NOTICE OF OFFICE CLOSURE
March 20, 2020
It is with great sadness that I am announcing the closure of my private medical practice, effective Friday May 15, 2020. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have cared for you, my dear patients.
As a solo family physician, I have sought to keep our office small and streamlined in an effort to provide the most personalized care and service. I owe so much to my wonderful office staff who have bent over backwards to create a welcoming and professional environment. Together we have navigated an increasingly complex medical system that challenges us to learn and adapt constantly to new cyber, insurance, and regulatory issues. This is all very expensive and difficult to sustain for a small-scale business.
The novel corona virus (COVID-19) outbreak has proved to be the final stressor to my business. After spending 14 days at home in self-isolation due to illness (I tested negative for COVID-19), I am finally back in the office. My office staff and I have been very busy providing remote support to patients, most of whom are also at home in self-isolation. We are still seeing some patients in the office for urgent matters, but not nearly as many as we normally would. I expect a prolonged downturn in income due to patients practicing appropriate social-distancing precautions, which are necessary in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. I anticipate that this trend will persist for the near future.
Accordingly, we will be winding down the practice in the next eight weeks. During this time, I plan to do my upmost to continue to support your medical needs remotely, by phone, or in person as I am able. We will continue to try to provide care for urgent medical issues and ongoing medical problems. I will not, however, be ordering non-essential labs or imaging tests as the practice winds down.
One of my top priorities will be to assist patients in getting medication refills sufficient to last until they can transfer care to new health care providers. It is very important that you check your supply of prescription medications. Please call the office or use the Patient Portal if you will need medications refilled in the next three months. In light of the current COVID19 outbreak situation I will make reasonable efforts to accommodate your refills without office visits as much as possible.
I strongly encourage you to begin the process of transitioning to a new primary care provider as soon as you get this letter. Please click the TRANSITIONING MY CARE tab to see a list of resources for locating a new healthcare provider.
The TRANSITIONING MY CARE tab also includes a list of telemedicine healthcare options. Telemedicine uses technology to provide healthcare at a distance. For example, it can involve two doctors talking to each other on the phone to coordinate a patient’s care. Telemedicine can also be used to remotely monitor a patient’s condition, like monitoring blood pressure or heart rate through a device worn by the patient that electronically sends information to a doctor. Telemedicine and “virtual office visits” may be a useful option for some patients, at least until the COVID-19 outbreak subsides.
If you wish to request medical records please click the MEDICAL RECORDS tab to find the authorization form to release a copy of your medical records. On receipt of this signed form, my office will forward a copy of your medical records to you or to the physician you designate.
After the close of my practice, signed requests for copies of medical records can be directed to:
Laura Evans, M.D.
466 Foothill Blvd. Box #115
La Cañada, CA 91011
In the event of any further business interruption due to coronavirus or quarantine issues prior to our projected closure date, we will do our best to be available remotely, by phone and via our Patient Portal as we are able.
If you received this notice via your Patient Portal account, then you already know how to access the Portal. The Patient Portal is a useful resource for securely communicating with our office and for viewing portions of your medical information.
If you would like to use the Patient Portal and have NOT done so before, please send us a regular email stating that you would like to activate your Patient Portal. Please send your email to email@example.com and state that you would like to receive an invitation to the Patient Portal. Do not include any personal or confidential medical information in the regular email; once you are logged into the Patient Portal you will be able to send and receive confidential information securely. The Patient Portal will no longer be operational after the practice is permanently closed.
I will make every effort to help you transition your care to other healthcare providers. Without the distraction of administering a small business, I hope to dedicate my efforts to caring for patients again in the near future.
I am profoundly sad that my office practice lacks the resilience and scale to weather this storm, but I have faith that our community and country will get through this crisis.
Laura Evans, M.D.