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For Medical Professionals

This page is for medical professionals. Posted here will be current clinical updates and upcoming events.

Northern NY Clinical Updates

Last updated 5/20/2022

Diagnostic Walk-in Hours

https://www.cvph.org/Patients-and-Visitors/Patients/Diagnostic-Services-Available

Changes on Filling Prescriptions

We are changing the workflow for refill requests in our medical group. The first two departments who workflows will be changing are Fitzpatrick Cancer Center and Cardiology. We are asking the pharmacies to stop faxing refills and instead utilize sure scripts via EPIC. Click here to review our new process that will begin on 8/15/22

Thyroid Cascade

With the update to EPIC the lab at CVPH has been getting questions around what is a Thyroid Cascade.  The Thyroid cascade is a reflex test, where the reflex is part of the order and there is no option to decline the testing.

For testing a TSH is performed first. Then if the TSH is outside the normal range, a T4, Free is ordered automatically.  If the TSH is low and the T4, Free is normal based on the appropriate reference range for the age/sex of the patient, a T3, Total is ordered. 

The only appropriate tube for collection is an  SST tube filled.  For questions please reach out to Sharron Terry at 518-314-3472

We Ended Hammond Lane Covid Testing

Patients can be tested at any number of sites in the community, or they can get a physician order and schedule an appointment at our first floor lab. Community COVID-19 testing here will be available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends.

Our pre-procedure testing protocols have been updated and the new protocols  

These new protocols have been updated in an effort to stay current, and ensure patient safety, in the changing Covid environment.  Please refer to the memo for pre-procedure protocol details. These requirements follow the NYS guidelines for pre-procedural testing last updated May 2021.

CVPH Opening New Rehabilitation Services Location on Main Campus

Outpatients at The University of Vermont Health Network-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) Rehabilitation Services will have a newly renovated, centralized space to receive the care they need. The new facility, located in Suite 101 at 210 Cornelia Street, will serve as the headquarters for all of the hospital’s Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology services.

As a result, the clinics at 179 Tom Miller Road and 295 New York Road will close on Friday, March 18. A total of 420 outpatients and all 21 staff members from Tom Miller Road and New York Road will be able to take advantage of the new space at 210 Cornelia Street featuring the same equipment they currently have access to. “With a centralized location, our therapists will also be able to collaborate easier and offer a greater continuity of care, improving the patient experience,” CVPH Director of Rehabilitation Services Catherine Passino noted. Hours of operation at the new headquarters will be 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, call (518) 562-4616.

Patients requiring hand therapy will continue to be seen at CVPH Hand Rehabilitation, located in Suite 103 at 214 Cornelia Street. For more information about all rehabilitation services available at CVPH, visit https://www.UVMHealth.org/CVPHRehabilitation.

Interventional Radiology Wait Times

We are experiencing longer than usual wait times due to staffing shortages and extensive Epic training that is currently being scheduled.  As of today, we are officially booking out 2 weeks for all procedures – 3 weeks for CT guided biopsies (lungs, liver, kidneys, etc.). The IR team is working diligently to schedule everyone as quickly as possible but we are seeing an influx of requests for IR services – biopsies specifically, ranging from 6-10 requests per day, so it is taking a bit longer.

Of course, if you feel a patient absolutely cannot wait 2-3 weeks, they can reach out directly to either Dr. Deso or Dr. Lemos to discuss that particular case. In this case please call either the scheduling office lines 562-7376 or 314-3596 or the main desk 562-7500 and ask for the on-call MD to be paged. 

Low Blood Collection Supplies

Please read the attached memo from Dr. Lisa Mark regarding the current situation we are in with low blood collection supplies.  As this situations develops I will keep you updated. 

At this time, the most critical supply shortages include:

1. Red blood cell availability.  This is being monitored by Dr. Sarah Harm, Director of Transfusion Services

2. Reagents for various automated instruments.

3. Blood collection tubes. The FDA communicated (see attached) that all blood collection tubes are now on the Medical Device Shortage List.

ALSO: A friendly reminder that Throat Cultures need to be collected in the offices.  Our state lab license does not give us the ability to perform this service at CVPH.

If you have questions please email Sharron Terry (Director of Lab) at sterry@cvph.org.

Pre-Procedure Testing

Effective immediately we are asking that patients, that are being Covid tested for pre-op procedures, present at the main campus for testing, not at Hammond Lane.  This is due to the increase of the COVID collections in recent days.  We do not know when we will be able to move pre-procedure testing back to Hammond, this will depend on testing demand.

Patients, going forward, that need pre-procedure testing will be able to walk- in at CVPH (as they were previously).

Pre-procedure testing orders will continue to be faxed from the CVPH surgical specialty offices directly to CVPH Lab.  Outside surgical offices please continue to use fax # 518-314-3980 for pre-procedure testing orders.

