COVID-19 Vaccine Statement

Asheville Neurology’s Position Statement on the COVID-19 Vaccine 

We have received many questions from our patients regarding whether or not they should get the COVID-19 Vaccine. At this time, based on what we know about the Covid-19 vaccine, there are no neurological contraindications for getting the vaccine. This means that what you are being treated for at Asheville Neurology should not prevent you from getting the vaccine, if you choose to do so.

We are recommending our patients get the vaccine if it is available to them, as complications and/or long-term effects from contracting Covid-19 can be serious. However, Asheville Neurology will not be providing the vaccine at our office. You will need to go through your health department to find out when you can get the vaccine based on availability and your health status. Ultimately, it is your decision whether or not you choose to get the vaccine. 

If you’ve had a reaction to the flu vaccine in the past, you will need to talk to you primary care provider and/or your health department regarding this and whether or not to proceed with the Covid-19 vaccine.

Sincerely,

Dr. Patton, Dr. Engelbrecht and Dr. Armstrong

Board Certified Neurologists

No Show Policy Updates

Please note that beginning October 1st 2020, we will be re-instating our late cancellation/no show policy. We do understand that emergencies arise and will address these situations on a case by case basis.
We would also like to remind everyone that we are still offering telehealth (video and phone appointments) to patients with participating insurances as a convenient alternative to coming into the office. Some appointments, like New Patient Appointments or appointments that involve labs/injections/testing are not eligible to be converted to telehealth.

No Show/Late Cancellation Policy:

Each time a patient misses an appointment without providing proper notice, another patient is prevented from receiving care. Therefore, beginning 4/1/2019, Asheville Neurology Specialists, PA reserves the right to charge a fee of $50.00 for all missed appointments (“no shows”) and appointments which are not cancelled with a 24-hour advance notice.
“No Show” fees will be billed to the patient. This fee is not covered by insurance, and must be paid prior to your next appointment. Three “no shows “will result in termination from our practice.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we strive to best serve the needs of all of our patients.

Interpreter Services at Asheville Neurology Specialists

Compassionate Care in your Language

 

Are you a non-native English speaker and have an upcoming appointment with Asheville Neurology Specialists? Call us at 828-210-9300 to let us know you would like to have an interpreter be present with you at your appointment. WCMS’ mission is to be the voice of the physician, advocating for the patient and the community through strengthening the physician-patient relationship. A language barrier should not come between you and your healthcare needs.

Please call us as soon as you know you will need an interpreter to your appointment so we can make sure you will have one available for you.

WCMS Interpreters are:

  • Tested for language proficiency
  • Trained in Medical Terminology
  • Culturally Competent
  • HIPAA Compliant
  • Adhere to the Standards Practice and National Interpreter Code of Ethics for Interpreters

Quality interpretation and translation services in more than 10 languages, including:

  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Chinese
  • French
  • Gujarati/Hindi
  • Hungarian/Moldovan
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Ukrainian

 

Post by Alexandra Vang, Administrative Services Coordinator

Keeping You Safe

As we move into the middle of May and the first Phase of NC’s “Re-Opening,” we wanted to talk about our continuing efforts to keep our patients and staff members safe during this pandemic. Even though the state is beginning its reopening process, we will continue our efforts to reduce exposure risk of COVID-19 in our office. These are the steps we have been taking and will continue to take until the CDC recommends otherwise.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO: 

SCREEN PATIENTS FOR COVID-19 EXPOSURE/SYMPTOMS

All patients are being screened with the following questions. This helps us triage our patients and take extra precautions to avoid having potentially sick individuals in the office.

  1. Have you had any of the following symptoms: fever (99 or greater), cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea, and/or sore throat?
  2. Are the symptoms you report above (besides fever) worse than usual–if this is something you usually experience?
  3. In the last 2 weeks: Have you been in contact with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19?
  4. In the last 2 weeks, have you or someone you have been in contact with been tested for COVID-19?

We have also instructed staff members to alert us to any of the above symptoms they may be experiencing and any possible exposure to COVID-19. In such instances, staff are asked to quarantine for 14 days or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test. Sick staff members are instructed to stay home.

OFFER PATIENTS THE ABILLITY TO PRE-REGISTER FOR THEIR APPOINTMENT 

Pre registering for your upcoming appointment allows you to avoid time spent in our waiting room/at the check in desk. As long as you pre-register, you will only have to tell the front desk you are here in order to see your doctor.

STRONGLY ENCOURAGE PATIENTS/STAFF TO WEAR MASKS

We will continue to recommend that all patients and people accompanying patients where a face mask/cloth covering to their in-person appointments. Staff members that are within 6 feet of our patients at any given time will also wear masks/cloth face coverings.

