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FAQs

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At Presbyterian, the health and safety of our patients and workforce is our top priority.

All Presbyterian facilities are following all CDC guidelines for the health and safety of our patients, staff and community from Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are also working collaboratively with the New Mexico Department of Health and other health facilities to address the growing concern of COVID-19.

Screening & Testing

How do I get screened?

There are two easy and convenient ways you can get screened:

  • Online Visits is an online medical interview for ages 4 and older. Submit answers to a few questions about your symptoms and a Presbyterian Medical Group provider will respond with a diagnosis.
  • Video Visits are on-demand video chats for all ages. Submit your symptoms on an intake form and you will be notified when the provider is ready to visit with you.

Access a free video visit or online visit

Should I go to the emergency room or PRESNow if I think I have COVID-19?

To have your symptoms screened for a COVID-19 test, you can do one of the following:

Please take advantage of one of these options before going to your doctor’s office, an urgent care clinic, PRESNow or the emergency room to help us keep our patients and employees safe.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms or if you think you have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

Is testing and screening free?

Yes, both screening and testing are free.

Who can use the online screenings?

Online screenings are open to the entire community, regardless of insurance.

What if my screening says I shouldn’t be tested?

If your screening says you do not need a test, you will not get an order for a test.

What tests will I get?

If you have symptoms and have received an order for a COVID-19 test, you will be tested for:

  1. Influenza (flu) A/B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  2. COVID-19

Based on CDC guidance and test supply, if your test for the flu or RSV is positive, the COVID-19 test will not be completed.

I have been tested but have not received my results yet. Is it safe for me to be around others?

While you wait for your test results, it is recommended that you stay home, self-isolate and take care of your symptoms. You should plan to self-isolate until your provider or the Department of Health confirms your tests results to avoid potentially exposing others to COVID-19 as much as possible.

Track Your COVID-19 Test Results

When will I get my test results?

Results are taking 3 to 5 days to be processed after your test.

While waiting for your test results, please take precautions such as staying home, washing your hands frequently and cleaning high-touch surfaces.

Track Your COVID-19 Test Results

How will I get my test results?

Test results are available through the New Mexico Department of Health COVID-19 Testing Results Application.

Track Your COVID-19 Test Results

How is COVID-19 being treated?

Currently, there is no vaccine to protect us against COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) and no medications are approved to treat it. Supportive care is the most important response strategy.

How will Presbyterian Health Plan cover the cost of COVID-19 tests or treatments?

Both testing and treatment will be free.

Should I get a COVID-19 antibody test?

Antibody testing for COVID-19 through TriCore Reference Laboratories is now available, but the test must be ordered by a clinician under these two circumstances only:

  1. To confirm if a patient who has received a negative result via the nasopharyngeal swab test but presents with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  2. To identify individuals who have been previously infected and who may now be considered as potential convalescent plasma donors.

Antibody testing is not available to confirm if someone is immune to COVID-19 as there is insufficient scientific data to suggest that this implies any degree or duration of immunity at this time. Your clinician will determine if an antibody test is appropriate.

Contracting COVID-19

Who is at higher risk for COVID-19?

Older adults, as well as people with underlying chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease, seem to be at higher risk for developing serious complications with COVID-19. But, COVID-19 can still be present in all other ages, including children and young adults.

Can someone spread the virus without feeling or looking like they are sick?

People are thought to be able to spread the virus the most or be the most contagious when they feel sick and are showing symptoms. However, some spread might be possible before someone feels sick or has symptoms. There have been reports of this with the new coronavirus, but it is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

If I am pregnant, will my baby get COVID-19 infection?

There is limited information about the risk of COVID-19 to pregnant women. During pregnancy, women experience changes to their immune system and other physical changes that might increase their risk for severe illness with COVID-19. Because of this, pregnant women are considered an at-risk population and asked to please take extra care in following prevention efforts like social distancing and handwashing. To help reduce the risk, Presbyterian Medical Group is offering their pregnant patients the option of telehealth visits so that they can continue their regular appointments without having to come to the office.

Appointments & Access

Are any Presbyterian facilities closing at this time?

As part of our efforts to address COVID-19, some locations may be temporarily closed, helping us redirect staff to high need areas and conserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Don’t put off getting care for urgent or emergency needs. Our urgent cares are open for illnesses and injuries that can’t wait. We follow all CDC guidelines for in-person visits. View urgent care locations

See complete list of temporary closures and service updates

Will my appointment be canceled?

Most of our Presbyterian Medical Group clinics remain open. However, our providers are reviewing all scheduled appointments to determine if appointments can be done safely in person, can be moved to virtual care visits or need to be rescheduled.

We will offer most of our patients a virtual care visit, which can be done by telephone or video. You can also request a virtual care visit with your provider, if you prefer not to come into the clinic.

