Re-opening Plans

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I can’t wait to get back in the office and start treating again! Our tentative date for re-opening is June 9. We are not doing any scheduling yet; another email will go out some time next week when the schedule is open.

In the meantime, there are a lot of changes coming that we want you to be aware of. Like all businesses, we have had to pivot quickly to incorporate all of the necessary regulations and suggestions for keeping everyone safe.

Keep in mind, this is a work in progress. Not all of these changes are necessarily permanent, and some of our procedures may change as we continue to seek out best practices. Please bear with us through this time. We know change can be distressing, but please know that we are doing our best to make this work and continue to help our patients.

Important Changes
New office procedures: These will be detailed below.

New office hours: To begin, we will be in the office Tuesday/Thursday 2:30-6:00pm and Saturday 9:30am-1:00pm

New scheduler: We are switching our scheduler to Schedulicity. When scheduling is open, you will have to create an account with Schedulicity to make your DTE appointments.

New scheduling limits: We will be scheduling 4 people per hour, with treatments lasting 45 minutes, to minimize overlap. New Patient appointments will be unavailable for the month of June. We will also not be taking walk-ins for the foreseeable future.

New payment options: You will now be able to pay by credit card when you schedule online. You can also pay by credit card, cash, or check in the office. However, we do prefer contactless payments (paying online or using your prepaid package) whenever possible. We will no longer be signing prepaid cards but instead tracking them through the scheduler. We will not be able to provide change for cash payments.

New prices: To offset the impact of scheduling less people per hour and per week, effective immediately our new sliding scale for returning patients will be $25-$45. New patient appointments will be a flat fee of $45 and new patients must pay for their appointment in advance.

Eventually, we plan to offer a discounted package deal. If you have a current prepaid package, your prices will not change for the duration of your remaining package.

We continue to ask for 24-hours’ notice for cancellations and changes. This is especially important now that there will be less time slots available. The new late-cancellation/no-show fee will be $25 for returning patients and $45 for new patients. The cancellation fee may be waived for emergencies or illness.

Credit cards are now required to book an appointment online; they will not be charged unless you choose to use your card to pay for your appointment, or unless you no-show or late-cancel. If you do not have a credit card and need to make an appointment, please call the office and we can schedule your appointment for you.

What we are doing to help keep you safe
As you know, we have always taken office cleanliness and patient safety very seriously. We will continue to wipe surfaces regularly and sanitize hands frequently. In addition, we have instituted these new procedures:

Patient screening (see below).
Requiring masks in the office.
Reducing the number of patients in the office.
No waiting area usage.
Minimal touch points.
Cloth barriers between chairs.
Vinyl coverings on chairs that will be wiped down between patients.

Feel free to ask to see our DPH attestation form, which all businesses are required to fill out before reopening.

What you can do to help

Don’t come in if you’re sick. We will happily reschedule for another time.
Bring your mask. We will have some surgical masks available for sale for $2.50 each. However, as the medical supply chain is still stressed, please plan to bring a mask from home. Surgical masks, fabric masks, bandanas are all acceptable so long as they cover your nose and mouth. Valve masks are NOT allowed.
Cleaning supplies have been among the hardest to procure for reopening purposes. If you have any cleaning supplies that you are willing to donate or sell, please contact us.

Office Procedures
Here are our current office procedures, which may be revised in the future.

Please be aware that being on time for your appointment is now more important than ever. If you are more than 10 minutes late, we will need to reschedule you for another time (cancellation fees may apply).

When you arrive in the parking lot, please call the office at (508) 890-8899. We will ask you some screening questions (see below) and let you know if we are ready for you to come upstairs.
Put on your mask and head to our office. If you have a sheet or blanket you would like to use on your recliner, please bring it. There will be no sheets or blankets available in the office for the time being.
The office door will be open, or we will open it for you. If you must open the door, please push with your body not with your hands.
We will take your temperature. If you have a fever over 100.4, you can’t stay for treatment. We will be happy to reschedule you.
We will give you a pump of hand sanitizer and show you to your chair.
At the chair, you will pay for your treatment (unless you have prepaid). You will take off your shoes and roll up your pants and sleeves. We will then give you another pump of hand sanitizer.
We will recline the chair for you.
We will insert the needles and allow you to rest. For the time being, we will not be doing any head or ear points, and we will keep talking to a minimum.
Treatments will last for 45 minutes, to allow us time to sanitize your chair before the next patient appointment.
We will pull the handle and help you sit the chair back up.
After your appointment, we can schedule your next visit, or you are welcome to do it online.
We will walk you out and open the door for you.

COVID- 19 Screening Questions
In the past 24 hours, have you experienced any of the following new symptoms that you cannot attribute to another health condition?

Fever
Cough
Chills
Shortness of breath
Sore throat
Muscle aches that aren’t caused by specific activity such as exercise
Headache
Loss of taste or smell
Diarrhea
Red/painful/itchy toes

Have you been in close contact with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days? Close contact means being within 6 feet of a person for 15 minutes or more.

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you will not be able to receive a treatment.

Next Steps
In the next week, we will start contacting patients about scheduling. We will be calling patients who have sessions left on their package deals, as well as anyone who had an appointment that was cancelled from March 17-present.

If you are not included in that list, don’t worry—we will send out another email when we have opened the schedule up for everyone (new patients will be asked to wait until July, while we fine-tune our office procedures).

While you are waiting to get in for an appointment, feel free to peruse our Facebook page for some suggestions on how to treat yourself with acupressure at home. We have videos about acupressure for shoulder pain, headache & neck pain, and one of my favorite points for a wide variety of conditions. There is also a video showing you how to use acupressure ear seeds, which are available here (affiliate link) for many different conditions.

Additional Considerations
What if I am in an “at risk” population? At this time, the governor’s office is still recommending that at-risk folks stay home as much as possible. Please keep your level of risk in mind when you decide whether to come in for treatment.

What if I can’t or don’t want to wear a mask? This may not be the right time for you to come back. We understand that some people are uncomfortable wearing masks. However, they are required for treatment at this point. This will not always be the case, and we will let everyone know when that changes. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, we respectfully suggest that you wait for later phases of reopening before coming in.

Which Phase are we in? We are being optimistic and assuming that Phase 2 of the state reopening plan will begin on June 8, just in time for our first week of treatments. Phase 2 means that providers can offer a wider range of preventative and wellness treatments.

If Phase 1 is still in effect when we reopen, we are limited to seeing patients with conditions that will likely worsen if they don’t receive acupuncture during this time. This would mean, for example, that your pain, stress, anxiety, or other condition would be likely to deteriorate if you miss your acupuncture treatment. We know that for many people, this has already been the case.

We ask you to use the honor system when deciding which Phase is most appropriate for you and your condition(s).

Thank you for your attention! Please let me know if you have any questions. I hope to see you all soon!

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