Update March 21, 2020
Dr. Friedman is very concerned about the health of his patients regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and has received several enquiries from his patients. In most states, people are encouraged to stay at home, however, patients are still allowed to go to doctor’s appointments and should take care of their health.
According to the most recent information from the CDC, for most people who are healthy and younger than 65, the immediate risk of being exposed to COVID-19 is thought to be low. However, patients with endocrine problems such as Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s Disease, hypopituitarism and diabetes have slightly impaired immune systems, making them potentially more susceptible for infection by COVID-19. He advices his patients the following:
• Stay calm, the risk of both getting and dying from COVID-19 is still lower than that of infuenza
• Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds and/or use hand sanitizer several times a day
• Limit shaking hands, hugging and other contact to acquaintances
• Avoid air travel, public gatherings and other public places as guided by local offcials
• Labcorp and Quest both introduced testing for COVID-19 using nasal swabs. For those with symptoms of Coronavirus, he recommends seeing your primary care doctor for testing. Dr. Friedman is unable to provide requisitions or swabs for this testing that should be done by their primary doctor
• LabCorp and Quest are both still open and Quest has a new Peace of Mind program for lab services not related to COVID-19 and for patients who are 60 years of age or older, or have other conditions that put them at greater risk for COVID-19, in which patients can come to their nearby Quest location during the frst hour of each day for VIP care.
• LabCorp has a similar program, where people can wait in the car until it’s their turn for blood draws
• Dr. Friedman encourages people to get their hormone testing done and make their followup appointments.
• Many patients have requested extra supply of their medications. However, most insurances do not allow this and carefully monitor medication use. Dr. Friedman recommends patients to use a mail-order pharmacy and sign up for auto-refills so that they get a consistent supply of their medications.
• Except for patients sick with COVID-19, patients should not up-dose hydrocortisone
• Some, but not all pharmacies are reporting shortages of hydrocortisone. Patients should shop around and use their mail-order pharmacy
• Patients have expressed concern that raw materials coming from China for the use of manufacturing of drugs may be limited. This has turned out not to be true and the rate of infection of COVID-19 in China is reducing.
• During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Friedman is now approved for telemedicine appointments for both in-state and out-of-state patients and is encouraging patients to see him remotely via FaceTime. Telemedic appointments should be booked using the regular Tuesday night slots -either for new patients (45 minutes) or followup appointment (30 minutes) with the same deposit.
• Dr. Friedman is concern about the financial devastation caused by the pandemic with mandatory closing of businesses will have on his patients. For those who will schedule an appointment that will occur during March, April or May and who lost their job or had their income reduced by 50%, he will be sending them an Amazon gift card($75 for growth hormone stimulation tests, $50 for new patients and $25 on for followup appointments). This can not be requested retroactively (once already booked). Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org when you make your appointment if you qualify.
• Dr. Friedman will see patients in person, still although for the safety of the patient, him and his staff, he is discouraging this.
• Dr. Friedman especially encourages patients to eat healthy and exercise (especially being outside) including walking, hiking, biking, and aerobic videos, yoga or pilates at home, during this stressful period.
• Dr. Friedman wishes everyone to stay healthy.
• Dr. Friedman’s staff will still be doing in person growth hormone stimulation tests on Tuesday night in an isolated and sanitized clinic setting.