the office at this time then we are happy to accommodate you by delaying your visit to a later date. Please call and let us know.
If you are someone with no personal history of skin cancer, no particular lesions of concern and no other urgent issues then you may be better served by delaying your preventive skin examination for a few months. Please call if you wish to reschedule.
These recommendations will change if the pandemic worsens in our area. If you have a question then please call us.
Do I still need to get labs before my visit?
At this time, our goal is to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection for our patients. We are postponing many usual lab tests in order to avoid waiting in a lab around people who may be infected with coronavirus. Please call if you are unsure if you need to have your labs drawn.
Can I bring a family member/caregiver with me to my appointment?
If you have limited mobility or memory then please bring a caregiver to your appointment. Please limit the number of people with you to one person. Please do not bring non-caregivers such as children you are babysitting or friends to your appointment.
I am having a skin issue. I am not sure if it is important. What should I do?
We want to see you for any new or concerning skin condition. If you have a new rash or chronic rash that is getting worse, please call our office. Our staff will help schedule a video consultation or in-person appointment.
Are you able to see children?
Yes, we are seeing pediatric patients. In order to reduce the number of people in the clinic, please have only one caregiver accompany the child. Siblings must remain home.
Why are all cosmetic and benign elective procedures are being postponed?
In accordance with Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Elective and Non-Urgent Health Care Procedures published by Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority, patients with elective or cosmetic procedures are to be rescheduled at a later time. This is because of the desire to cut down on unnecessary person-to-person contact and to reduce the need for PPE required for some types of procedures.
What makes a procedure or surgery “elective?”
There are many terms to describe surgery:
- Elective - any procedure that is planned in advance. This includes treatment for benign lesions such as a lipoma removal as well as surgery to remove a cancer from the body.
- Urgent - any procedure that needs to be done soon in order to reduce danger to the patient, such as removal of the appendix to treat appendicitis.
- Emergency - A surgery that must be performed immediately to save the life of a patient, such as treating internal bleeding from a motor vehicle accident
The removal of skin cancers is elective (because it is scheduled in advance) but is exempted from the general ban on elective procedures because the skin cancer surgery does not consume limited PPE or strain the hospital system AND the consequences of delaying treatment can be fatal if the skin cancer continues to enlarge and/or spreads.
I have skin cancer - can I get it treated?
We are still performing skin cancer surgery, including Mohs surgery, here in the office. We can perform these procedures without using scarce PPE or burdening the hospital system.
By staying open are you using supplies that hospitals need?
Fortunately, we do not use any scarce medical supplies in our practice. We are currently utilizing reusable face shields and surgical masks and have already donated our N95 supply.
How is everyone at the clinic doing?
We are working shorter hours in the office because of the lower number of in-office visits these days. We are all spending more time with our families. Our staff are, as ever, rising magnificently to the occasion and we are proud to work with them. Being with our patients is one of our great joys in life. We all miss seeing YOU.
I have a question but I didn’t see it here. What do I do?
Call us! Our number is 503-245-2415.