Diagnostic Testing Capacity

Please see the attached guidance on maintaining diagnostic testing capacity for respiratory viral infections during COVID 19.

Exective Order from NYS

Currently all routine & non-essential surgeries/procedures will be rescheduled.  Some offices have started this process (if procedures can get pushed out far enough and patients are not at risk for another reschedule), while others are waiting until Friday when we receive further direction from NYS.  Here is what we know:

We have been submitting data to NYS daily. 

Based on that data NYS will decide if we need to continue pushing non-essential procedures/surgeries out further

CVPH Specialty Offices will contact patients directly to reschedule. We understand that end of year procedures/surgeries are urgent and deductibles are a concern, we are doing our best to get these patients scheduled as soon as possible. 

Ask for patience during this frustrating time as we continue to get guidance from NYS. 

Laboratory Collection Closed at Valcour

Laboratory collection site is closed at Valcour.  This difficult choice is due to staffing shortages.   Reopening this service will depend on future staffing.  If we currently pick up labs/samples at your office, that service will not be effected, you will continue to receive courier service from CVPH.  If you do not currently have pickup services and need them, please reach out to Selena Ashline at SAshline@cvph.org.  For other questions please contact Sharon Terry at STerry@cvph.org

Alert about Medschenker Media for Covid-19 collections

It has been brought to our attention that the commercially available Medschenker Media that we provide for Covid-19 collections will very occasionally have a tube in the box where the media is discolored with or without black precipitate instead of the normally “clear pink” color expected in the media.

For those collecting samples, please examine the media vial prior to patient collections and discard any tubes that show any discoloration or have black flecks in the media.

Fluvid Testing

Currently CVPH is not processing Fluvid tests, however medical offices can order a Flu/RSV and Covid, yet it needs to be a nasopharyngeal (NP) specimen.  All NP specimens are collected at CVPH, we do not have the capability to swab NP at our Hammond Lane site.  If we are able to expand our testing capabilities at Hammond Lane to offer NP swabbing in the future we will let you know. 

The above is due to our current staffing shortages and that the flu is not prevalent in this area at this time.  Providers can always collect the NP swab in the office and send it to CVPH for FLU/RSV though using a NP swab and a Viral media collection tube.  If your office would like some of these collection tubes just let me know (click here).   I am happy to drop some off.  Once collected they need to remain refrigerated.  I can drop off collection tubes and transport instructions.  

As a reminder, for a lab order to be considered valid in the state of NY the following elements must be present: 

•         Patient name and identifier (i.e. DOB)

•         Test ordered

•         Signature of physician

•         Date

•         Diagnosis

We are seeing many orders come through without a diagnosis and we apologize but we can no longer accept those.  In the event we do not have a valid complete order we will attempt to call your office for the information, if we are not successful, we will be asking the patient to return to their provider office to get a corrected order.

Symptomatic Patients Needing Imaging

Radiology services will continue to screen all scheduled outpatients for covid symptoms via telephone prior to the scheduled exam date. Patients who have symptoms and are scheduled for non-emergent exams will be rescheduled to such a time when symptoms have subsided.

Patients with acute symptoms that require immediate imaging will be asked to wait in their cars at the north entrance (MRI), and call us at (518) 562-7045 at arrival. We will obtain the patient’s information, including cell phone number, and prepare for the exam so patients may be escorted directly from the entry into the appropriate exam room, bypassing the waiting area. Someone from the registration team may need to contact the patient to perform a remote registration, and the radiology team will call when we are ready to begin the exam. Patients without a cell phone can report to the screening checkpoint at the MRI entrance and the screeners will aid in getting the necessary information to the radiology team.

Mask Required Regardless of Vaccination Status, Distance

The revised Personal Protective Equipment and Covid-19 Exposure Policy is aligned with the CDC’s recommendation to wear a mask while indoors, regardless of vaccination, when county thresholds are met. Masks are now required regardless of the distance between individuals, at all times, unless eating or drinking in designated areas.

Low-Dose Lung Screening

The Low-Dose Lung Screening at CVPH is an essential program for identifying positive findings in lung cancer patients early on.  This program is critical in early detection and can help patients receive timely lifesaving treatment.  If you have a patient that you have identified as a lung cancer risk, please continue to recommend screening.   A lung screening coordinator will call your office immediately if there is a positive finding.  You would then contact your patient directly to discuss the finding.  If there is a negative finding a letter will be sent directly to the patient.  If you have additional questions please call one of our Radiologists at (518) 562-7500.  In the coming months our Low-Dose Screening resources will improve as we develop and grow our care team.  As our program expands, so will our ability to reach out directly to patients.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to Haley with questions (Hayley Kourofsky, MRI/CT Radiology Manager, 518-314-3021 or hkourofsky@cvph.org )

New ECHO Technology for CVPH Cardiology Patients

https://youtu.be/rgyCzf_zh40 

United Healthcare Community Plan

It has recently come to our attention that patients with United Healthcare Community (UHC) Plan are receiving denials when referred to our specialty offices.  In order for the specialist visit to be covered, the PCP must submit the referral to United Healthcare Community Plan for all patients under;

•             United Healthcare Community Plan for Families (Medicaid)

•             United Healthcare Community Plan Wellness4Me (HARP)

•             United Healthcare Community Plan (CHP)

You can submit the referral to UHC at UHCprovider.com or send a fax to 888-624-2748.  Please refer to the attachment (United Healthcare Community Plan) for a full list of services that do not require this extra step such as women’s health, radiology (with the exception of MRI/CT), dental, eye care, behavioral health, PT and smoking cessation. 

