Making a Personal Connection
For Change

FPS COVID-19 Management Protocol: Updated December 28, 2020

A number of our staff were given their first dose of vaccine on Saturday, December 26th. Hats off to the various partners in the Douglas County distribution system. Staff who are in the first round vaccine pool include Tamara Henley, Susan Chase, Jordan Mayfield, Sarah Doyle, and Jessica Allison. After the second dose, three to four weeks later, and a two week waiting period, they should have antibodies to the COVID virus and be unable to become infected or infect others. This will allow us to increase the number of in-office cases we see by the middle of February. Dr. Wes joined the rapidly growing COVID community the week of Thanksgiving via contact that was not through our office. His symptoms were mild but persistent. On December 7th he was cleared by the Douglas County Health Department to exit quarantine and advised that he had ninety days of immunity from that date during which time he can neither give nor get the virus. He is seeing clients in the office and continuing to practice social distancing as an added layer of safety. Given the current COVID infection rate, and until they deemed immune, the rest of the staff are operating mostly online. Be in touch with our office and your therapist to stay up to date on this as the situation changes daily.

Given that we are far from over this pandemic and people are still able to infect one another, FPS will keep the waiting room closed through spring 2021 and perhaps into the summer. Please review the following guidelines if you are hoping to be seen "in real life."

If You Want to Be Seen in Our Office, You Must:

Not Be Ill
Be free of illness or fever and have no one in your family or friend circle with COVID.
Not Attend High Risk Environments
We won't see you in the office if you live in a dorm or other communial housing or have attended bars or parties.
Wear A Mask to Your Appointment
You must wear a mask the entire time you are in our office. Please bring one that is easy to talk through. Some aren't.
Wait in Your Car
Our lobbies are closed. If you drop someone off for therapy, do not leave until the therapist comes out and waves them in.
Wash Your Hands Upon Arrival
Everyone who enters our office must their wash hands before beginning a session. Your therapist will do likewise.
Maintain Social Distancing
Remain at least six feet away from anyone you encounter including your therapist.
Exit Through The Back Door
In Suites C and D, please exit at the back door so you don't cross the lobby a second time.
Maintain A Supportive Perspective
Vaccine or not, any clients unwilling to maintain infection management can't be seen in our office.

Is My Insurance Covering Telehealth?

BCBS of Kansas
is coveriing telehealth at the same rate as in-office therapy until March 31. More Info
BCBS of KC
is covering all telehealth costs at this moment. More Info
Cigna
provides updates  on its COVID telehealth policy on it's website   More Info
UMR
provides updates on its  COVID telehealth policy More Info
United/Optum
is covering COVID telehealth through Sept 30th More Info
Aetna
Aetna is covering telehealth costs at their usual rate. More Info

FPS COVID-19 FAQ

Will FPS Remain Open?

Yes. In fact, we never closed during the lock down and we won't close now. At this moment, most of our staff are telehealth-only but that is evolving with the distribution of the vaccine. Regardless of how you get services, please don't sacrifice your mental health or your family's during the COVID pandemic. Articles are coming out every day warning of the toll social distancing takes on mental health, and we're seeing it on our caseloads.

Is Telehealth A Good Option?

We've been reasonably pleased with telehealth during COVID and many clients have adapted to it with aplomb. For now, most insurance companies are covering the costs just as they would live sessions. BCBS of KC is apparently covering those costs until July 24th. It's best to check your plan first. We've had some very unpleasant surprises. For example, Stormont Vail has an unusual BCBS plan that is based out of South Carolina and they have refused to reimburse telehealth at all. You will not notice this on your card, so we advise you to call and be sure you really have what you think you have. We have filed a complaint with BCBS of Kansas about this.

What About Kids and Telehealth? We've worked hard to innovate treatment, especially for younger kids during this difficult time. Once our child staff have antibodies -- probably in mid-February -- we should be able to resume in office therapy, which is clearly the preferred option for children and teens. We also refitted our playroom to allow safer interaction between child and therapist.

What's Happening with Medication Management?

It is proceeding without interruption. However, Kelsey is working from home during COVID. She can meet with you on Zoom.us or Face Time and fill your prescriptions remotely, preferably at our community partner pharmacy, Sigler. Bailie is now working as Kelsey's medication assistant. Her email is FPSMedassist [at] FPSSecure [dot] com. Please visit our Medication_Management web page to remind yourself of the requirements for med management and to read Kelsey's Twitter feed to keep updated moment to moment. Remember, you need to be seen regularly by a therapist at FPS to continue medication with us. If you've made an arrangement with Kelsey and your therapist (both) to be medication-only, that's fine but please do not presume that is the case just because we are in the COVID era. Also be aware, that Kelsey is not doing "walk in" clinic right now because you can't really do that on zoom and, even when we get back to using our offices, we won't be able to accommodate walk-ins as we used to.

Are You Accepting New Clients?

Yes, as best we can. We've been hit hard during COVID, getting at times, eight to twelve intake requests per day. Our senior staff are fairly full at the moment. We are currently hiring new staff to try and meet this demand even that is a slow process during COVID. The second caveat is that, given the situation with COVID, we can't really take new clients who refuse to do some of their sessions on telehealth. Flexibility is a great plus in accessing services right now.

How Are You Handling Late Cancels and No Shows?

We are trying to be flexible with our clients during COVID-19. If you late cancel for any reason related to health or your personal concerns about health and you cannot attend, we'll waive the late charge. If you fail to appear without notice, we may charge the late fee as per your informed consent. However, if you can provide a good reason for the no-show, we'll work with you. Please remember, however, that other people want to get in. Even a late cancel may offer someone a chance to take your place. Any help you can offer on this is greatly appreciated.