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.