Choices has expanded our Televisits
Essential Choices Need Essential Service: CHOICES is Open for YOU!
March 31, 2020

CHOICES IS OPEN – CHOICES IS SAFE

As an essential healthcare provider, Choices remains open during the pandemic.

These times are stressful for everyone. We know patients are very concerned about keeping themselves and their families safe and healthy, and rightly so. You need access to the best medical care possible while protecting yourself and your family from COVID-19. Choices offers the care you need in the safest possible setting.

As an essential healthcare provider, Choices remains open during the pandemic. There are no age restrictions for any of our services, and your care is completely private, between you and your healthcare provider.  We take all insurances, can sign you up for Medicaid for same-day appointments, and can help you find other financial assistance. Immigrants are welcome and no citizenship papers are necessary.

We recently received this feedback from a Choices patient and want to share it with you.

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feedback from a Choices patient

Following are answers to questions that we have been asked lately.

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Esther Priegue, Choices Director of Counseling, participating in 2016 Telemedicine trial study. Photograph: Molly Redden for the Guardian

Esther Priegue, Choices Director of Counseling, participating in 2016 Telemedicine trial study. Photograph: Molly Redden for the Guardian

Does Choices do appointments by Telemedicine? Can I stay at home and talk to a doctor online?

Yes.  Choices has expanded our Telemedicine services during the pandemic to enable patients to stay in the safety and convenience of their own homes and access the same high-quality care they receive during “in-clinic” visits. Choices has been a leader in developing online services for women’s health since 2016, participating in FDA approved pilot studies and clinical trials.
Telemedicine and Televisits are especially important during this pandemic when staying at home is critical to saving lives. From counseling with licensed social workers to a range of essential GYN visits including follow-ups, lab results, prenatal care and birth control, to general options counseling, we ensure that our patients can privately and safely access our health professionals. Please call 718-786-5000 to schedule your Televisit today.

What safety precautions does Choices take?

Choices has developed new safety guidelines for our health center during the COVID-19 pandemic.

· Everyone must wear a mask in our health center. We provide masks and hand sanitizer for everyone, patients and staff.· Patients are screened for health issues before entering Choices. When you call for an appointment, we will ask you questions about your health. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 we cannot make an in-person appointment for you, and you should stay home. We can also advise you about a Televisit appointment, if appropriate.

· Abortion patients will have an options counseling session by Telemedicine in advance of  their in-person appointment. This will reduce the time patients have to spend at the clinic when they come for the procedure. Counselors will also be available onsite if you have additional questions or concerns when you come in.

· When you arrive at Choices, you will have your temperature checked before you enter. All staff as well as patients have their temperatures taken each day before entering. No one with a fever is allowed inside.

· Social distancing guidelines are followed from the time you enter Choices to the time you leave. To avoid crowding, only patients are allowed in our check-in and waiting areas.  If someone plans to pick you up after your appointment, please arrange to call them when you are ready to go home and have them meet you outside.

· Medical staff are provided with full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect your and their health.

Can I get an abortion at Choices during the COVID-19 crisis?

Yes. Medical abortions (the “abortion pill”) are available up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Surgical (in-clinic) abortionsare available up to 24 weeks. If you decide to have an abortion or want to talk to a counselor about it by Telemedicine, we urge you to make an appointment as soon as possible.  Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures there is, but later procedures are costlier and can carry more risk. Post-abortion follow-up visits are important and are included as part of this care.

See a counselor during the COVID-19 crisis at ChoicesCan I see a counselor during the COVID-19 crisis?

Yes.  Choices offers full options counseling for all our patients. This means you will talk to a licensed social worker who will address any concerns or questions you may have about your care.  In your pre-abortion Telemedicine counseling session, your counselor will make sure you understand the procedure, feel certain about your decision and answer any questions you may have.  She will review your medical history, pre- and post-operative instructions and discuss birth control options. Counselors can also assist with substance abuse problems or intimate partner violence and can refer you to specialized agencies.

See a gynecologist during the COVID-19 crisis at ChoicesCan I see a gynecologist during the COVID-19 crisis?

Yes.  We are seeing gynecological patients for serious, symptomatic vaginal problems. Please call to set up an appointment. We are postponing routine Well Woman Care in-person visits and will be glad to put your name on a wait-list and call you when we can see you.

Prenatal care during this time at ChoicesCan I get prenatal care during this time?

Yes.  Prenatal care is essential to having a healthy pregnancy and delivery – the earlier in your pregnancy the better. Prenatal care can help in managing chronic conditions and can catch warning signs of problems before they become serious and endanger your and your baby’s health. We are urging our patients to make and keep appointments, practicing social distancing in getting here. If you are having trouble finding appropriate transportation, please call and we will arrange a safe way for you to get to Choices.

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