January 14, 2022
Given high levels of community transmission of COVID-19, we are experiencing unprecedented call volumes and portal messages related to the ongoing pandemic as well as requests for office visits. In order to best serve our patients and alleviate some of the demand, we have created this guide to answer many of your questions and minimize the need for patients to contact our office.
January 3, 2022
The daily infection rate for COVID-19 is rising again with the increase in positive cases of the omicron variant. Today and always, Acton Medical Associates continues to create change and implement strict safety practices to ensure that our patients and staff are protected.
Due to the rapidly spreading nature of omicron, Acton Medical is experiencing an extraordinary number of phone calls for COVID testing. Our teams continue to work above-and-beyond to help care for our patients. Unfortunately, along with healthcare providers across the United States, our phone lines are at capacity daily.
Last September, we launched Online Scheduling for all Acton Medical patients. There are three different online scheduling options available to current Adult Medicine and Pediatric patients;
Acton Medical’s Portal Support team is available to create Healow accounts and help patients use the portal for online scheduling. Contact the team for assistance:
firstname.lastname@example.org Â |Â (978) 635-8835
Appointment Types Available through Online SchedulingÂ
– Annual ExamsÂ Â Â – Well Child VisitsÂ Â Â – COVID-19 Tests
If you are unable to schedule a COVID-19 test with Acton Medical, the state offers multiple test sites. Click here to search for a location.
The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention provides a guide to determining if an individual has COVID symptoms, click here.
Children in daycare can receive free testing from the state for exposures and symptoms, www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-testing-for-child-care.
Healow is a good way to message your doctor and their clinical team when the phones are busy, and the question is not immediately urgent.
We understand the frustration patients are feeling due to the call volume and long wait times.
Patients may find it helpful to know that our phone lines are busiest on Monday mornings.Â To improve access for our patients, and in addition to launching Online Scheduling, we are activelyÂ recruiting more staffÂ such as Physicians, Nurses, Medical Assistants, Patient Service Representatives, and General Office Help.
Our providers are dedicated to you and want to take the best possible care of your health. We continue to grow and adapt to changing times with innovations and improvements, and the overarching goal of providing excellent primary care to you.
The continued patience and support of patients, staff, and the community is greatly appreciated.
November 3, 2021
On November 2, 2021, the U.S. Food & Drug association has authorized the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 to 11, and yesterday the CDC endorsed the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 years old.
Acton Medical Pediatrics recommends the COVID-19 vaccine for Pediatric patients ages 5+ and offers a vaccine clinic for patients from age 5 through 11.
Please continue to check our website and Facebook for updates, @actonmedicalpediatrics.
Safe Care Promise
Acton Medical Associates is dedicated to the safety and good health of our
patients, team members, and the community.
Itâ€™s our promise to keep safety at the forefront of everything we do so that all of our patients
receive the highest quality care in a clean and comfortable environment.
We partner closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to ensure
the strictest of safety guidelines are met in all of our locations.
October 25, 2021
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recipients can receive a booster if they are above the age of 18 and were vaccinated over two months ago.
Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccinated individuals vaccinated over six months ago are recommended for the booster if they meet any of these criteria:
*Underlying medical conditions include: Cancer, Chronic kidney disease, Chronic liver disease, Chronic lung diseases, Dementia or other neurological conditions, Diabetes (type 1 or type 2), Down syndrome, Heart conditions (heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly hypertension), HIV infection, Immunocompromised state, Mental health conditions (depression and schizophrenia spectrum disorders), Overweight and obesity, Pregnancy, Sickle cell disease or thalassemia, Smoking (current or former), Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, Substance use disorders, Tuberculosis.
September 20, 2021
At Acton Medical Associates, we take the safety of our patients, staff, and the community seriously. Our providers want to take the best possible care of our patients’ health at all times, regardless of COVID-19 or any possible pandemic. We continue to innovate and grow to adapt to changing times and are making improvements with the overarching goal of providing excellent primary care to patients in a clean and safe environment.
We are performing testing for symptomatic or exposed individuals. Unfortunately, we cannot provide convenience testing. Convenience tests include those needed for travel or to show a negative test result to meet requirements set by colleges, places of employment, or summer camps for Pediatric patients. Click here to find other test sites near you.
Our teams continue to create change and follow strict safety practices to ensure our patients and staff are protected.
We are working hard to accommodate an ongoing, extraordinary high level in phone volume, and recently implemented online scheduling so patients can schedule annual exams or well child visits online from our website or healow, the patient portal. Click here to learn more about online scheduling.
— Patients may find it helpful to know that our phone lines are busiest on Monday mornings. Healow is a good way to reach us when the phones are busy and the question is not immediately urgent. —
Our Portal Support team is happy to help with questions about creating a healow account, how to use healow, and with technical difficulties that may arise when using online scheduling from our website or the healow app. Contact the team at email@example.com.