CLEAN/SANITIZE FREQUENTLY

Frequently touched areas, like door handles/countertops/check in and out areas will be cleaned by our staff members multiple times a day. Patient rooms and equipment will be sanitized thoroughly between each patient with a CDC approved cleaning product. We will provide hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap in all bathrooms and keep these items fully stocked. Our Practice’s OSHA Safety Officer will continuously make rounds to ensure that these protocols are being followed.

PROVIDE THE OPTION FOR VIRTUAL APPOINTMENTS

We will continue to encourage our patients to use virtual appointments via phone or video as an alternative to coming into the office, whenever possible. Certain appointment types, like EEGs or Injections, cannot be conducted virtually, but for those that can, we recommend having your appointment from the comfort of your home. We will also continue to offer video visits via Doxy.me  at least until the State of Emergency ends.

For those who do come into the office, we have rearranged the seating in our exam rooms and waiting room to avoid close contact (as much as possible). We also understand if a patient would prefer to wait outside rather than in our waiting room to be called for their appointment and will accommodate that request.

For questions, please call us at (828) 210-9300.

EEG Testing to Resume 5/5/2020

Due to COVID-19 social distancing recommendations and guidance from the CDC, we had postponed our EEG testing until the month of May.

Starting next week on 5/5/2020, we will continue our EEG testing with increased cleaning protocols. All patients and our technician will be required to wear a face mask during the test.

Our clinic hours will also expand slightly from 8am to 3pm to 8am to 3:30pm Mon-Thurs.

Please help us to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a face mask– if you have one– to appointments in our office, or opt for a virtual appointment if possible.

A Letter from Our Practice Administrator

4/2/2020

To our Valued Patients,

Here are some of the steps we’ve taken in response to the continually evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and stay at home declarations:

We have a screening protocol in place to ask screening questions prior to your scheduled appointment. If you or anyone in your immediate family answers “yes” to any of the following questions, we are asking that you do not come to our office. We will reschedule your appointment or can possibly change it to a telehealth visit:

  • Do you or anyone in your immediate family have a fever of 100.4 or greater?
  • Do you or anyone in your immediate family have a respiratory infection, cough, or shortness of breath?
  • Have you or anyone in your immediate family had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
  • Have you or anyone in your immediate family traveled to a high impact area in the last 2 weeks?

We have adjusted our office hours to Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. to limit the number of patients scheduled in the office each day with staff answering calls until 5 p.m. (Monday – Thursday). We have rearranged our waiting room seating to avoid close contact and have enacted more frequent cleaning and disinfecting standards throughout our office.

We are now offering a Telehealth visits via computer or mobile device from the comfort of your home while reducing your risk of infection and keeping our staff safe. You can contact your Neurologist’s care team to see if this is an option for your continued care by calling our office at   828-210-9300, then press option 4.

Please do not call our office afterhours for non-emergent needs, such as prescription refills and appointment changes. Please wait and call our office during regular business hours. We also encourage our patients to utilize your patient portal (FOLLOW MY HEALTH) to request refills, change appointments and medical questions for your neurologist both during regular business hours and after hours.

Some of our staff are working from home, and the staff reporting to the office are committed to your safety and ours by following the CDC guidelines. For current information, you can visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/ and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/index.html

Be safe and we “all” wish you and your families well!

Carolyn Chamberlain

Practice Administrator

 

Telemedicine at Asheville Neurology Specialists

In light of the COVID-19 situation, we have started doing virtual visits for our appointments that can be completed without coming into the office.  Doxy.me is our chosen way to communicate for video chat, and it is one of the ways that is reccomended by the Department of Health and Human Services. If you are interested in learning more about telehealth at Asheville Neurology, please call (828) 210-9300 and press 0, or send us a message via your patient portal.

Current Patients with Scheduled Appointments

If you have an appointment currently scheduled with us, you will likely be contacted to switch that appointment over to a virtual format. Theses measures will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and assist in protecting our most vulnerable patients and staff members.

 

FAQ

1) Is Doxy.me Secure?

Doxy.me complies with the security and privacy requirements of the healthcare industry. Here are the following ways they maintain security:

  • Patient health information (PHI) is not stored, as a result this data cannot be stolen from Doxy.me servers
  • Point-to-point NIST-approved AES 128 bit encryption is used for all video & audio communication
  • Full volume encryption and 256-bit AES encrypted keys used on data stored at rest
  • HIPAA and HITECH compliant servers
  • OSSEC intrusion detection, file integrity monitoring, log monitoring, root check, and process monitoring
  • Annual HIPAA risk assessments conducted
  • Auditing, logging, backup and disaster recovery policies and procedures in place

2) How does doxy.me work?