What if I already have a scheduled appointment?

We will offer most of our patients a virtual care visit, which can be done by telephone or video. You can also request a virtual care visit with your provider, if you prefer not to come into the clinic.

We have made some temporary changes to our clinics to keep our patients and staff safe. If you attend your visit in person, you may notice the following:

  • You may be asked to see a different provider than usual for any urgent visits during this timeframe.
  • You will be asked to attend your visit alone.
  • You will be screened for respiratory symptoms and/or fever at the time of your visit.

Presbyterian Healthcare Services requires all patients and approved family members visiting our clinics, urgent cares, PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care locations and emergency departments to wear a face mask. You must have your face mask on when you arrive and keep it on the entire visit, unless otherwise directed by a provider.

Learn more about wearing a face covering or mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19

Can I schedule a new appointment for health needs that are not related to COVID-19?

Yes. We are continuing to schedule appointments in our primary and specialty care clinics for our current patients. Please call your provider’s office directly for an appointment, or call 1-844-PRES DOC (773-7362), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We will offer most of our patients a virtual care visit, which can be done by telephone or video. You can also request a virtual care visit with your provider, if you prefer not to come into the clinic.

Don’t put off getting care for urgent or emergency needs. Our urgent cares are open for illnesses and injuries that can’t wait. We follow all CDC guidelines for in-person visits. View urgent care locations

Is online appointment scheduling still available through MyChart?

Presbyterian has temporarily suspended all self-scheduling options through MyChart to help keep our patients, staff and community safe. We encourage you to do a Video Visit or Online Visit, or message your care team using MyChart if you have a non-urgent or common health concern. For all other appointments, please contact your provider’s office directly.

Has Presbyterian made changes to its elective surgeries and procedures?

Presbyterian has developed comprehensive guidelines to determine whether to continue elective cases or not. Ultimately, this is a decision between the surgeon and the patient which must be balanced with availability of supplies, operating room capacity and staffing.

For now, non-emergent elective cases have been reviewed based on several criteria, and many non-urgent procedures have been cancelled. Scheduled elective case schedules will be reviewed several times per week based on these guidelines.

Presbyterian is encouraging the delay of elective hospital-based surgery and outpatient procedures that can be reasonably postponed for 4-6 weeks without compromising the health of our patients. This applies to scheduled surgeries until April 15.

Prescription Medication

Will I still be able to get the medicines that I need?

Please check with your insurer. For Presbyterian Health Plan members, we are permitting the pharmacy to bypass the "refill too soon" edits at the pharmacy counter. This means that you will be able to fill your maintenance/chronic medications earlier than normal, ensuring you have an adequate supply for any potential situation.

The pharmacy may ask why you need an early refill at the counter to document why they have overridden the prescription. You should explain that you want to get an additional supply for home, based on the coronavirus outbreak. Pharmacies may be required to contact OptumRx at 1-866-528-5829 to obtain an over-ride. This number is referenced on the back of your member ID card.

If I am in a vulnerable or at-risk group, how will I get my medications?

Please check with your insurer. For Presbyterian Health Plan members, we have adjusted our “refill too soon” (Emergency Access to Benefits) policy for maintenance/chronic medications to help make sure you have needed medications on hand. You also have access to mail order prescriptions. (Currently, controlled substances are not part of the Emergency Access to Benefits program for early refill.)

We are also reviewing rejected claims to see if members are able to access the medications they need. If any drug shortages are encountered, we will seek other options to meet member needs. We will continue to monitor the situation along with our pharmacy partners to help make sure members do not run out of needed medications during this time.

Community Support

How can I receive food assistance or access to community resources?

The site below offers a comprehensive list of food, utility, housing and other resources for New Mexico families.

www.newmexico.gov/i-need-assistance

What can I do to support Presbyterian’s COVID-19 response?

We are touched by the multitude of inquiries from our providers and staff, and our community, asking what they can do to support Presbyterian's COVID-19 response.

Learn more about how you can help

Education & Prevention

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China that has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of COVID-19 include fevers, chills or shivering, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, or new, loss or change in sense of smell or taste.

How does COVID-19 spread?

This respiratory virus is spread through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose, as well as close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands or touching an object or surface with the virus on it.

How can I protect myself?

The best ways we can prevent illness are: avoiding exposure through frequent hand washing, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth and staying home.

Is Presbyterian prepared for the pandemic?

Throughout the Presbyterian system, we would accommodate a surge in patients due to COVID-19 through triage and appropriate transfers to other facilities in New Mexico, in close coordination with the New Mexico Department of Health.

At Presbyterian Hospital, we currently have capacity in our ICU but the vast majority of patients with COVID-19 do not require that level of care. It is important to note that in about 80 percent of cases, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can recover at home and do not require hospitalizations.