Dermatology, Surgical and Cosmetic Services
April 27, 2020
The Woodlands Dermatology Associates welcomes you to your upcoming visit in the office! We would like to update you with the measures we have taken to ensure a safe experience in the office and let you know what to expect.
1. Our staff are screened daily before entering the workplace for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. They are wearing masks and practicing standard hand washing techniques. Our chairs in the waiting room are spaced to allow for social distancing.
2. Our exam tables, door handles, chairs, drawer pulls and countertops are wiped down with germicidal wipes between each patient. For this reason, our appointments have been lengthened in time and reduced in number to allow for these increased safety measures and to adhere to social distancing recommendations.
3. Prior to entering the waiting room, our staff will screen you with a series of questions designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the office. Your temperature will be taken with a touchless thermometer. If you would feel more comfortable waiting in your car after being screened, we can send you a text through our Klara assistant when your room is ready.
4. We ask that you wear a mask to your appointment and we ask that only the patient comes to the appointment unless the patient is a minor or needs assistance due to cognitive (mental) impairment or to prevent falls. No additional guests will be allowed. If on the day of your appointment you have a cough, feel short of breath, have a fever, or otherwise feel unwell, please do not come to the office. We will be happy to reschedule you.
5. If you were scheduled to be seen in our office in the past weeks but your appointment was cancelled due to the Texas Medical Board mandates, we are available to see you on a limited basis at our reduced volume. Specifically we would like to see you if you have a painful, bleeding, growing lesion or have a skin cancer history AND a specific lesion of concern to you. If you have a skin cancer history but have performed a self skin exam and have not seen a changing lesion, we feel that you can continue to postpone your full skin exam until some more time has passed and the COVID-19 incidence has reduced dramatically. Please call our office at 281-363-5050 or message us through KLARA found on our website or text us at 281-533-6824. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time in our effort to make our environment safe for you, your loved ones, and our staff.
Dr. Ledbetter, Hyman, Hazlett, Reid, Peterson, Barros, and Stewart
April 15, 2020
Due to state mandates during the COVID-19 crisis, your appointment scheduled in April has been cancelled. We encourage you to reschedule now using our Klara assistant on our website at www.woodlandsdermatology.com or you may download the KLARA app on your phone. All you need is a mobile phone number.
If you prefer, you may call us at 281-363-5050 and leave a message and we will call you back as soon as we can. We apologize as our wait times on hold have been longer than usual at this time.
March 30, 2020
In-Office Appointments Cancelled through 4/21/2020.
The Texas Governor and the Texas Medical Board have issued rules that restrict procedures and visits with a dermatologist unless the condition is deemed emergent. The TMB rule currently expires at midnight on 4/21/2020, but could very easily be extended.
Because of this rule, our practice must cancel your in-office appointment. If you have a concern that is significant enough to warrant a visit to the Emergency Room, then your physician will make arrangements to meet you in the office.
We do not want those with dermatologic emergencies to visit the ER due to the high risk of being exposed to COVID-19.
For most concerns, we are able to visit with you virtually via a Telemedicine platform. You are encouraged to contact the office to set up a time with your physician to conduct your visit from the safety and convenience of your home.
For obvious reasons, we must postpone full body skin examinations until we can meet again in a face-to-face setting.
On 3/29/2020, President Trump issued an extension of his social distancing requirements through April 30, 2020 and there is a chance that it could be extended even beyond that. With this information, it is a real concern that the TMB will extend the duration of their rule through the end of April.
In these rapidly evolving times, we are trying to do what is best to keep this virus from taking over our community as it has done in other parts of our country. We implore you to do your part and STAY AT HOME.
We look forward to the day when we can bring you back into the office and see you in person!
The Woodlands Dermatology Associates
March 23, 2020
Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, The Woodlands Dermatology Associates will be functioning 100% via telemedicine in order to be in compliance with the CDC, CMS and Texas Medical Board mandates to postpone outpatient, non-urgent, face-to-face encounters. The reasons are two-fold: to protect our patients, staff and ourselves from being exposed to Coronavirus in the office setting to someone who is infected but asymptomatic AND to preserve PPE for those on the front lines who are confronting the disease up close. We are doing our part to flatten the curve.
You will be contacted by phone by a staff member about converting currently scheduled appointments to telemedicine if you feel that there is a concern or lesion that cannot be postponed.
Appointments scheduled to check concerning spots will first be evaluated via telemedicine. If the physician has a concern for melanoma or rapidly growing squamous cell carcinoma, then we will have a physician see you in the office.
Our office will not be routinely staffed and any in-office appointments will be coordinated directly with our physicians.
Acne, eczema, psoriasis, warts can all be handled via telemedicine or they can be rescheduled to a later date.
Light box treatments and Blu-U treatments will be delayed until CDC and Texas Medical Board guidelines permit these types of appointments.
Full body skin examinations will be delayed until CDC and Texas Medical Board guidelines permit these types of appointments.
All cosmetic appointments will be delayed until CDC and Texas Medical Board guidelines permit these types of appointments.
