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Feature Article

Feel Safe About Scheduling Your Regular Care

During the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking in-person medical care – even for a routine visit – may be coupled with thoughts of concern. Because the health and well-being of our communities is a priority of Samaritan Health Services, we want you to know that many precautions are in place to ensure our facilities are safe and clean. So, regardless of the type of care needed, from early childhood through adult years, we want to make sure you know we are here for you and it is important that you not delay getting routine care.

Patients can be assured that all Samaritan clinics and hospitals have implemented increased precautionary measures such as social distancing, requirement of personal protective equipment and rigorous sanitation practices are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of each patient.

Well-Child Visits

Some parents are concerned about taking their kids in for well child checks – wondering is it safe and are the visits necessary right now?

Well child checks are important to stay on top of, as they help monitor the growth and development of your child. These visits allow the clinician to address any concerns you or your child may have and provide preventive care, which will help keep your child healthy. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics has developed a schedule for well-child care, which recommends a total of 12 well-child visits at regular intervals from birth through age 3, with annual checkups thereafter. 

Sports Physicals

Sports physicals are typically valid for one year, but some schools or leagues may require a sports physical to be completed prior to the start of each season — even if they fall within the same school or calendar year. 

Often, the best time for a sports physical is at least six weeks before the start of preseason practice for that particular season. With some sporting events currently on delay, make sure to check in your affiliated sports program to ensure you schedule your physical at the right time. In addition to your family health care provider, most urgent care and walk-in clinics can provide sports physicals. 

A sports physical focuses on your health history and condition only as it relates to athletics — making it more limited than a regular physical exam. 

Remember — even if a sports physical isn’t required, it’s always a good idea to see your health care provider before joining a gym or starting any new exercise or fitness program. 

Annual Wellness Visits

Annual physical exams are important for everyone at any age. But for those on Medicare, the annual wellness visit is equally important. The two sound the same, but they are quite different. 

The annual wellness visit is not a complete physical exam. Instead, it’s an extended conversation with your health care provider to review the big picture. You can expect to leave this visit with a personalized plan for your ongoing care — one which identifies key risk factors and includes treatment options and a preventive screening schedule. 

If you have been on Medicare Part B for longer than 12 months, you pay nothing for this visit. (Note: Your provider must accept Medicare or be a network provider with your Medicare Advantage Plan.)

If you need care, calling your care provider should be your first step, so your current health concerns and health history can be assessed, and the most appropriate kind of care offered. This may be telehealth, in the comfort of your own home, or an in-person visit.

Options for Quick Care

When you need health care right away, and can’t get in or don’t have time for a visit to your doctor’s office, Samaritan offers choices.

SamCare Express in Corvallis and Albany offer same-day treatment by appointment, for a variety of minor illnesses and injuries. SamCare locations also offer online scheduling. Walk-ins patients are scheduled for the next available appointment. The main difference between SamCare Express and urgent care/walk-in clinics is X-ray services. SamCare Express does not offer X-ray.

Samaritan Urgent Care/Walk-In Clinics care for acute medical conditions that require immediate attention but are not considered life-threatening or severe enough for the hospital emergency department. Urgent care clinics have X-ray and laboratories on-site, for broken bones and other pressing health concerns.

Samaritan also offers three convenient options for Telehealth care including: MyChart E-Visits, video or, in some cases, telephone visits.  

Learn more about Samaritan’s enhanced safety measures in response to the pandemic.