Office News & Updates
Covid-19 Update 12/21/20
To Our Families,
The following information updates our previous efforts to provide care for our families during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We are currently giving vaccines to all age groups. Shots can be given as a separate nurse visit or at the end of a physical exam (see below). If you’ve been in contact with someone who is being tested for Covid-19 or if you have been to a region where the Covid-19 numbers are high, we may ask you to postpone the visit.
We are currently only doing in-person physicals on patients from birth to 24 months.
We have begun to see children in the office for problems that are not Covid-related. If your child has symptoms that might be due to Covid-19, we will refer you to a medical facility such as Children’s Hospital or an urgent care clinic.
We are now able to draw blood in the office. This includes finger sticks for simple tests such as blood counts and lead testing. We are also able to obtain venous blood for tests that need to be sent to outside labs such as LabCorp or Quest.
How Telemedicine Visits Work
If you need to speak with your child’s doctor, please call the office as you currently do. A receptionist will put you on the doctor’s schedule as a televisit. Your child’s physician will contact you by phone or via a web-based system such as doxy.me or FaceTime. One of our doctors will continue to be on-call whenever the office is closed.
Insurance Coverage/Fees for Telemedicine Visits
- Insurance companies are covering telemedicine visits. Copays, if required, are still applicable.
- We are billing families for telehealth visits the same way they have been billed for office visits.
- There is a $25 fee to cover the cost of processing school forms.
- Phone advice that’s given at night and on weekends will be billed as telehealth visits.
Drs. Ahlstrom, Bennett and Hall
What Science Says About Children, COVID-19 and School Reopenings
Vaccine Policy During the Coronavirus Pandemic
In order to give vaccines in the safest way possible for our families and staff, we have set up the following protocol:
- Children should come to the office with only one parent or caregiver.
- The child and caregiver must be well and have had no contact with anyone who has COVID-19 or is being tested for the virus.
- Parents, please call when you arrive in the parking lot. But you should stay in your car until we call you back. If you have a facemask, please wear it during the visit. If you don’t have a mask, we will give you one when you enter the office.
- In most cases, one child and one parent per family will be scheduled for a vaccine on a given day. If two children need to be vaccinated, each child will be given an appointment, but there must be one caregiver present for each child. While one child is getting a shot, the other one will be in the car with the second parent or guardian. The second child will come to the office after the first one
- For babies, shots may be given more efficiently if the child is kept in his or her car seat. This means the child should be dressed in a onesie so the nurse doesn’t need to undress the baby for the shot.
- For toddlers and preschoolers, parents need to be prepared to hold their child so the shots can be given safely.
- Once the vaccine is administered, you will promptly leave the office to minimize exposures to other families. Any concerns or questions may be addressed by follow-up call.
- If parents show up sick or with a sick child, you will be asked to leave and reschedule the visit.
- Nurses will wear facemasks and gloves when administering vaccines.
- Rooms will be thoroughly cleaned after each visit.
- You will be billed for the visit rather than having to provide any copays during the visit.
Meningitis Type B Vaccine Available
AAP Urges Vaccinations
We at Chevy Chase Pediatrics strongly recommend to vaccinate against childhood illnesses. Please read the article below to address the importance of the measles vaccine in light of the current measles outbreak. If you have any questions, please schedule an appointment with your provider to discuss your child’s vaccinations. American Academy of Pediatrics President Urges Parents to Vaccinate Their Children Against Measles
Dr. Bennett’s Site
Patients are welcomed to check out the latest on Dr. Bennett’s personal website, HowardJBennett.com, which has frequent posts including fun stuff for kids as well as a blog and medical information for parents.
Only Two Shots Needed for HPV Vaccine
Adult Booster Shots
Adolescents have received tetanus/diphtheria booster shots (Td) for decades. In 2005, we started giving pertussis (whooping cough) boosters to our teenage patients. This decision was based on research that showed childhood immunity to pertussis waned during adolescence. The vaccine is called Tdap and is usually given at the 11-year-old physical. It protects against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Adults are at risk to get pertussis as well and are more likely to spread the infection to infants. In 2005, the CDC recommended the routine use of a single dose of Tdap for adults 19-64 years of age to replace the next booster shot for tetanus and diphtheria (Td). The CDC recommended getting a Tdap sooner for adults that have close contact with infants less than 12 months of age. In 2010, there was an outbreak of pertussis in California that claimed the lives of several infants. This has led to a renewed interest in vaccinating adults against this serious and highly contagious disease. The best place for parents to get a Tdap is from their own doctors. However, if this cannot be arranged, we will give you the vaccination in our office. You can schedule a nurse’s visit to get the shot or we can give it to you if you are in the office with one of your children.