 MRI Referrals with Relation to Creatinine/GFR Lab Tests

We have recently changed MRI contrast to Dotarem, which has an impeccable safety record. In 30 years on the market, there is not one known case of NSF. Because of this improvement, if you are ordering an MRI with contrast, we no longer need you to order a creatinine/GFR test prior.  This will be one less hurtle for our shared patients.

Please note, nothing has changed for CT referrals.  Creatinine/GFR is still required within 60 days of scan for patients with h/o kidney disease, HTN, diabetes, or over the age of 60.

Interventional Radiology Ordering “Cheat Sheet”

It came to our attention that many of you were frustrated with the IR ordering/referral process.  There seems to be a lot of unwanted back and forth.  We are under strict ordering guidelines when it comes to IR.   Our IR leadership has put together a cheat sheet that is intended to be a guide to what is required by The Joint Commission.  Please reach out to Becky Larkin to request a cheat sheet (rlarkin@cvph.org)

New Phone Tree for the CVPH Laboratory

In an effort to better manage the increased volume of calls coming into the lab due to Covid questions we will be going live with a phone tree.  This will help community providers and office staff reach the CVPH lab staff directly and in a timely manner.  Below I bolded the important take-a-ways;

  • You will still fax your lab orders to 518-314-3980
  • The CVPH lab phone number is still 518-562-7400.  Please press 2 to reach the lab staff directly.
  • The phone tree lists a fax number 518-562-7415, do not fax orders to this number.
  • Please still have patients call Central Scheduling (518-562-7340) to schedule their test/draw.  (Let me know if you want me to drop off more wallet cards for patients)

Citrix Access

If you need Citrix access and have not previously had an account.  For new account users please email me (rlarkin@cvph.org) and I will send you the form for setup. 

If you already have an account and are having access issues please call the CVPH Help Desk at 518-562-7444 to speak with a representative that can trouble shoot your access. 

Important (!!) information on patient privacy and correct referral information

It has come to our attention that some offices are using an outdated fax number to send patient information to CVPH Cardiology.   The correct fax number for CVPH Cardiology is (518) 314-3438.

Please refer to the most current CVPH Specialist Sheet (see link on right).  

If you need to verify information before sending patient information, please contact the clinic by phone. 

Scheduling PET Scans and Labs

Just a friendly reminder that the PAC does not schedule PET Scans, those are done through a company called MMRI. Their phone number is 1-800-862-4032. We are getting an increase in offices trying to schedule these scans. 

Also a reminder that labs need to be scheduled. Patients are showing up to draw locations and then having to call CVPH to schedule. Please have patients call Central Scheduling (518-562-7340) to schedule their test/draw.  If you need more wallet cards I am happy to drop some off.   If you could fax the order ahead of time, ideally 24 hrs ahead, we can have everything ready for the patient upon arrival.  This will cut down on wait times.  The fax number is 518-314-3980. 

 

Diagnostics

For diagnostic cards, with instructions on calling Central Scheduling, please email me at rlarkin@cvph.org.  I am happy to drop them off at your office.  These wallet cards are helpful for patients.

To access diagnostic grid please go to https://www.cvph.org/Patients-and-Visitors/Patients/Diagnostic-Services-Available If you are sending a patient for a COVID-19 test, please call CVPH Patient Registration at (518) 562-7091 and then fax the order to 518-314-3980.

CVPH Patient Transfer Hotline

As part of our ongoing effort to improve quality of care, UVM Health Network – CVPH has implemented a “Patient Transfer Hotline.”  This “one call” hotline provides rapid transfer and direct admissions of patients, thus ensuring the best possible outcomes.

Toll Free Line

(866) 648-4886

An experienced RN Case Manager is on call to answer the hotline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This facilitates getting the patient to the right bed, in the right facility, and will improve communication and efficiency. Referring physicians are linked to receiving physicians on a recorded line to ensure real-time capture of vital information

COVID-19 NYS Hotline

  • The New York State Department of Health has established a toll-free Novel Coronavirus Hotline.  Call 888-364-3065.

Contact Us

Please reach Becky Larkin at RLarkin@cvph.org with feedback, questions or concerns.