As Mississippi makes the transition to our "new routine" and businesses across the state begin to resume operations, it’s important to be informed about recommended guidelines when traveling outside your home. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi has been your trusted partner throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and we are committed to providing you credible and practical information to ensure you and your families stay safe.
Governor Tate Reeves issued the Safe Return Order. Safe Return means we still need to remain vigilant and aware of our surroundings while still practicing hand hygiene and social distancing. Safe Return also brings back the opportunity for Mississippians to re-connect with their Blue Primary Care Network Providers to resume office visit care and receive certain elective surgeries or procedures.
Managing health conditions, like diabetes or hypertension, plays an important role in our overall wellbeing, and now more than ever we must focus on our health. Over the following weeks, Blue Primary Care Network Providers will be reaching out to their patients to resume caring for your needs. We have all been to a doctor’s appointment at some point in our lives, but those visits are going to look different going forward – our new normal.
Since we are going back to visit our Network Providers, here is what you and your family can expect when visiting your Network Provider and what you can do to be prepared.
- You will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to your visit over the phone or immediately upon arrival
- Patients may be asked to wait outside or call a number before going into the clinic TIP: Be sure your phone is charged completely and it is set to ring loud enough for you to hear it.
- Social Distancing recommendations will stay in effect inside the clinic
- Less than 10 people to a given room/space
- At least six feet of separation
- Only one caregiver per patient allowed
- Hand sanitizer should be readily available for patients
- You can also bring your own hand sanitizer if you prefer
- All patients, including their caregiver, are expected to wear a mask
- All clinical staff providing services will use masks and gloves
For certain visits where it's not necessary to go into the clinic, telemedicine is an option. Learn more about how to have a successful telemedicine visit.
Elective Surgeries and Procedures
Mississippians who have delayed non-emergent treatment or surgeries should schedule these procedures. In addition to the expectations above, here is what you may experience:
- You will be assessed for COVID-19 symptoms immediately prior to any elective surgery
- If you show any COVID-19 symptoms, you will be tested for COVID-19. The test results must be negative in order to proceed with surgery
- A pre-op COVID-19 test may be requested for certain surgeries or procedures or if you require general anesthesia, even if you don't show COVID-19 symptoms
- Your hospital or clinic is expected to minimize the number or healthcare personnel in the operating room
Whether your Network Provider visit is for routine or elective services, be sure to talk to your Network Provider about any changes in your health since your last visit and discuss any current medications you may be taking.
Safety of Healthcare Workers
Mississippi hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers are going above and beyond to ensure the safety of their patients and their clinical staff by following best practice guidelines as outlined by the MS State Department of Health. Every effort is being made to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 by following current CDC guidelines and reducing the number of workers in the provider's office to the minimum number necessary to perform procedures.
They are doing their part, let's be smart and do our part!