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BAMC modifies services to reduce COVID-19 risk

By Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs | Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs | March 29, 2020

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

During this time of national emergency, BAMC is committed to providing timely access to medical care for those who need it the most while protecting patients and staff from unintended illness resulting from exposure to others.

To ensure BAMC’s healthcare professionals are poised to support an increased need for acute patient care and minimize risk to all, certain services and programs have been delayed/reduced at this time. See the following list for affected areas. BAMC will update this list as the situation evolves so please keep an eye out for additional changes.

In general, if you feeling ill, stay home and take care of yourself. Call before coming in so you can avoid contact with others and reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection to yourself and others. You can evaluate your symptoms using the CDC’s self-checker, available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/index.html. Additional information can be found on the CDC’s COVID-19 website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

If you have questions or symptoms you’d like to discuss with a healthcare professional, call the San Antonio Military Health System COVID-19 Nurse Advice Line at 210-581-2266, option 6. The advice line is available Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. After hours, call the MHS Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273), option 1 or visit MHSNurseAdviceLine.com for a web or video chat. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.

You also can send a secure message through the TOL Secure Messaging function or call the Consult Appointment Management Office (CAMO) at 210-916-9900, which can offer virtual appointments with your provider team from your own home.

Impacted Services

  1. Primary Care
    To minimize the risk to patients and staff, BAMC primary care clinics will transition to virtual care appointments. All patients calling for an appointment will be booked into a virtual appointment slot. Patients should expect a phone call from a member of their provider team who will address their needs and determine if an in-person visit is required. We ask that patients not come into any primary care clinic for an appointment unless directed to by their provider team. These in-person visits will only be conducted when coordinated in advance at the Spc. Taylor Burke Clinic at JBSA-Camp Bullis, Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno Clinic at JBSA-Frt Sam Houston or BAMC Main Campus.

    The Schertz and Westover pharmacy services will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for drive-thru only. Spc. Taylor Burke pharmacy services will be available from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Schertz and Westover labs will be closed but patients can use the lab at any on-base facility across JBSA as they will remain open. The McWethy Troop Medical Clinic will remain open during normal hours and continue to provide support, to include sick call, to trainees on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.

    While routine care will continue to be deferred, immediate needs for routine conditions (medication renewals, etc.) will be met virtually in a timely manner. Military medical readiness activities will be converted to virtual care unless PCSing, deploying, on flight status, in training, retiring or separating.

     
  2. Medical Subspecialties
    Elective procedures such as bronchoscopies and colonoscopies are being postponed and currently scheduled procedures will be rescheduled at a later date when normal operations resume. Medical subspecialty clinics have shifted to providing primarily virtual consults with face-to-face appointments and procedures as needed on an urgent basis.

     
  3. Elective Surgeries
    All elective surgical cases are being postponed, and surgical clinics will shift to providing primarily urgent and virtual access. Any currently scheduled routine surgical consultations and follow-up visits will be rescheduled when this crisis has averted. You will be called if your scheduled surgery or appointment has been affected and provided a new appointment date at that time. Military medical readiness requirements will not be affected.

     
  4. Department of Orthopedics
    The Department of Orthopedics is not performing elective procedures at this time. They will still care for fractures and musculoskeletal problems that need to be addressed acutely. Patients with chronic and elective problems are being rescheduled until further notice.

     
  5. Department of Pediatrics
    BAMC Pediatrics will continue to do all newborn appointments for children under a month old. They will also continue “well-baby” appointments for 2, 4, 6, 12 month and 4 year old for vaccines only. The 12 and 15-month vaccines will be consolidated into the 12-month visit. The Pediatrics clinic will defer most 9-month-old well-baby vaccines unless there is a specific concern. If so, a provider will evaluate the child via a virtual health visit and determine if they should come to be seen. CAMO will refer all requests for well-baby exams to the clinics where it will be booked by the clinic.
    • For Pediatric subspecialty referrals, Pediatrics will continue to see emergency consults and those appointments the provider deems time sensitive. For emergencies and referrals needed within 72 hours, the provider ordering the consult will contact the specialist directly.
    • For General Pediatrics, Adolescent clinic and Pediatric Subspecialties, most routine consults and follow-ups will be deferred until further notice.
    • The Exceptional Family Member Program office is currently not accepting any new packets or seeing any face to face appointments. It is continuing to process existing EFMP packets as fast as possible, however, please be patient as delays are anticipated.
  6. Women’s Health Clinic/Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    BAMC Women’s Health Gyn clinics have shifted to providing primarily urgent and virtual access. As a result, BAMC is delaying care for selected routine needs such as annual exams. Any currently scheduled visits for these reasons will be contacted where possible to address any needs for contraception. If unable to arrange a virtual visit, the patient appointments will be canceled. We are attempting to notify all patients of these changes.

    OB patients will be treated using virtual visits when possible. We are moving group classes to a virtual meeting and limiting size if needed for hands-on training. Face to face encounters will still be done in the Women’s Health Clinic. In an effort to maintain patient safety, no visitors are allowed for clinic appointments.

     
  7. Labor and Delivery
    One support person over the age of 18 may stay with a patient admitted to L&D, consistent with the current visitor policy. We are continuing to provide care, including Maternal-Fetal medicine ultrasounds, triage, antepartum testing, and both scheduled and unscheduled deliveries. For the most up-to-date information, patients may call L&D at 210-916-0223.

     
  8. Department of Anesthesia
    The Pre- Admissions Unit (PAU) has canceled all scheduled clinic appointments, but will still be open for walk-in appointments.

