To minimize risk to our members and our staff—and maintain our ability to address traditional medical needs 24/7—we are not seeing patients with direct Covid-19 exposure or symptoms in our centers. If you are not presenting symptoms you will be able to come into one of our centers for a PCR or antibody test pending a screening call from one of our providers.
If one of our members has symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or thinks they’ve been exposed to the virus, we’ll provide immediate telemedical support. If they do need to be tested, we’ll send a provider in protective gear to their house to evaluate them and likely take a swab sample that tests for Covid-19 as well as other respiratory conditions like the flu. Test results are presently available for Covid-19 within several days. These house calls are available in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and available weekly in the Hamptons. Test results are presently available for Covid-19 within 24 hours. House calls are available in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Hamptons and Los Angeles.
The goal is to remain calm—and isolated. Roughly 85% of patients will either be asymptomatic or have mild traditional flu-like symptoms for about a week. Treatment will be the same as the flu: they’ll hydrate, take Tylenol for fever control, and stay home (but with even more self-isolation than the flu)—while also washing their hands and covering their coughs to minimize spread. As always, members will be able to speak with our expert physicians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or order a house call if they need IV fluids. We are also here to advise whether they need more advanced care or hospitalization if their symptoms worsen.
The remaining 15% of patients who progress to the next phase of illness will experience pneumonia-like symptoms, including shortness of breath and chest pain. For these patients, we have partnered with home imaging companies who will go to their house and provide chest X-rays to help differentiate between pneumonia (which responds well to antibiotics) and Covid-19. We also have partnered with great home nurses who can help with their care, as well as DME (durable medical equipment) providers who can bring oxygen to support lung function while they recover.
For the 2 or 3% who progress to ARDS (Acute Respiratory Disease Syndrome) and need ICU-level care, we will advocate for them by leveraging our relationships with local hospitals and Emergency Departments to try and get them priority access—and also help with transport via our private ambulance partners.
There is no way to forecast exactly how overburdened the health care system (labs, hospitals, equipment suppliers, imaging companies) will become during this pandemic, so we cannot confirm that the treatment plan above will be available in the future. We can guarantee that our dedicated medical team is working tirelessly to help our members get the best care and access. And we continue to closely monitor our total volume of patients to ensure a superior medical experience for all of our members.