This video provides a helpful introduction to Doxy.me.

3) How will I be billed for telehealth?

Because of the COVID-19 situation, many health insurance have waived copays for telemedicine visits. The best way to know if you will have a copayment is to call the number on the back of your insurance card. You can also contact our billing department at (828) 210-9300 option 3.

4) What if I have no way to do a video call?

We will make every effort to accommodate you without bringing you into our office, including via phone call or via the patient portal . However if an office visit is deemed essential, we will work to bring you in during our clinic hours. We will also screen you for potential COVID-19 symptoms and possible exposure prior to your arrival.

Asheville Neurology’s Response to COVID-19

UPDATED 3-25-2020

If you have a fever and/or respiratory symptoms (cough/shortness of breath/sneezing) or have been in contact with a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days, DO NOT COME TO YOUR APPOINTMENT.Please call our office at (828) 210-9300 for further instructions.

Our patient population consists mainly of individuals who fall under the “at risk” category for being vulnerable to COVID-19. Therefore we are taking precautions with all people entering our building.

We are limiting people entering Asheville Neurology to only essential caregivers, patients and staff without fevers or contact with people exposed to COVID-19.

We are also working on alternative appointments via telehealth/email and phone visits.

Please work with us as we try to limit the spread of COVID-19 as a community.

We will keep you updated on our progress with telehealth visits.

3-13-2020Asheville Neurology’s Response to COVID-19:

At Asheville Neurology Specialists, we are taking the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus, which causes COVID-19

Our Safety Committee is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and will adapt our prevention steps and response to the virus as the situation progresses.

To reduce risk, we have:

•Increased the use of disinfectants to wipe down step stool handrails, doorknobs, restrooms and commonly touched surfaces.
•Installed signage onsite reminding customers of hygiene recommendations.
•Educated our staff to use discretion with our No Show Policy as it relates to reducing the potential spread of the Corona Virus.
•Asked that all patients contact us prior to their appointment with us if:

They are experiencing fever and/or have respiratory symptoms such as coughing/sneezing/shortness of breath.

AND/OR

They may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 or have been exposed.

AND/OR

They have traveled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea, or have been on a cruise in the last 14 days.

This way we can take the appropriate steps to prepare for the arrival of these patients or recommend rescheduling as appropriate.

****As recommended by the CDC, we will also screen all patients with these questions at their appointment.******

ANS Welcomes a New Physician Assistant!

International Women’s Day was this past Sunday. In light of such an inspirational holiday, we think it’s the perfect time to introduce to you our newest Physician Assistant: Allyssa Dennard!

Allyssa completed her Master of Clinical Medical Science at Barry University in Miami, Florida in 2019. She also obtained her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, with a Minor in Public Health. from the University of Florida.

Last year, she worked with Dr. Patton during a clinical rotation and got a feel for our doctors and patients. Now, almost a year later, we are absolutely thrilled to be able to introduce her as a full time provider.

We look forward to everything she will bring to Asheville Neurology Specialists!

2020 Committees at Asheville Neurology

2020 Marks the Creation of 3 Committees at Asheville Neurology Specialists!

 

Diversity and Inclusion Committee:

The Diversity Committee is committed to helping to create a more inclusive environment for our patients and staff members at Asheville Neurology. The committee will focus on staying up do date on current research regarding diversity and inclusion within healthcare. The committee meets bi-weekly for brainstorming sessions related to the improvement of our current diversity related processes or creation of new ones.

Community and Staff Engagement Committee:

This committee will be responsible for supporting staff engagement and nurturing relationships with Community Organizations such as our referral sources or places that we send our patients for their care. As part of this committee, members will help to plan events for staff members such as the Christmas party, painting w/ a twist event and other staff celebrations. They will also help coordinate fundraising efforts for organizations like the National MS Society or local organizations, such as patient assistance for Boxing programs for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Safety Committee:

This committee will focus on quality improvement as it relates to the health and safety of both our patients and staff members. We will work together on HIPAA and OSHA related initiatives and brainstorm about ways we can learn from incidents or “near misses” at ANS. This team will also work together on the creation of educational material and training for all ANS staff as well as lead auditing practices to ensure compliance.

Each committee is comprised of staff members who are passionate about the issues at hand and who have volunteered their time to work on quality improvement efforts. We look forward to bringing you updates about our goals and our progress as we meet those goals.