As the number of COVID cases again increases, we are aware that reliable testing has become difficult to obtain. At Roots Health DPC, we have chosen to resume COVID testing for the community to ensure everyone who needs a test has access. We offer PCR testing (and rapid testing for those with symptoms as well). This service continues to be available and free of charge for our members. We will now make it available to the public (non-members) with discounted pricing for testing of families. We remain committed to the health of our community.
As the Delta strain sweeps across our country many of the measures to prevent spread are being reinstated. Most would agree, whenever we make progress in life, it is usually “2 steps forward and one step back.” Dealing with a novel coronavirus is no different.
The vaccines have been highly effective. They continue to give vaccinated persons protection by keeping vaccinated individuals out of the hospitals as this more virulent Delta variant spreads. This is witnessed across the country where the hospitalizations and deaths are afflicting the unvaccinated population heavily.
As the Delta variant continues to circulate and cases climb, we now know that vaccinated individuals can transmit the Delta variant to unvaccinated. We must again choose to protect our most vulnerable by wearing masks in public spaces, avoiding large indoor gatherings, spacing 6 feet, and getting tested. This time around, Covid testing is more widely available and there are rapid tests that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
I recommend Bimax now Antigen test, but would like to make you aware of the rapid testing limitations. The test works well if you have symptoms and it is a positive result. However, if you have been exposed you will need a PCR test 4-5days after exposure. If you have symptoms and a negative rapid test result you will also require a PCR test.
Our patients at Roots Health DPC are able to obtain PCR testing when they need it and it is sent to the lab for results. More importantly, each individual receives personalized and specific recommendations for their unique situation. Can you imagine navigating covid without a board-certified physician available to answer questions?
As with anything difficult, we can always find a silver-lining… and we must if we want to continue to grow and improve. The pandemic has made the case … we all deserve better health care. The foundation for improved health outcomes lies in the rebuilding of a solid physician-patient relationship and unlimited access to your physician when you need it. How we get through it all… will always depend on… who we get through it all with.
As we pass one year since the pandemic started, it is time to take stock of our overall health and what it means to us as individuals. It’s important to note the collateral effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our individual health as well as the overall wellness of our community. Many avoided or delayed care (both urgent and routine) to lower the risk of acquiring COVID-19. We now have evidence that this shift has led to delayed diagnosis and treatment which results in poor outcomes.
While we can celebrate some success as the number of vaccinated individuals increases in the United States, we still struggle with effects of social isolation and the surge of mental health problems that accompany it.
Prior to the pandemic, it was common for patients to avoid the “hassle” of the traditional health care system. Patients disliked the “big production” around getting an appointment and waiting to be seen as well as the amount of time and energy spent to engage with the insurance-based model of care. Often patients delayed care because the cost was not transparent and surprise billing was never popular. Between copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums most people have no idea what costs to expect when they seek the care that is recommended.
The pandemic has accentuated the difficulties of getting care… we have witnessed that our health care system is beyond broken. It does not serve patients and the time for change is past due.
What if getting care was as easy as scheduling online and speaking directly to your doctor via phone text or email whenever needed? What if there was no “hassle” to get an appointment and no wait to see your doctor? The Direct Primary Care (DPC) model has made this a reality. Your physician is easily accessible with time to address all your health concerns. DPC is the future of health care and is championed by physicians around the country dedicated to doing what is best for their patients. DPC takes away the “pain” of seeing the doctor. It emphasizes the value of the patient-physician relationship and creates space for shared decision-making around health and wellness. DPC provides excellent care, transparent pricing, and unparalleled accessibility.
During the pandemic, DPC patients had unlimited access to their physician. They were engaged in healthcare prevention and maintenance conversations with their physicians. They received superior care by having direct communication with their physician. There were no “surprise” bills because DPC membership fees are transparent and extremely affordable.
As with anything difficult, we can always find a silver-lining… and we must if we want to continue to grow and improve. The pandemic has made the case for DPC. We all deserve better health care. The foundation for improved health outcomes lies in the rebuilding of a solid physician-patient relationship. How we get through it all… will always depend on… who we get through it all with.
