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UnityPoint Clinic — Fort Dodge postponing non-essential clinic visits

As the number of COVID-19 cases increases statewide, UnityPoint Health — Clinic and Berryhill Center are postponing all non-essential visits and procedures.

That decision became effective Tuesday, the hospital announced.

“At this time, we have determined it is appropriate for some patients to stay home,” said Dr. Lincoln Wallace, regional medical director, UnityPoint Clinic — Fort Dodge. “Some visits may instead be performed by phone consultation with established patients or they may be advised to use virtual urgent care.”

Examples of essential visits:

• Well child visits for children 5 and under needing vaccines

• Acute abdominal pain

• Lacerations

• Injuries that may require x-ray

• Some post-hospital follow-up visits

Examples of non-essential visits:

• Well visits

• Routine chronic medicine visits — could be scheduled as telephonic consult

• Medication checks — could be scheduled as telephonic consult

• Chronic controlled substance visits — could be scheduled as telephonic consult

“This list certainly is not inclusive, but intended to give insight on types of visits that are considered essential and non-essential. Patients will be contacted by their doctor’s office with more information about their specific care,” Wallace said.

UnityPoint Health — Berryhill Center primary care will also follow the above guidance. For behavioral health encounters, Berryhill Center will adhere to the following guidelines:

Examples of essential visits:

• Mental health crisis

• Post hospital or Emergency Department follow-up visits

• Medication injection appointments

• Medication pickup appointments (samples for patients who cannot afford medications)

Examples of non-essential visits:

• Routine chronic medicine visits — could be scheduled as telephonic consult

• Medication checks — could be scheduled as telephonic consult

• Chronic controlled substance visits — could be scheduled as telephonic consult

• Routine psychotherapy appointments — could be scheduled as telephonic consult

Additionally, changes have been made to virtual care to make this care option more accessible. Now through April 30, there will be no charge to patients. Virtual urgent care can be accessed by going to unitypointvirtualcare.org or utilizing the UnityPoint Health Virtual Care App.

To find out more about UnityPoint Health information and resources regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit unitypoint.org/coronavirus.

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