To improve access for our patients we are actively recruiting more staff such as Physicians, Nurses, Medical Assistants, Patient Service Representatives, and General Office Help.
To our patients, thank you for your patience and support.
Masks are required in all locations, Greeters will provide surgical masks to visitors upon arrival. Patients can choose to wear masks alone or over their own mask.Â
September 16, 2021
Acton Medical is pleased to now offer all patients the ability to request a Yearly Physical or Well Child appointment online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without making a phone call!Â
Annual Exams or Well Child Visits can be requested online two ways;Â
Well Child visits are usually for children under the age of two.Â Annual Physicals occur once a year as defined by each patientâ€™s insurance coverage.
Patients are not required to use online scheduling for Annual Exams or Well Child visits. Please call our office anytime for any need, (978) 635-8700. No question is too small!
Please contact Portal Support with technical questions about using online scheduling, firstname.lastname@example.org. Patients should call our office with non-technical questions.
August 25, 2021
August 20, 2021
On August 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their COVID-19 vaccine recommendations to include direction regarding booster shots. The new advice suggests that people who were administered the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, and are moderately to severely immunocompromised receive an additional vaccine dose. The CDC describes those individuals as follows;
Click here to read more from the CDC’s “COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised“ webpage.
Johnson & Johnson Booster: At this time, there are no recommendations for individuals who received the J&J vaccine to receive a second dose. Additional information will be provided by the CDC in the future.
Moderna and Pfizer Booster: Acton Medical is waiting for advisement from the CDC about booster shots for individuals who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and are not part of the high risk immunosuppression group.
Acton Medical is unable to offer the COVID-19 vaccine. Please visit Mass.gov or pharmacy websites for alternative options. Acton Medical Pediatrics recommends the vaccine for patients 12 and above.Â
More Vaccine Questions? Call 978-635-8970 and leave a message to receive a call back from our COVID-19 Vaccine Team.
August 13, 2021
Due to a national and regional shortage of COVID-19 testing supplies we are unable to provide rapid testing at our mobile care site. Samples will be sent out for testing and results should be available in one business day.
The COVID-19 vaccine is not currently available at Acton Medical. Please visit Mass.gov or pharmacy websites for alternative options. Acton Medical Pediatrics recommends the vaccine for patients 12+.
July 2, 2021
Acton Medical Associates is pleased to now offer patients the ability to pay their bills on-line using Healow from our website. Healow is the new patient portal that replaced FollowMyHealthÂ® on February 8, 2021. Follow these quick steps to view and pay statements after logging into Healow:
Bills for patients 13 to 17 must be paid by phone or mail. Please call Patient Accounts for assistance.
Patient Accounts Department – Weekdays 7:30am-4:00pmÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â (978) 635-8432
In addition to making payments, call Patient Accounts for other billing needs like trying to find a statement, or charge explanations.
Email Portal Support, PortalSupport@actonmedical.com.
June 3, 2021
Exciting changes are taking place at Acton Medical Associates!
On July 12, Adult Medicine and Pediatrics are returning to pre-pandemic scheduling in all four locations. Acton Medical strives to provide services to patients in their community as much as possible. The reopening of our satellite offices to mixed-use helps us to achieve that goal.
Patients will see their doctors, nurses, and other favorite team members at their usual pre-pandemic location, Acton, Harvard, Hudson, or Littleton. As such, please note:
– Harvard is no longer dedicated to Adult Medicine well visitsÂ Â Â – Littleton is no longer dedicated to Pediatrics
Our teams can’t wait to see familiar faces, and are ready to help patients arrange their next visit at the most convenient Acton Medical location!
We are incredibly proud of our staff who worked exceptionally hard through the pandemic to quickly provide safe solutions that allowed all of our offices to remain open through an extraordinary year. The creativity and versatility put forth by Acton Medical staff allowed us to:
– Open a new Hudson office in the Shops at Highland Commons
– Keep all four locations open through an international pandemic
– Set up a respiratory care clinic in our community to care for ill patients
–Â Open a mobile care site for COVID-19 rapid testing
– Provide telehealth appointments for Adult and Pediatric patients
– Implement a new electronic health record system that complies with all recent legislation
– Launch Healow, a new and more robust patient portal
– Begin a phased launch of Open Access, an online scheduling feature being offered in stages to patients
At Acton Medical, we are dedicated to continued improvement and know there are challenges to overcome.
While proud of our accomplishments, we are also aware of ongoing growing pains. Congested phone lines may make it difficult for our patients to speak with us, the patience and flexibility shown by our patients is greatly appreciated. Please know that weâ€™ve dedicated many resources toward solving this challenge. To improve access for our patients we are actively recruiting more staff, offering online appointments, and currently testing new technology solutions to provide better service.
