COVID-19Lee Edition

Telehealth: A Necessity Now, And A Glimpse Of The Future

By Robert Pollack, M.D., Board Certified Psychiatrist

TelehealthAlthough it may seem futuristic, telehealth, virtual office visits have been around for years for urgent care needs, and now with the recent guidelines to stay safer home and social distance, the majority of medical specialists have implemented virtual appointments and examinations to better help their patients through this unprecedented time. Certain specialties are essential to patient’s needs, even if they are not recognized as ‘essential’ in direct relation to COVID-19. For example, post-surgery, patients need physical therapy, which can be done virtually, and ENT doctors are helping patients decipher colds from allergies or COVID-19 online to keep patients out of the emergency rooms and urgent care facilities if they don’t need to be there.

There are many specialties that need to be available to patients, and this might be a glimpse at the beginning of our near-future in medicine. Here at my clinic, Psychiatric Associates of Southwest Florida (PASWFL), we are available for our patients and anyone facing stress, anxiety, or difficulty navigating through this pandemic or in general due to mental health issues.

The Pandemic Environment is taking a Toll on People’s Mental Health
The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for many people. Unfortunately, for those suffering from mental illnesses, these feelings might become intensified, and in some cases, crippling. This is why our PASWFL team remains committed to offering essential psychiatric care during this challenging time which includes in-office visits for Ketamine and TMS Therapy as well as safe and convenient telehealth appointments for those who aren’t able to leave home.

Our Patients in Florida are appreciating the Benefits of Telehealth Appointments
During a pandemic like COVID-19, telehealth allows us to better respond to the needs of patients in our community who aren’t able to leave home to receive the care they need. It helps bridge the gap between our physicians and patients by allowing patients to meet with providers from the comfort of their homes.

Please know that your safety and health are a top priority for our team. PASWFL’s telehealth program is designed to provide the highest caliber of care for our patients via virtual appointments. And, as with our in-office services, PASWFL accepts most commercial insurance including Medicare and Tricare.

Telehealth Services Offered:
• Telepsychiatry
• Telepsychotherapy
• Online Counselling
• Online Med Management

If you or someone you love is struggling during this time of high stress and increased anxiety, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our dedicated and experienced team is here for you. Contact us today to learn more about your customized options for care during COVID-19.

Telehealth FAQ’s
How do I make an appointment?
Simply leave us a voice message or fill out the form below and we’ll respond within 24 hours.

Is my Virtual Healthcare appointment covered by insurance?
Yes. Telehealth services are covered by most major medical insurance providers.

What happens after I make an appointment?
You will be contacted by our team with instructions on how to access your appointment.

Is my appointment confidential?
Absolutely. We do not use Zoom or other comparable, insecure platforms. Our virtual health software is secure, and the appointment is protected by our usual doctor-patient confidentiality promise.

In-Office Visits: Your Physical and Mental Safety is Our Top Priority at PASWFL
Depression is a potentially life threatening illness and we are here to continue offering access to care. That being said, we believe it is important to care for our patients in the safest way possible, so we have implemented precautions to make sure our practice is as safe as possible for our patients.

• Our office is still offering the TMS and Ketamine treatments by appointment.
• Therapy and medication assessment visits are still taking place either in the office or by telepsychiatry.
• We have expanded our waiting room so there is a minimum of 6 feet between each chair. If patients would rather wait in their cars for their visits that is fine, and we will notify them by text.
• As a medical practice, we generally have high standards for cleanliness and sanitization. Still, during this pandemic we have implemented extra precautions to ensure surfaces, treatment rooms and implements are pristine.

We feel that mental health is a vital need that requires treatment and we are doing the best we can to serve our patients. We don’t want you to struggle or suffer alone. We are here for all of your mental health needs. If you need help, it’s important that you schedule your telehealth appointment today!

Leave a Voice Message at: 239-332-4700 or Fill out the Form online– We’ll get back to you in 24 hours!

About PASWFL Psychiatry
Psychiatric Associates of Southwest Florida (PASWFL) is a privately owned psychiatric medical practice located in Fort Myers, Florida. The practice was founded on the principle of providing the highest caliber of care for patients in an atmosphere of compassion, professionalism, and humanity. While we embrace the most up-to-date science, we never lose sight that we have been entrusted by our patients with their lives and their futures.

PASWFL’s current practice is representative of contemporary medicine. In appreciation of the working public, PASWFL accepts most commercial insurances including Medicare and Tricare. Patients receive the necessary care provided by multiple types of professionals. All records and accounting are done electronically, and there are no longer any paper files. As a result, all information is readily available and legible.

PASWFL Psychiatry
6804 Porto Fino Cir #1, Fort Myers, FL 33912
Office: 239-332-4700

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