Are you getting cancer treatments during COVID-19?

Posted by Colleen Young, Connect Director @colleenyoung, Thu, Mar 26 4:46pm

Are you getting cancer treatments at the moment? What about diagnostic tests, like blood tests, CT scans, mammography, PET scans etc? Is your surgery going ahead as planned or postponed?

I’d like to hear from you. What is like being in treatment during the COVID-19 crisis? How are you doing?

Mayo (in Florida) has opened their testing to any Mayo patient. Unfortunately as of yesterday, they were not testing the doctor's or nurses who btw, were NOT wearing masks.

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@seaspray

Mayo (in Florida) has opened their testing to any Mayo patient. Unfortunately as of yesterday, they were not testing the doctor's or nurses who btw, were NOT wearing masks.

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@seaspray– from your post you said that they wanted to test you. Do you know why?

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@gingerw

@merpreb One of the things I was thinking about is exactly that. It may come to pass that the medical practices may move more towards telemedicine when possible, using telephone or video appts when applicable. Then my mind wanders to those in our population who see their appt as a solid connection with healthgivers, a person to speak to and touch them. It's a delicate balance.
Ginger

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@merpreb @gingerw @colleenyoung
I've read that PCPs (and probably specialists, as well) are in trouble financially due to the shelter-in-place practice, despite some televisits and email exchanges. This brings to mind the question, do insurance companies and Medicare allow them to bill for such work? Does anyone know?

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@elizm , I can only answer for myself. When I found out I had a tele-visit scheduled, I called Blue Cross to see if they would cover. My insurance is IBM retiree (pre-medicare) insurance and the customer representative told me IBM had changed their policy to cover.

I suggest anyone with employee or private insurance to call and verify coverage prior to tele-visit.

Laurie

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@elizm

@merpreb @gingerw @colleenyoung
I've read that PCPs (and probably specialists, as well) are in trouble financially due to the shelter-in-place practice, despite some televisits and email exchanges. This brings to mind the question, do insurance companies and Medicare allow them to bill for such work? Does anyone know?

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@elizm– excellent question. I think that most pcp's work for a hospital system now. They are businesses so they probably are taking a financial hit love like a lot of businesses. I'm sure that whatever they do for work that they will be compensated. My worry are all of the medical personnel who have lost their lives and those who are in harm's way.

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@elizm

@merpreb @gingerw @colleenyoung
I've read that PCPs (and probably specialists, as well) are in trouble financially due to the shelter-in-place practice, despite some televisits and email exchanges. This brings to mind the question, do insurance companies and Medicare allow them to bill for such work? Does anyone know?

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@elizm I think it is wise to check with your insurance prior to accepting a televisit with any dr, if possible. My husband had a televisit with his nephrologist, and was charged as if going to a dr out-of-network. I asked him to challenge it. My next appts are in late April to late May with various drs. PCPs and specialists are having to furlough staff, but the overhead of rent and utilities continues.
Ginger

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@johnbishop

@colleenyoung I had a blood test scheduled for this Friday at the local Mayo Family Clinic and called today to check to see the status and if it might be cancelled or if I should still come in. The appointment nurse said they were cancelling all non emergency appointments due to the COVID-19 situation so they can focus all of their resources on emergency type care. She also said they are thinking 6 to 8 weeks until appointments can be rescheduled. On the bright side…gives me more time to work on lowering my weight and my HDL, LDL, Triglycerides and A1C numbers 🙂

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I had a transplant in 2018 and have weekly labs to monitor my medications levels and CBP as well. I have been using LabCorp and they have adopted my quarantine in my vehicle policy. I have been wearing a mask using a Clorox wipe to open the door and clean the kiosk to log in. They call me on my phone so I don’t have to wait around potentially sick people in the waiting room. I am immune suppressed and have stopped my labs until this pandemic is controlled.

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@seaspray

I have brain radiation this week at Mayo in Florida. Tomorrow is the simulation (3 hour appointment) and Tuesday is the radiation. I need to take Ativan to keep me still during these procedures which means I need a driver. My neighbor is taking me both days but I am afraid to be so close to him in the car that I will be wearing a mask. I am going to have him stay outside on the campus to keep him safe while I am inside. I did have my labs, PA,infusions last week and no one wore a mask.