Patients may find it helpful to know that our phone lines are busiest on Monday mornings, and the portal is a good way to reach us when the phones are busy and the question is not immediately urgent. We hope to share successes in this area over the coming weeks.
To our patients, thank you for your patience and support.
We take the care of our patients and their families seriously. Our providers are dedicated to you and want to take the best possible care of your health. We continue to grow and adapt to changing times with innovations and improvements, and the overarching goal of providing excellent primary care to you. Thank you for choosing Acton Medical Associates!Â
May 25, 2021
Acton Medical Associates is pleased to launch online appointment scheduling for Pediatric patients. The new online service allows current Pediatric patients, and approved parents and guardians, to request a Well Child or Annual Physical appointment without making a phone call. Appointments with your Pediatrician can now be requested online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
There are two ways to request a Pediatric appointment using online scheduling;
– Using the Healow app
Pediatric patients can use the above options to request their next Well Child appointment or Annual Physical.
No other appointment types can be requested using the online feature at this time.
Please call to schedule any other appointments over the phone at (978) 635-8914. Patients are not required to use online scheduling, so please call our office anytime for any need. For those who are not current patients, click here to become a new patient.
Pediatric online scheduling is the first phase of Acton Medicalâ€™s online scheduling launch. The ability to request Adult Medicine appointments online is coming soon! Â
Please contact Portal Support with questions about using online scheduling, email@example.com. Pediatric patients should call our office with non-technical questions. More information about online scheduling for all patients will continue to be shared over the next few months.
March 4, 2021
What is Healow? Healow is the new patient portal for Acton Medical patients. It replaced FollowMyHealth and is available to all patients.
What happened to FollowMyHealth? Acton Medical replaced FollowMyHealth with the new patient portal, Healow, on February 8. Patients still have access to FollowMyHealth, but going forward Acton Medical will not be using, or loading new data into FMH.
Where is the information that was in FollowMyHealth? All previous patient data stored in FMH is transferred into each patientâ€™s new Healow account. No FMH data is lost.
How do I create a Healow account? Email PortalSupport@actonmedical.com to request an account setup.
What is Healow Kids? Healow Kids is a free app available on Google Playâ„˘ or the Apple App StoreÂ® that enables parents/guardians to access educational materials, videos, and tools like a tooth bush timer and screen time tracker. The app is a resource for parents and guardians of patients under the age of 13. Parents must setup a main Healow account before access to Healow Kids can be granted.
Can I request an appointment through Healow? At this time, only Pediatric Well Visits or Pediatric Annual physicals can be scheduled from our website. Please visit our Schedule an Appointment page for details, and call our office to arrange any other appointment types.
Can I still request prescription refills through Healow? Yes. If you are waiting for your main Healow account to be created, then please call our office to setup an appointment in the meantime,
My child is a patient, but I am not. Will my child still be able to have a Healow account? Yes. Please see below for Acton Medicalâ€™s policy on age and access to medical information as mandated by the state of Mass.
Age 0-12: Parents have access to the childâ€™s full information
Age 13-17: As an authorized individual, parents can message with the childâ€™s provider. The child will only be able to communicate back-and-forth with providers from the portal, no clinical information will flow into Healow during these ages. Messages are visible by all individuals with authorized access to the childâ€™s account.
Age 18+: Patients over the age of 18 control their own Healow account and have full access to their medical information. On a patientâ€™s 18th birthday, all previously authorized individuals are automatically disconnected from the account. Patients 18 and over can then log into their Healow account and add their parents or other authorized individuals with â€śview onlyâ€ť access.
Do I have to use Healow? No. Using the patient portal is completely voluntary.
Is there a charge for Healow? No. Acton Medical is pleased to offer the portal as a complimentary tool for patients to conveniently manage their healthcare needs.
February 16, 2021
Unfortunately, due to the state’s severely limited vaccine supply, we can no longer schedule first dose appointments for patients.
We strongly encourage eligible patients to schedule an appointment at a state vaccination site. Anyone needing assistance with scheduling can call the Massachusetts COVID-19 hotline at 2-1-1. Learn more about the state’s rollout plan at www.mass.gov/vaccine. Another close resource is Lowell General, visit their website for COVID-19 vaccination options as well, www.lowellgeneralvaccine.com.
This news is disappointing for all of us. If we receive additional vaccine supply, we will update our website atÂ actonmedical.com.Â Â However, we do not anticipate having any vaccine supply for the foreseeable future. Questions related to vaccine distribution should be directed to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health atÂ www.mass.govÂ or 617-624-6000.
Please visit our website for regular vaccine updates, www.actonmedical.com.
February 10, 2021
Is Acton Medical running COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics?
How can I find a vaccine clinic in Massachusetts?
