Alamo Area Resource Center COVID-19 Agency Protocol

Health Equity Clinic

RATIONALE

In an abundance of caution during the COVID-19 pandemic we will be minimizing congregation of clients at AARC by implementing telemedicine consultations whenever possible for a short period of time as deemed necessary to decrease their risk of potential exposure to the virus.

OVERVIEW

  • Rapid start patients: patients with NEW diagnosis of HIV will be physically seen in clinic if there is availability of providers. The client will be explained that the rapid start visit is to prioritize initiation of treatment of HIV but chronic medical issues and full new patient visit will be addressed in an upcoming appointment.
  • Local Transfer of care: requests will not be accepted temporarily.
  • Transfer of care from out of town: will be addressed via telemedicinePLEASE MAKE SURE CASE MANAGEMENT HAS REQUESTED RECORDS FROM PRIOR CLINIC.
  • Return to care: will be addressed via telemedicine.
  • New HRT: will be addressed via telemedicine.
  • New PreP: will be addressed via telemedicine.
  • New PCP: will be addressed via telemedicine.
  • Regular follow up: will be addressed via telemedicine.
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV: will be addressed via telemedicine if there is availability in the clinic. Please discuss with provider prior to scheduling. Full physical visit to be rescheduled for 3-4 weeks if available.
  • STD screening: will be addressed via telemedicine.
  • Acute care clinic: all other visits will need to be approved by the medical provider prior to scheduling.
  • Patients ineligible for telemedicine visit: Patients without a phone or unable to communicate via phone due to impaired hearing, unsafe environment (patient unable to find a private location to discuss health problems). These patients will be physically seen in the clinic. The patient will fill out screening form and the patient will be given a mask to wear during the visit. Please notify medical provider prior to their visit.
  • Patient’s with COVID symptoms: If patient refers cough, shortness of breath, Fever
    • LVN will perform initial phone assessment, will determine if alarm signs: Chest pain, Shortness of breath, Confusion/altered mental status, inability to eat or drink à Refer to emergency department.
    • If no acute alarm signs à Notify medical provider for them to contact patient, review symptoms and risk.
    • If provider determines that patient needs further assessment:
      • If patient has insurance: refer patient to an acute care clinic.
      • If patient is not insured: If provider determines the patient meets criteria for COVID-19 testing please contact Metro health department at (210)207-8876.
  • LABDRAWS in AARC will be temporarily postponed to prevent congregation of patients in clinic. Patients will be sent to a draw station. Exception: patients who may not be able to follow directions like patients with cognitive impairment or dementia.
  • All patients who will receive services will need to fill out the screening form and wear a mask during their visit, regardless of the service (Blood-draw, injection, physical visit)

Intake:

  • New and current clients will be seen briefly in-person (situation dependent), telehealth, or by phone. Documents can be emailed or dropped off to the Agency.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse (MH&SA):

  • New clients will be seen on a case by case basis.
  • Current clients will be seen in-person, telehealth, or by phone.
  • Clients in crisis will be referred to the Jimenez Restoration.

Psychiatry:

  • Current patients and new patients will receive psychiatry via telehealth or by phone. Medication management will be adhered to by the psychiatric nurse.

Home Delivered Meals/Meal Gift Cards:

  • Boost will be delivered to the clients’ homes.
  • Gift cards will be delivered to clients who are at-risk for food.

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT):

  • Medical nutrition assessment and follow-ups will be conducted via phone. Clients will also receive medical nutrition therapy via phone.

Health Insurance Continuation Program

  • New clients and current clients can receive health insurance services via phone. Documents can be emailed or dropped off to the Agency.

Case Management (Medical & Non-Medical)/EIS

  • There will be no street outreach for EIS.
  • Newly diagnosed and return-to-care clients will meet with an EIS (face to face) in the clinic.
  • Current clients will be encouraged to contact staff by phone.

Prevention Testing:

  • HIV, HEP C, and STI screening will be done by phone contact us at 210-591-7937 or 210-589-2958. We will provide a screening during the phone call to assess the level of risk.
  • Testing will be done in the mobile unit.
  • All off-site testing and events have been canceled or postponed.

HOPWA:

  • New clients will be mailed housing assessments. Clients will complete and drop off documents at the agency. The initial interview will be conducted via phone. Rental checks will be mailed to landlords or released to clients for landlords who do not accept mailed checks. Reassessments will also be conducted via phone.

Medical Transportation:

  • No new clients will be accepted for medical transportation.
  • Current clients will continue to receive medical transportation. After each route, the drivers will thoroughly clean the vehicle using effective cleaning.
  • Bus passes will be distributed at the agency. Clients will be contacted to come pick up their bus passes. Times will be staggered to reduce a large number of people in one area. Bus tokens will be discontinued at this time.

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding,
-AARC Staff