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@seaspray– How did you handle riding in the car with your neighbor? Did you sit in the back seat?

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@seaspray

Mayo (in Florida) has opened their testing to any Mayo patient. Unfortunately as of yesterday, they were not testing the doctor's or nurses who btw, were NOT wearing masks.

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@seaspray– Wow, that's extremely surprising to me. Perhaps they are saving protective gear for patients. Supplies are still low everywhere.

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@devehf

My dad has his monthly infusion of a monoclonal antibody for multiple myeloma next week at Mayo Jacksonville. We are concerned about being exposed to so many people during this day long treatment. Does anyone know if masks are available at the front door of the Mangurian Building right when you walk in? Or can I go to the pharmacy on the main floor of the Davis building to see if we can buy masks?

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Hi, Dave Foster. The Mangurian building is the cancer building at Mayo, Jacksonville, and is separate from the hospital. They have a check point table at the entrance, but I did not see masks available. But you could ask for one there, if you don't have your own. Is your Dad getting IgG infusions? Welcome! I hope everything goes well you him!

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@merpreb

@seaspray– How did you handle riding in the car with your neighbor? Did you sit in the back seat?

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Merry – I rode in the front seat, the back seats were about the same distance.

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@seaspray

Merry – I rode in the front seat, the back seats were about the same distance.

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@seaspray– How are you doing today?

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@lisal64

Hi, Dave Foster. The Mangurian building is the cancer building at Mayo, Jacksonville, and is separate from the hospital. They have a check point table at the entrance, but I did not see masks available. But you could ask for one there, if you don't have your own. Is your Dad getting IgG infusions? Welcome! I hope everything goes well you him!

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Yeah, I've been to Mangurian several times. No mask was provided to my stepmom when she went for her onc. appts. there this week. She does not have symptoms. She did not ask for a mask. She does not think she needs one.The mask wearing evidence and guidelines are confusing. I found one of these in our first aid supplies. A "Curad antiviral mask". Thinking about having my dad use it on infusion day. Still wondering if it causes more harm than help as he has no symptoms, is not coughing, etc. Yes, he is infusing Daratumumab which I understand is an IgG1k monoclonal antibody. This will be his 42 infusion with this medicine. A miracle "cure" that is apparently allowing him to auto-immunize against the cancer cells.

Mask

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@devehf

Yeah, I've been to Mangurian several times. No mask was provided to my stepmom when she went for her onc. appts. there this week. She does not have symptoms. She did not ask for a mask. She does not think she needs one.The mask wearing evidence and guidelines are confusing. I found one of these in our first aid supplies. A "Curad antiviral mask". Thinking about having my dad use it on infusion day. Still wondering if it causes more harm than help as he has no symptoms, is not coughing, etc. Yes, he is infusing Daratumumab which I understand is an IgG1k monoclonal antibody. This will be his 42 infusion with this medicine. A miracle "cure" that is apparently allowing him to auto-immunize against the cancer cells.

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@devehf– Good morning Dave. If a person wears the right mask properly it might help to stop any fluids from getting into mouth cavities. Wearing a mask is for protection from others if you are well and for protection for others if you are unwell. I would much rather err on the side of caution than take a chance.
Here is a video about putting a mask on and then gloves:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo-PEzHE7iw

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@marvinjsturing

I have been doing tele-med appointments with my nephrologist for 5 years because of distance. I have recently been diagnosed with a recurrence of my pancreatic cancer. Radiation treatments began last Thursday. I have 5 treatments a week. My wife came with me Tuesday because I met with my doctor after radiation. I heard today that she will no longer be allowed to enter the hospital as a visitor. Only patients will be allowed in.

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I am so sorry about the return of your cancer. I hope there is more treatment for you. I cannot go with my fiancée to his treatments. I feel so bad cause have always been there. I can’t even see his doctor because of all of this. Keep on smiling and I am praying for you. I believe so much in the power of prayer.

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