The disease that is caused by the SARS CoV2 virus presents and transmits like many other respiratory viruses which makes it difficult to identify and contain. I would like to provide information about the period from when someone is exposed to the SARS CoV2 virus, when they are infectious, and when they are most likely to have a positive test.
The graph above illustrates the timeline of COVID-19 illness after exposure.
Incubation period is the estimated amount of time it may take for someone to develop COVID-19 after exposure. Right now, for adults it is about 2-14 days. This is why we use the 14 day guideline for close-contact quarantine period.
Studies show that PCR tests for coronavirus can detect up to 98% of cases by day 7-8 after exposure.
Infectious period is when you are contagious after exposure to the virus. Most respiratory viruses have an infectious period of about 48hrs before symptoms develop. Anyone that has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 48hrs before that person’s symptoms began should quarantine for 14 days. The end of the infectious period can vary, but is defined as being fever free for at least 24 hours AND 10 days from symptom onset.
The local health department contact tracers are not able to reach out to every person (roughly 50% of people are being contacted who have been exposed). This is why it is important for the general public to know these guidelines so we can appropriately notify our potential close contacts to help mitigate the spread.
Be well, everyone. Stay diligent… wear a mask, wash hands, social distance and try (if possible) to keep interactions with folks brief. This will reduce your risk of transmission, and also your chance of needing to quarantine.
Dr Natasha Diaz
What is different about Direct Primary Care?
For the past 6 months, most of us avoided going into enclosed spaces with sick people. For this very reason, many people do not feel safe going to an urgent care or traditional medical office. Unfortunately, our health care needs do not disappear during a pandemic. Neglecting our necessary urgent and routine health care needs can lead to poor outcomes. What is the best way to address this problem?
Virtual care and limiting the number of in-person office visits are solutions we have implemented, at Roots Health DPC, to keep our patients safe while providing necessary care. We offer unlimited text, phone, and telemedicine availability. We limit our in-person office visits, take necessary precautions to decrease transmission of the virus, and thoroughly disinfect between patients. Home visits are also available to members. The direct primary care (DPC) model places patients first and removes the mal-aligned incentives that accompany the health insurance model. DPC focuses on providing accessible and personalized health care. It provides patients with the affordable transparent pricing they want and the safe delivery of the health care they need.
Your Health is more important now than ever before.
Our communities continue to struggle to handle this pandemic and I have more questions than answers. What will be the long term effects on the bodies of patients who have had Covid-19? How will we ensure that children have appropriate social-emotional development and education? Who will bear the economic burden of a failed health care system?
If I spend too much time in the future, I become quickly overwhelmed. What I believe is true, is that we have today. Today, I am grateful for my health, nutritious meals, my home, and my family. I can take action today, to take care of myself physically and emotionally. I can ensure my body gets the sleep and exercise that it needs. I can take precautions to protect my health and well-being and I can reach out to others in service.
I created Roots Health DPC to be part of the solution for a broken health care system. I believe people deserve health care that is affordable with transparent pricing. I know that sick patients have improved outcomes when they have a physician who advocates on their behalf. It is my belief that patients and physicians should be the only ones involved in medical decision-making and that third party intrusions actually make outcomes worse and increase costs. This becomes evident when we look at US health care spending and mortality rates.
I encourage you to take action today to take care of yourself and your family. As a member of Roots Health DPC, you can be reassured that you have unlimited access to your physician at all times in the event that you or a loved one becomes ill. When we are sick, we are not able to advocate well for ourselves. As a patient or caregiver you might question whether you or your loved one needs an evaluation urgently. As a board-certified physician with experience in Emergency Medicine, I can evaluate and assess your health care needs quickly and accurately to help you navigate difficult health concerns. Roots Health DPC members have virtually unlimited access to their physician and they find a strong health care advocate by their side when they are in need.
I encourage you to consider enrollment in Roots Health DPC and join the health care solution to build healthy families and communities. Set up a time to meet me, Dr Diaz, and learn more.