COVID-19 Information For Our Patients

Mar. 20, 2020

COVID-19 Update (5/10/2020):

NYP Renew: The resumption of evaluation and care of patients with spine conditions at NYP and the Och Spine Hospital

Based on data and trends at the Federal, NY State, and NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) Medical Center levels, it is clear that the Coronavirus pandemic is now receding within the New York region. Based on these positive developments, we are committed to begin to address the significant treatment needs of our patients with spine conditions who have not been able to access effective care for the past few months.

Our ‘NYP Renew’ initiative will be a process that evolves cautiously with the primary focus on the health and safety of our patients and loved ones as well as the health and safety of our medical staff.  Telemedicine visits will remain a vital component of ongoing outpatient evaluation and care but patients with Essential, Urgent, and Emergent spine conditions for whom more timely evaluation and surgery is required will now be able to be safely evaluated and treated in our facilities. These conditions are listed in the table below and correspond to similar surgery tiers and recommendations of the National Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

Our institution (New York Presbyterian Hospital, Och Spine Hospital) has established an extensive, science-based plan for the safe reengagement of our spine patients to deliver the care that they need and deserve. Extensive protocols for COVID-19 screening, testing, population density limitation and appropriate distancing, combined with unprecedented cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilization protocols at the numerous ‘points of care’ such as the outpatient office/clinic as well as the operating room, recovery area, and inpatient private rooms, and the continued use of personal protective equipment/hygiene by our patients, visitors, and screened expert medical staff throughout our facilities have been implemented to protect both our patients and staff. In addition, same day and ambulatory surgery will be utilized whenever safely possible.

We look forward to resuming our core mission to relieve pain, restore function and improve the quality of life for our patients with spine conditions. We are committed to achieve this in a timely and safe manner. Updates will be posted but please feel free to contact any of our offices for additional guidance or questions.  Thanks for your patience.

 Emergent, Urgent, Essential spine conditions

  • Spinal cord compression with myelopathy (spinal cord dysfunction) causing pain, numbness, weakness, gait difficulty from tumor, trauma, spondylosis, bone spur, herniated disc or other conditions.
  • Nerve root compression from herniated disc, bone spur causing severe arm or leg pain, numbness or weakness
  • Spinal stenosis causing severe neurogenic claudication (pain, weakness, numbness, heaviness) after limited standing/walking
  • Unstable Fractures
  • Cauda Equina syndrome
  • Active spine or wound infection
  • Rapidly progressive deformities

The health of our patients is our top priority. As we continue to monitor the evolving situation surrounding the spread of the COVID-19, we’d like to share some updates with you.

  • Patients with appointments scheduled should call the office immediately for appointment updates. Please see the list of doctors for contact information.
  • Video visits are available for new and existing patients. Patient must be enrolled in the NYP/CUIMC “MyConnect” account. Please see the Telehealth Visit Guidelines. If you have any questions, please reach out to your doctor’s office.
  • In-person visits will continue to be available for patients in need of urgent care.

Our staff is here to help you. Please call us at 212-305-9625 for any questions.

Here are some resources available for you to stay informed on the coronavirus (COVID-19):

Update from Dr. McCormick’s office:

Dr. McCormick’s office will remain open for new and existing patients during this challenging time of the Coronavirus pandemic. The office will be open during regular hours for existing patients to address any questions, concerns or to make a follow-up appointment. Jackie Soler, Jane Kostadinov NP, CNRN and other members of our Spine team remain available by phone at 212-305-7976 to address our patients’ needs.

New patient appointments will continue to be scheduled through direct phone calls to our office at 212-305-7976. Recent MRI or CT scan imaging results must be forwarded to the office for Dr. McCormick’s review prior to the scheduling of an appointment. Imaging reports may be faxed to 212-342-6850 or emailed to js2418@cumc.columbia.edu in a PDF, Word, or picture format. It’s also important to include your name, contact information, and insurance coverage. A brief summary of your symptoms would also be useful.

Off-site telemedicine visits are available for all new and existing patients. Patients must create an online account to be able to participate in telemedicine visits from home. Information on how to create an account can be found at https://www.myconnectnyc.org/MyChart/.  Please see the PDF instruction sheet. In addition, all relevant imaging CDs must be reviewed by Dr. McCormick prior to any telemedicine visit. The CDs may be delivered by mail or overnight delivery or, in the next few days, be directly loaded through secure online servers. We will post instructions for online uploading of imaging CDs through our Ambra site as soon as possible. Additional information may be obtained from our office.

While elective surgery has been suspended at all NewYork-Presbyterian Hospitals, urgent and emergent conditions will be prioritized and eligible for immediate treatment. If you consider that you have an urgent or emergent condition please communicate directly with our office at 212-305-7976 for further instructions.

Thank you for your appreciation during this rapidly evolving crisis.

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