     
  9. Department of Radiology
    Radiology has shifted to providing primarily urgent/emergent imaging. As a result, Radiology is delaying care for many screening and non-urgent exams. This most notably applies to routine annual screening mammography, initial evaluation for non-urgent problems, and follow-up imaging for non-urgent problems. Any currently scheduled visits for these reasons will be rescheduled or placed on a waitlist to be rescheduled when operations normalize.

    Patients will be called if their appointment has been impacted. We are requesting all non-urgent imaging needs (i.e. screening exams, imaging for chronic medical conditions, orthopedic conditions more than 6 weeks old, etc.) defer during this time. The Department of Radiology will continue to support the imaging needs of patients (as determined necessary by their healthcare providers), providers, and our healthcare system. Obstetrical imaging will continue for both routine and urgent needs. Breast imaging will continue to be available for patients with new or enlarging breast lumps or other concerning symptoms. Imaging will also continue to be supported for patients undergoing cancer evaluation or treatment.
  10. Department of Optometry
    All routine eye care has been postponed through May 10, 2020, for all patient categories. However, the Department of Optometry will be available for eye and vision urgencies - i.e. eye trauma, eye pain, red eyes, eye discharge, loss of vision, double vision, or flashes, floaters, or curtains in vision. The department will also be available to active duty personnel for readiness-related eye exams, optical ordering, optical repair and required physicals. Patients can speak directly with a provider for eye questions, medication refills, and spectacle prescription rewrites by contacting the front desk at (210) 916-1717. The hours of operation will remain from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.

     
  11. Department of Pharmacy
    Effective March 26, the BAMC Main Pharmacy, Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno Clinic and Fort Sam Houston Community Pharmacy will institute a mandatory curbside drop-off and pickup prescription process to reduce the number of patients waiting in the pharmacy area. To facilitate service, patients may call ahead to the following numbers to request any new prescriptions -- entered in by a BAMC provider or electronic prescription sent from a civilian network provider -- be filled prior to coming to the pharmacy for pickup. The pharmacy numbers to call are as follows:
    BAMC Main Outpatient Pharmacy: 210-916-1536 option #6 or 210-916-1818
    Moreno Pharmacy: 210-808-3551 or 210-808-3558
    Community/Refill (Satellite) Pharmacy: 210-295-9965 or 210-295-8453
    Westover Hills Medical Home Pharmacy 210-539-0792
    Schertz Medical Home Pharmacy 210-916-0047 or 210-539-0737
    Taylor Burke (JBSA-Camp Bullis) Pharmacy 210-295-8423 or 210-295-8236
    https://militaryrx.express-scripts.com/home-delivery for more information.

     
  12. Release of Information
    The Release of Information section will temporarily suspend walk-in services until further notice. All requests received will be processed via fax, email, or mail. Additional information can be found at the following website: https://www.bamc.health.mil/departments/pad/release-of-information.asp or by calling 210-916-1157.

     
  13. BAMC Chapel Services
    All worship services in the BAMC Chapel have been canceled until further notice, to include weekly Bible study. To speak with a chaplain, please call 210-916-1105.

     
  14. Managed Care Office
    The Managed Care office will be teleworking until further notice. Our Benefits Advisors are available via email or call-back to assist you with referrals, claims, and enrollment issues inhibiting patient care.

    You can contact us via email (below) for a reply within 24 hours. We will also be monitoring our work phones, so you can leave a message with staff members and they will return your call.

     
  15. Beneficiary Counselors - usarmy.jbsa.medcom-bamc.list.bamc-bcacdcao@mail.mil

    Enrollment Coordinators - usarmy.jbsa.medcom-bamc.list.bamc-enrollment@mail.mil

    For beneficiaries who do not have access to email, please call the following numbers based on your last name:
    • Last Name Begins with A-F: (210) 916-3586
    • Last Name Begins with G-L: (210) 808-3663
    • Last Name Begins with M-R: (210) 808-2250
    • Last Name Begins with S-Z: (210) 808-5725
  16. Integrative Pain Management Clinic
    All clinic visits will now be conducted virtually (phone). Urgent needs for medication refills or consultations will be reviewed by a physician and further guidance will be provided. Chiropractic, Yoga, Massage and Acupuncture services are canceled until further notice. Call 210-916-2228 for more information. All calls will be returned within one business day.

     
  17. Palliative Care
    Palliative Care will retain inpatient service for patients with uncontrolled symptoms and support patients at end of life. Outpatient services will proceed virtually. Call 210-916-7778 for more information. All calls will be returned within one business day.

     
  18. Outpatient Physical Therapy
    Clinics are open for Acute/Urgent injuries only at Capt. Jennifer Moreno Primary Care Clinic and JBSA-Lackland/WHASC PT clinics. All other visits, including rehab after surgery, are being handled via telehealth.

     
  19. Outpatient Occupational Therapy
    Clinic is open for Acute/Urgent injuries only at Jennifer Moreno Primary Care Clinic. All other visits, to include rehab after surgery, are being handled via telehealth.

     
  20. Orthotic/Brace Shop
    The Orthotic Lab/Brace Shop will be closed to outpatient and walk-in prescriptions until further notice. The shop will remain open for all inpatient needs.

     
  21. Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service
    Outpatient services will continue virtually. Call 210-916-8693 for more information. All calls will be returned within one business day.

     
  22. Patient Experience Office
    For assistance from a patient advocate, patients can email usarmy.jbsa.medcom-bamc.list.bamc-patient-advocacy-center@mail.mil or call 210-916-2330.