On Reopening During The Pandemic

After being closed for almost three months, I decided to reopen on a limited schedule. We are still in a pandemic and the problem is especially serious here in South Florida. It is my number one goal to provide acupuncture as safely as possible, which means many of the pre-coronavirus clinic policies needed to be changed.

 

With that in mind, I wanted to go over some details regarding our new policies.

 

Private (one-on-one) treatments only

Sliding scale is $60-80

All treatments by appointment only, no walk-ins

In order to limit the possibility of virus transmission, I need to limit the number of people in the clinic at any one time. As the mission of the clinic has always been to provide affordable acupuncture, I struggled with this, because limiting the number of people means raising prices to keep the lights on. $60 is at the low end of the going rate for private acupuncture treatments, and is the minimum I am able to charge to pay the clinic bills.

I have a standard recliner, a deluxe zero-gravity chair and a massage table available for treatment.

I hope to be able to resume community acupuncture treatments in the future, but we are not there yet.

Limiting the number of people in the clinic means I cannot allow walk-ins. All treatments are by appointment only. I realize that many patients appreciated the ability to walk into the clinic and be treated right away, but this is no longer possible.

 

Time limit for an appointment is 1 hour

I am currently scheduling one appointment every 90 minutes. This gives me half an hour between treatments to clean frequently-touched clinic surfaces and filter the clinic air with a HEPA purifier. At the beginning of each appointment I will do a quick temperature and pulse oximeter reading. This should give most patients 45-50 minutes to relax with the acupuncture, which in my observation produces the best results. With this in mind, please try to be on time for your appointment. If your appointment time is 10:00 AM, I will need to have you up by 11:00 AM to check you out and get the clinic ready for the next appointment.

 

Masks are required for everyone entering the clinic and must be worn at all times

Nobody likes wearing a mask. But the science says they work to limit disease transmission, if everybody in close contact wears them. I have all the chairs in the clinic at least 8 feet apart, but I can’t do acupuncture from 8 feet away. Almost all of the patients who see me have risk factors for COVID-19 complications. I have risk factors – some of them serious – and I don’t want myself, my family, or anyone who comes into my clinic to get sick. There will be no exceptions made for this policy.

 

Our waiting room is closed; no one except the patient(s) with a scheduled appointment will be allowed into the clinic

To keep people from walking in, I will need to keep the front door locked during acupuncture sessions. If you are early to your appointment, please wait until five minutes before your scheduled time to knock on the door. If someone is dropping you off for your appointment, they will need to wait in the parking lot, run errands, etc., while the treatment is going on.

 

Our insurance carrier requires a signed waiver before treatment. Contact us if you would like a copy in advance.

On your first visit after reopening, I will need you to sign a form before you can enter the treatment space. It is designed to cover any future treatments, so it will only need to be signed once.

 

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or recent exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 should call or text the clinic to cancel their appointment; no cancellation fee will be charged

Patients who are high-risk are encouraged to work with us remotely through our telehealth portal; we can guide you in recommendations for self-care

If you start to develop flu-like symptoms, a fever, unusual headaches, chest pain, shortness of breath, etc., please notify the clinic and I will cancel your appointment with no charge. It is better at this time to stay home than to come in for acupuncture, and I would encourage you to get tested for the virus.

We offer telehealth services if you would like support with self-care or Chinese herb formulas. Right now, telehealth is the safest way to work with me. Telehealth sessions offer many options that I was previously unable to provide during the normal clinic schedule.