Gearing Up’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Plan

March 16, 2020

Gearing Up’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Plan

Gearing Up’s leadership team has been actively monitoring the COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) pandemic and its presence in Texas since early 2020. Now that the United States and the DFW metroplex are in a State of Emergency, Gearing Up is taking swift and decisive action to ensure the safety of our clients, staff, and clinicians by following government, CDC, and medical expert recommendations. However, we feel strongly that this time of heightened anxiety and panic is the worst time to disrupt or discontinue a therapy treatment program. Gearing Up is meeting the need for safe and secure methods of treatment without endangering anyone’s physical health and safety.

Gearing Up will adopt the following policy and procedure changes for the duration of this national crisis:

For established clients wishing to attend therapy in person at Gearing Up’s offices:

1.) IF YOU ARE NOT DISPLAYING SYMPTOMS OF ANY ILLNESS: Clients are welcome to continue their normal in office sessions at Gearing Up’s offices for both individual and group sessions. If clients do choose to be physically present in the office, we ask them to avoid any physical contact with our staff and clinicians. We will also allow our clients to wear any protective equipment they would like during their sessions in our offices (e.g., protective face masks, gloves, etc. – Gearing Up reserves the right to disallow any “protective equipment” in our offices for any reason at our sole discretion). In addition, our staff has been instructed to try to keep at least six (6) feet of physical distance from all people so as to limit the spread of any potential illnesses or viruses by coughing or sneezing (per CDC recommendations). In addition, please continue to follow best practices as established by government and public health agencies such as washing your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water, coughing or sneezing into your shoulder or elbow, etc.

2.) IF YOU ARE DISPLAYING SYMPTOMS OF ANY KIND: Please stay home and contact our office to set up telehealth / teletherapy sessions for you and/or your child. In an effort to not disrupt active treatment but also maintain the physical safety of our staff and other clients, please use extreme caution when deciding if you will physically attend sessions in our offices. Many insurance policies already cover telehealth sessions, but insurance companies are also making case-by-case exceptions and granting special authorizations for clients without coverage who request telehealth therapy during this national state of emergency. Multiple Gearing Up clients have already been granted these special exceptions by simply calling their insurance company and expressing their concerns for a few minutes.

If you are a new client with a scheduled intake appointment:

Please call our office if you do not feel comfortable attending the intake appointment in person. We would be happy to confirm your telehealth insurance benefits and perform the intake appointment remotely over a video conference telehealth session. If your insurance policy does not normally cover telehealth or telemedicine appointments, please call your insurance company and request an authorization for telehealth coverage due to the state of national emergency. Multiple Gearing Up clients have already been granted these special exceptions by simply calling their insurance company and expressing their concerns for a few minutes.

For established clients wishing to self-quarantine or practice “social distancing” by accessing Gearing Up therapy from home:

Please contact our office to change your session to a telehealth session. Our clinicians and staff are well prepared to walk clients through the process to access telehealth on their computers, tablets, and phones in their own homes. In addition, we are happy to confirm if your insurance benefits cover individual telehealth appointments already. If you do not have telehealth coverage, many insurance companies are granting case-by-case exceptions and special authorizations for telehealth therapy during this national crisis. Please call your insurance company if your plan does not normally cover telehealth as many policies are being granted special authorization when requested by the policy holder. Multiple Gearing Up clients have already been granted these special exceptions by simply calling their insurance company and expressing their concerns for a few minutes. However, Gearing Up will happily accept the in-network rates for self-pay telehealth sessions if there is any issue.

For established clients involved in Gearing Up Group programs (e.g., DBT Skills Group, Growing Girls Strong, Parenting Group, etc.) who wish to self-quarantine or practice “social distancing” by accessing Gearing Up programs from home:

To preserve public health and safety, Gearing Up’s goal is to maintain active treatment plans while also preserving the safety of our staff and other clients. While we will continue to offer in-person groups at our offices, please contact our office if you would like to access the group offerings from home. Insurance companies are making special exceptions and authorizations on a case-by-case, policy-by-policy basis. Multiple Gearing Up clients have already been granted these special exceptions by simply calling their insurance company and expressing their concerns for a few minutes. Please call your insurance company and request authorization for group telehealth appointments until this national crisis has passed. If there is any issue, Gearing Up will happily accept the in-network rates for self-pay group telehealth sessions.

If group telehealth sessions are not accessible for you or your child for any reason, Gearing Up will also happily reschedule your group appointment to a one-on-one telehealth Group Make Up appointment with one of our clinicians within the next week to keep your therapy on track. Due to limited capacity, individual Group Make Up appointments will be offered on a first come, first served basis. We ask anyone who is able to request special authorization for group telehealth appointments from their insurance company or self-pay for a group telehealth appointment to preserve as many individual Group Make Up appointments for those without these options.

Gearing Up will continue to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation in the United States and in Texas specifically. Please call our office for the most up to date information regarding policies and scheduling. We will continue to prioritize the safety of our clients, staff, and clinicians during this time of crisis, and please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions or concerns.

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