March 3, 2021
Update in Light of new Executive Order
Healthcare Associates of Texas recognizes that Governor Abbott will lift the mask mandate and COVID-19 operating limits for the state of Texas on March 10, 2021. Please note that Abbott has stated in his executive order that individuals and businesses are still strongly encouraged to follow Texas Department of Health Services’ recommendations, which includes face coverings and hygiene protocols. The executive order simply says that there will not be legal penalties to individuals or businesses who choose not to follow or implement recommended safety protocols.
Texans need to remember that the ability to choose goes in both directions under this executive order. Individuals have the right to choose to wear a mask (or not) but business owners also have the right to enforce rules for the protection of their staff and clients. Under the executive order, people must respect the safety protocols implemented by private business owners and healthcare organizations in order to receive service.
The Texas Medical Board still requires healthcare organizations to maintain a mask policy in order to maintain medical licensure. We will continue to require that both employees and patients wear a mask in our facilities until The Texas Medical Board deems it medically safe for us to change this policy. We have a higher chance of COVID-19 positive patients walking through our doors than most businesses. We also have patients that are at greater risk of serious COVID-19 complications should they contract it.
As an organization, we have done an outstanding job of protecting our patients and staff and we will continue to do so. We will monitor our COVID-19 case numbers closely and adjust our policies when it is appropriate to do so. We are finally seeing light at the end of this dark, pandemic tunnel. Healthcare Associates of Texas will not let our guard down too soon and put the communities we care for at risk. We will not lose the ground we have gained in the battle against COVID-19. We are on the offensive for the first time with vaccines and other treatments. We will not counter our gains by lowering our defenses too soon. We look forward to continuing to serve you in a safe and clean environment.
February 24, 2021
We are out of vaccine doses. We do not know when we will receive our next shipment. Due to this uncertainty, we recommend visiting your county’s website for vaccine location information.
We have closed our waiting list due to the uncertainty of when we will receive our next shipment of vaccines.
For patients who previously joined our waiting list, when we have a vaccine available for you, we will contact you. We do not have a timeline regarding when you can expect a vaccine dose.
January 22, 2021
Message to patients on the waiting list
Over 30,000 people are currently on our waiting list. We have only been allocated 2,000 vaccine doses to date. When we have a vaccine available for you, we will contact you. We do not have a timeline regarding when you can expect a vaccine dose. We estimate it will take many months to vaccinate everyone on our growing waiting list.
Please do not call your provider regarding the vaccine or your position on the waiting list. All vaccine updates will be listed on the website.
We appreciate your patience during this time.
January 14, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
We currently do not have any vaccine doses left. We are currently awaiting our next shipment of vaccine doses. If you have a vaccine appointment scheduled for next week, it will be rescheduled for when we get another shipment of vaccine doses.
We understand this is inconvenient and appreciate your patience. Vaccine doses nationwide are still in limited supply. Additionally, we are currently only allowed to vaccinate patients in phases 1A and 1B.
We are still accepting patients and organizations on both of our waiting lists.
COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
AARP reports that vaccine scams and fake vaccines are being circulated. Please be aware and vigilant. View the details here.
January 6, 2021
We understand that many people are excited to get the COVID-19 vaccine and may be frustrated that they have not yet received it. We want you to know that we are actively trying to vaccinate as many patients who want the vaccine as soon as possible. However, we are under several constraints that limit the number of people we can vaccinate per day.
- We have received 2,000 vaccine doses as of January 6th, 2021 to service the 80,000 patients we take care of in addition to hundreds of first responders in our communities. Additionally, the COVID-19 vaccines each require two separate doses per patient.
- Vaccine doses are limited in supply nationwide.
- We are required by state regulation to administer the vaccine to certain people at certain times. The roll-out of the vaccine state-wide is a phased approach. As of January 6th, 2021, we are able to vaccinate people who qualify for phase 1A and phase 1B and no others.
- We are still conducting primary care visits during this time that have often been scheduled months in advance. We still have an obligation to care for all aspects of our patients’ health, not just COVID-19 vaccination.
- Due to the additional labor required to answer 1000’s of additional phone calls per day, hold additional clinic hours to vaccinate patients, perform an increased number of COVID-19 diagnostic tests, and file paperwork with the state for each vaccine administration, we have staffing constraints.
We appreciate your patience during this exciting but frustrating time. It is estimated that vaccinating everyone who wants a vaccine in the United States will extend until October 2021. While you wait your turn to receive a vaccine dose, we encourage you to continue taking the actions that we know work to prevent contracting the coronavirus – wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing your hands regularly.