February 4, 2021
Mass.gov shares COVID-19 vaccine updates regularly. Use the below links to access the most current information:
Visit our COVID-19 Resources web page for more vaccine updates the Mass. DPH, and support materials created by our own physicians and clinical staff.
January 14, 2021
Acton Medical is excited to be launching healow, a new and more robust Patient Portal, on February 8. Healow replaces Follow My Health and provides a more user-friendly experience, and upgraded features to help our patients manage their healthcare needs more easily.
The new platform includes â€śhealow Kids,â€ť a portal just for Pediatric patients that offers Milestone Tracking, Tooth Brush Timers, and a Screen Time Tracker. Detailed instructions and more information will be shared as the launch date gets closer.
January 7, 2021
Acton Medical is pleased to welcome Meenakshi Garg, M.D. to our Adult Medicine team!
Dr. Garg enjoys partnering with her patients on an individual basis to assist with each personâ€™s unique health issues and goals to help empower them to make the best health decisions at that moment in time. She is especially passionate about preventive health, helping patients to manage chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, and the importance of mental health in overall well-being.
In her free time, Dr. Garg treasures her time with her husband and two children, and enjoys travelling. She is fluent in English and Hindi as well!
Click here to learn more about Dr. Garg, and call (978) 635-8710 to register as a new patient.
January 4, 2021
Accepting New Patients, Adult Medicine and Pediatrics
Acton Medical is pleased to open our fourth primary care location in Massachusetts. On January 4, 2021 we officially opened our doors in the Shops at Highland Commons, located at 36 Highland Commons East in Hudson Mass.
It’s been a pleasure serving patients in Acton, Harvard, Littleton, and the surrounding towns for the past 65 years. We’re thrilled to now be able to expand our reach and provide high quality care to more people across Mass. Click here for more information and thank you for choosing Acton Medical Associates!
December 29, 2020
A message from Chief Medical Officer & CEO, Dr. Deborah Kovacs, andÂ Q&A with first vaccinated employee, Becky Beebe, Medical Assistant.
A Message from Chief Medical Officer & CEO, Dr. Deborah Kovacs
“The most monumental event of this year was receiving our first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This was weeks in the making, with many of our staff working hard to get our application for the vaccine approved for our employees. When we got news of the approval, I teared up and cheered at the same time.
We have spent this year implementing safety protocols â€“ itâ€™s been a huge focus for us. Every day I go to work, I am thinking about keeping our staff and our patients safe. Having the vaccine available for our employees takes us a huge step forward in putting an end to this pandemic that has rocked everyoneâ€™s lives in 2020.
In preparation for the vaccine, we talked to our employees and asked what questions they had about the vaccine. The clinical staff put together an FAQ resource based on employee questions, and we worked hard to be available to anyone who wanted to know about the vaccineâ€™s safety, possible side effects, and our personal opinion about getting the vaccine.
After vaccinating our employees, we are eager to hear from the state about Phase 2, which involves vaccinating patients. When we are permitted by the DPH, we will be ready to help vaccinate the community of Acton Medicalâ€™s patients in accordance with their guidelines.
I am so grateful to the community for being there for us with support and kindness, and to our employees for doing an amazing job keeping everyoneâ€™s spirits up this year.”
— Deborah B. Kovacs, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CEO, Acton Medical Associates
Q&A with Becky Beebe First Vaccinated Employee
COVID-19 vaccines have arrived for clinical staff at Acton Medical! Becky Beebe, Medical Assistant, was the first employee to be vaccinated last week. Becky answers a few questions about her vaccine experience below:
ACTON MEDICAL: How did it feel to be the first employee vaccinated?
BECKY: I was honored to be chosen, and excited and grateful to get it at all.
ACTON MEDICAL: Were you nervous about getting the vaccine?
BECKY: Not all. I understand that the vaccine is best for the community and for humanity.
ACTON MEDICAL: What does it mean to you to get the vaccine, on a personal level?
BECKY: Relieved. I always wear the correct PPE, but this makes me feel better and extra secure.
ACTON MEDICAL: Is there anything youâ€™d like to share with our patients about getting the vaccine?
BECKY: When the vaccine is offered to you, please get it, not only for your health and safety, but for all essential workers and at-risk individuals.
Acton Medical Associates is following federal and state guidelines to determine who should receive the vaccines first. At this time, we are only vaccinating select staff and do not have a timeline of when the vaccine will be available for our patients.
December 8, 2020
It can be difficult to keep track of all of the COVID-19 information shared with the public from the Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control. As such, Acton Medical created a one-page resource to help patients navigate the different scenarios that may be encountered when dealing with possible COVID-19 symptoms and test results.
Click here to access the new resource available on our website, General Guidance for Understanding Your Responsibility with Isolation and Quarantine with COVID-19.