We will be charging an $80 rate for all non-Medicare telemedicine visits with the physician.
Insurance should be covering this type of virtual visit during this National Health Emergency, but our experience thus far when calling carriers is that they are also in a state of uncertainty regarding this, so our time spent calling for verification on each patient has not been productive to date.
If we receive payment from insurance, we will promptly send you a refund.
We are asking for payment up front so that we can continue economically to function during this time. Medicare has pledged to reimburse telemedicine visits promptly so up front payment from Medicare patients is waived.
Please visit our website for updates as we progress through these unprecedented times. We know that this is frustrating, but we are taking this drastic step to modify care so that we can be a part of the solution, rather than contributing to the problem.
If you would like to schedule you a Telehealth appointment please reply back to this email and we can get you scheduled.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during these next few weeks to months!
The Woodlands Dermatology Associates
March 18, 2020
The Woodlands Dermatology Associates wants to be a part of the solution in overcoming the Coronavirus pandemic and help to ‘flatten the curve’ by promoting social distancing.
We have modified our clinic hours and will be seeing clinic patients from 8:00am-12:00pm M-F and telemedicine patients from 1:00-4:00pm for the next few weeks in an attempt to reduce our face-to-face encounters.
If you have an appointment scheduled between now and April 3, 2020, we are asking you to consider postponing your in-office visit to allow us to accommodate those who need to be seen in person more urgently during this period.
If you are over the age of 65, you are in a risk group that is considered by the CDC to have a higher mortality rate if you contract Coronavirus, so we are asking you to consider postponing your visit (especially if it is a screening visit with no urgent concerns) until the threat is predicted to be diminished.
If you have a medical condition that predisposes you to infections or if you take a medication that suppresses your immune system, you may want to consider postponing your appointment (especially if it is for a non-urgent concern).
Certainly, if you are in a high risk group and you feel that you cannot wait to have a concerning lesion checked, then we want to have you come in to be evaluated, but we may ask you to wait in your car until your appointment time so that you can be immediately brought back to the exam room.
We are asking that you come to your appointments alone to reduce the number of people in the clinic at one time. If the patient is a minor, then the parent should accompany the child.
If we have more than 10 people in our waiting room at one time, we will ask you to wait in your car until it is time for your visit. This is to try to stay within the National Government mandate issued on 3/16/2020.
If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or travel in the last two weeks, or if you feel that you may have been exposed to someone with the virus within the last 2 weeks, please do not come into the office
We are now offering telemedicine consultations. It is not the perfect platform for all dermatologic evaluations, but in some cases (acne, psoriasis, eczema and med refills) we feel confident that it will help to continue care without bringing individuals into the office.
Thank you for your patience as we do our best to safely care for our patients and our staff during these challenging weeks ahead.
March 16, 2020
Dear Valued Patients,
In light of the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, we are taking extra precautions to ensure that we are doing our part to participate in social distancing. We are committed to keeping our patients and staff safe and healthy during these next few weeks. We are functioning on a modified business schedule until further notice. Effective 3/16/2020 our office hours are Monday–Friday from 8:00a.m. to 12:00p.m.
If you have an appointment scheduled in the afternoon, we will need to reschedule you. Please utilize our Klara messaging system on our website, www.woodlandsdermatology.com to access this valuable communication tool. Due to anticipated high call volume, the Klara messaging system will make the process far less frustrating.
We are closely following the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for updates on how to best protect ourselves and our patients from exposure. We will adjust protocols as needed to stay in compliance.
*Please reschedule your appointment if you or a household contact have fever, cough, flu-like symptoms or a known exposure to an individual positive for Coronavirus or have had travel to a high incidence area in the last 3 weeks.
*As difficult as it is for us, all staff will refrain from handshakes and/or hugs as a precautionary measure.
*We ask that you sanitize your hands upon arrival to your appointment.
*All staff will be wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) including masks, gloves and eye protection.
*Chairs in the lobby are spaced out to maintain the recommended social distancing.
*In order to minimize the number of people in the office at once, please refrain from bringing guests to your appointment.
*We will not be passing papers and pens between staff and patients. All consent will be given verbally in the short term.
*If you prefer to wait in your car for your appointment, we will be happy to call you when the doctor is ready to see you.
*We will be regularly cleaning and disinfecting the office throughout the day; this includes all surface areas, countertops, door knobs, and exam tables.
*We will be addressing certain types of visits with telemedicine. Please discuss this option with the individual who is handling the rescheduling of your appointment to determine if a telemedicine visit is appropriate for your concern.
Many of our patients have compromised immune systems or take medications that suppress their immune system. It is for their safety that we are asking patients who may be sick to stay home and not risk exposing those who may be more susceptible to infectious diseases.
Additionally, we are carefully monitoring our cleaning and protective supplies and equipment. If we begin to run out of these items, we may be forced to close our doors completely until the backorders are resolved.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding during these challenging times and look forward to seeing you in the future.
The Woodlands Dermatology Associates