December 30th, 2020
Please do not call your clinic location or provider for information or updates on the COVID-19 vaccine. All updates and information regarding the vaccine will be posted to our website.
We do not currently have a date when the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the general public. Please understand that we are limited on who we can give the vaccine to and when due to government regulations. While two COVID-19 vaccines are currently authorized for emergency use by the FDA, vaccinating every person who wants a vaccine is estimated to extend until at least October 2021. We appreciate your patience.
Do not use the online booking system to try and schedule an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Adding your name to the waiting list is the only way to get a vaccine in the future.
COVID-19 Vaccine Waiting List
If you would like to be on our waiting list for the Coronavirus vaccine, please click one of the links below to fill out the form. Both individuals and organizations can submit a form to be on the waiting list.
See the video about the COVID-19 vaccines from Dr. Powell:
August 13, 2020
Keep Your Loved Ones Safe
Although life is starting to feel more normal, the threat of COVID-19 is still real. To prevent contracting COVID-19 and accidentally giving it to a friend or loved one, we strongly encourage you to continue to wear a mask, social distance, and keep good hygiene.
We’ve made this guide to help you evaluate the risk of being around others outside of your household so you can keep the people you care about safe.
To stay healthy and protect your friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic, do these three easy things:
- Wear a mask or face covering while in public. This will help protect both yourself and people in your community.
- Maintain at least 6ft of distance from people who you do not live with and those who are sick. Doing this will ensure that you greatly reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 if you come across someone who has the virus.
- Wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer, and regularly clean frequently used surfaces.
Let’s Stay Healthy Together!
We also want to let you know that we are taking safety precautions at all our clinic locations to keep you safe and healthy during your visit. All patients are screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to their appointment and at check-in for everyone’s safety. Additionally, we are still offering TeleVisits for routine healthcare, such as annual physicals or wellness visits. If you need COVID-19 Testing, please call your provider’s office to schedule a test.
July 2, 2020
- What it is: The Biofire Panel is a comprehensive diagnostic test that indicates the presence of over 20 different respiratory pathogens, including the COVID-19 virus, two different families of the flu, certain cold viruses, and certain key strains of bacteria. The benefit of this testing option is that there is a greater chance that it can indicate which pathogen may be causing your symptoms. A negative test may simply mean you have allergies or an infection not tested in the panel. This type of testing is the HCAT “gold standard” for respiratory testing.
- How it’s performed: Your provider will take a deep nasal swab to collect the sample. The instrument to collect the swab is similar to a long cotton swab. Your provider will swab both nostrils in a similar manner. Patients describe the swab as irritating, but not painful. Your provider will then send the sample to a lab to be analyzed for the 20+ different pathogens.
- Length of time until results: Test results are available in less than 24 hours.
- What it is: This test detects the presence of COVID-19 antigens. An antigen is a piece of viral material that is unique to the virus strain it belongs to. This means that every different virus has its own unique antigens. In the context of the SARS-COVID-2 Antigen FIA test, detecting the antigens can determine if the coronavirus is present in your body. This test cannot determine if you are immune to the coronavirus nor currently is there any such test that can guarantee immunity.
- How it’s performed: Your provider will take a deep nasal swab to collect the sample. The instrument to collect the swab is similar to a long cotton swab. Your provider will swab both nostrils in a similar manner. Patients describe the swab as irritating, but not painful. Your provider will then put your sample into a machine that detects the antigens.
- Length of time until results: Test results are available in 15 minutes.
- What it is: This test is similar to the BioFire 2.1 panel but only tests for the virus that causes COVID-19.
- How it’s performed: Your provider will take a deep nasal swab to collect the sample. The instrument to collect the swab is similar to a long cotton swab. Your provider will swab both nostrils in a similar manner. Patients describe the swab as irritating, but not painful. You provider then sends the sample to a laboratory outside of HCAT where it is analyzed for the presence of COVID-19 RNA.
- Length of time until results: Test results are available several days later after the sample collection. It can take up to 10 days to get test results.
- What it is: This test detects the presence of COVID-19 virus antibodies. Antibodies are pieces of protein that your immune system creates in response to an infection such as a virus or bacteria. The presence of COVID-19 antibodies in your body would indicate that you have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. It is possible to have been exposed to COVID-19 without experiencing symptoms. If you have antibodies, it may indicate a past or present infection of COVID-19 or another coronavirus. Currently, it is unknown if antibodies detected from this test indicate immunity to COVID-19.
- How it’s performed: Your blood will be drawn and then sent to a lab to be tested.
- Length of time until results: Test results are available several days later after the blood draw.
May 21, 2020
Dr. Powell’s Coronavirus Update
Listen to Dr. Powell’s updates on the COVID-10 pandemic in the Dallas Fort Worth area and how Healthcare Associates of Texas is helping our patients and staff stay safe.
COVID-19 Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Options
During the past months, several different COVID-19 testing options have become available. In this extended video, Dr. Powell discusses how COVID-19 testing is conducted, how they work, and the constraints of each type of test.
April 19, 2020
TeleVisits Now Available
In light of COVID-19, Healthcare Associates of Texas is offering TeleVisits to ensure that patients can safely receive care. Dr. Powell discusses why we are now offering Televisits to both new and existing patients and what you can expect during our new appointment type.
April 8, 2020
Outreach Program for Medicare Patients
Dr. Charles Powell discusses the new outreach program that Healthcare Associates of Texas is conducting to reach old adults stay healthy beyond COVID-19.
April 6, 2020
COVID Update from Dr. Charles Powell
Due to COVID-19, we have made changes to how we are accommodating the needs of all patients–whether existing or new. Dr. Charles Powell, Executive Vice President, presents a short overview on how Healthcare Associates of Texas is ensuring all of our patients stay safe and healthy when they have an appointment with us.
MARCH 9, 2020
To our family and patients,
As COVID-19 continues to affect communities along with you and your loved ones, we remain committed to providing patient care. We believe it is our responsibility to provide a safe patient experience while continuing to provide care during this uncertain time. State and federal governments have lifted restrictions on care delivery methods. Because of these changes, your experience may look and feel differently during the upcoming weeks as we continue to take necessary precautions to ensure your visit to the clinic is safe. While in-person visits are still available to assess your needs, we are now adding new ways to deliver care to you and your family through Telephone Visits, TeleVisits, and Exterior Visits. As with all medical decisions, your primary care provider will determine the best visit option for your level of care. We are making these changes to better serve you and your loved ones.
- Telephone Visits – Phone communication with a primary care provider to follow-up on your current healthcare plan and make any necessary changes needed. Sick visits and counseling visits are eligible to be conducted by telephone.
- TeleVisits – We plan on offering phone and video visits, known as TeleVisits, in the upcoming weeks. In addition to sick visits and counseling visits, physical exams can also be conducted through TeleVisits. Patients’ devices will need to meet certain requirements in order for a patient to attend a TeleVisit.
- Exterior Visits – Patients can be seen by a primary care provider outside of the clinic in the comfort of their own car.
For all visits, appointments scheduled ahead of time are preferred but we can accommodate same-day appointment requests as needed.
During this time of transition, you may experience longer than normal wait times when calling the clinic. As an alternative, you can always use the Patient Portal to contact your provider.
HCAT encourages every patient to practice social distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoid touching their face. If we all take these measures, we can provide a safer environment for everyone.
We continue to evaluate the ever-changing landscape with the goal of providing the best patient care possible. Your health and safety will remain our number one priority.
Our Family Caring For Yours,
Charles L. Powell, M.D.
Founder/Executive Vice President
Healthcare Associates of Texas
MARCH 9, 2020
To our family of patients,
We are proud to say that our sites and clinical staff have been through extensive training and protocol development to make sure you are safe and well in our clinics. This starts with the way we screen on the phones, routing patients that are sick through special entrances and exits where we can, and following up accordingly. Our number one goal is to keep healthy patients healthy. Healthcare Associates of Texas has also has a hotline for our staff to answer any questions related to COVID 19.
Healthcare Associates of Texas has secured supplies that many hospital systems cannot to help protect your safety when seeing one of our providers. We have always been innovative in our care by bringing top of the line testing capabilities, including COVID-19, as well as many other pathogens that people are sick with during this time of the year. We are testing all patients that meet the clinical criteria. Our facilities are fully equipped to handle the needs of the sick that are not in need of hospital level care.
To our well patients getting routine care, our facilities are prepared to keep you healthy and safe. To our family of patients not feeling so well, we are here for you during these times that many clinics are turning people away. It is our commitment to treat each of you as we would our own family, with care and consideration. Please refer to the Q/A section of this website for more information on COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Charles L. Powell, M.D.