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Program & Goals

Recovery from COVID-19 is posing a new set of challenges for patients and physicians alike. The UNC COVID Recovery Clinic serves as a central resource to provide medical care for COVID-19 survivors who have ongoing health effects.

It is estimated that 10 – 30% of COVID-19 survivors will experience lingering symptoms or health effects, a condition frequently known as “Long COVID”.  The most common persistent symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, headaches, “brain fog” (reduced attention or memory), anxiety, and depression.

What To Expect During Your Initial Evaluation

The initial assessment can be done in person (Chapel Hill, NC) or in your home or office via telemedicine. A UNC COVID Recovery Clinic provider will gather specific information about your medical history and COVID illness, including assessing current symptoms, mood, thinking/memory, and physical endurance.

Prior to the visit, please consider what symptoms are most concerning to you.  It can also be helpful to write down a list of questions to discuss with the provider.  Please also bring a list of your current medicines to the visit.

Treatments Approaches

A treatment plan will be designed based on your specific ongoing symptoms.  While they can vary, recommended treatments may include a structured exercise program, cognitive rehabilitation activities, medications, dietary modifications, and lifestyle changes.  In some cases, further testing such as lab work or imaging studies may be recommended.  Additional specialist evaluations may also be recommended if needed to address your particular symptoms.

Depending on the degree of your symptoms and progress with recovery, you may have follow up visits for further assessments.  The COVID Recovery Clinic will assist—not replace—your existing medical providers.  After each visit, records will be sent to your primary providers to keep them updated on your treatment plan and progress.

COVID Recovery Clinic Medical Team

COVID Recovery Clinic Group Photo

Your medical care will be led by a team based within the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Internal Medicine.  The team includes John M. Baratta, MD, MBA (co-director), Louise King, MD (co-director), and Nikita Harrington, FNP.

FAQS

Read our Frequently Asked Questions

What symptoms does the COVID Recovery Clinic evaluate and treat?

Long COVID symptoms can be variable and affect many different parts of the body and brain.  We are able to evaluate and provide recommendations or a treatment plan for a number of symptoms including: fatigue; shortness of breath; heart palpitations; chest pain/tightness; cough; brain fog (memory and/or attention problems); weakness; dizziness; loss of smell or taste; sleep disorders; nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; anxiety, depression, and PTSD; rashes; and joint, muscle, and nerve pains.

 

How do I schedule an appointment with the COVID Recovery Clinic?

In order to qualify for evaluation, you must be (1) at least 18 years of age, (2) have a documented COVID positive test, and (3) have lingering symptoms for more than 2 months.  Physician referral is required and can be provided by your primary care provider or a specialist.  Please ask your provider to submit a referral to the UNC COVID Recovery Clinic at Fax # 984-215-2643.

 

What should I expect for the initial visit?

The initial assessment can be done in person (Chapel Hill, NC) or through a video visit in a private location.  In person evaluations are preferred when possible as this will allow for a more complete examination of physical concerns.  Due to medical board requirements, video visit patients must be physically located within North Carolina at the time of the appointment.

During this visit, a UNC COVID Recovery Clinic provider will gather specific information about your medical history and COVID illness, including assessing current symptoms, mood, thinking/memory, and physical endurance.  A plan with recommendations will be developed based on your particular concerns.

Initial visits are typically 45 – 60 minutes in duration.  Prior to the visit, please consider what symptoms are most concerning to you.  It can also be helpful to write down a list of questions to discuss with the provider.  Please also bring a list of your current medicines to the visit.

 

What should I expect for a Multidisciplinary Clinic visit?

After initial evaluation, some patients who have a number of concerns are recommended to have a Multidisciplinary Clinic visit, which is an evaluation with a panel of medical specialists and therapists.  The team includes a physiatrist (rehabilitation doctor), internist, psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, physical therapist, and occupational therapist.  The goal of these groups visits is to develop a coordinated, comprehensive plan of care.  Multidisciplinary clinic visits typically last 3.5 – 4 hours and are only offered in person in Chapel Hill, NC.  A visit with the Multidisciplinary Clinic involves separate co-pays for each of the providers.

 

What types of treatment does the COVID Recovery Clinic offer?

A treatment plan will be designed based on your specific ongoing symptoms.  While they can vary, recommended treatments may include a structured exercise program, cognitive rehabilitation activities, medications, dietary modifications, and lifestyle changes.  In some cases, further testing such as lab work or imaging studies may be recommended.  Additional specialist evaluations may also be recommended if needed to address your particular symptoms.

Depending on the degree of your symptoms and progress with recovery, you may have follow up visits for further assessments.  The COVID Recovery Clinic will assist—not replace—your existing medical providers.  After each visit, records will be sent to your primary providers to keep them updated on your treatment plan and progress.

 

What should I expect for the duration of my treatment?

We seek to provide assistance to help with your medical and functional recoveries.  The number and frequency of visits with the COVID Recovery Clinic depends on how you progress and on your participation in recommended rehabilitation activities.  On average, patients are seen approximately 3 times prior to release from the clinic.

 

Does the COVID Recovery Clinic complete medical leave or disability paperwork?

We encourage medical leave or disability paperwork be completed by your primary care provider, as you would have an ongoing and long-term relationship with that person.  We will provide our complete recommendations to your primary healthcare provider to assist with their completion of the paperwork.

 

Is the COVID Recovery Clinic a research study?

The primary focus of the COVID Recovery Clinic is to provide clinical care to improve the medical and functional recoveries of Long COVID patients.  It is not a research study.

Research opportunities may become available in the future.  If you are interested in participating in Long COVID research, please check back to our website for updates.

 

Is there a cost to be seen in the COVID Recovery Clinic?

An individual visit with a COVID Recovery Clinic provider is a billed as a specialist visit.

A visit with the Multidisciplinary Clinic involves separate co-pays for each of the providers.

To learn more about UNC Health’s billing policies, as well as financial assistance options, please visit this page.

 

Where can I find recent coverage or updates about the COVID Recovery Clinic?

You can find interview and media clips with COVID Recovery Clinic providers on our News page.

Eligibility

New patients are currently being accepted into the UNC COVID Recovery Clinic.  In order to qualify for evaluation, you must be (1) at least 18 years of age, (2) have a documented COVID positive test, and (3) have lingering symptoms for more than 1 month.  Physician referral is required and can be provided by your primary care provider or a specialist.

For Appointments

Physician referrals are required.

Providers may enter an EPIC Ambulatory Referral to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. For Department, select PMR COVID Recovery Clinic. Providers without EPIC access may fax a referral with recent medical records to the UNC COVID Recovery Clinic at 984-215-2643 (fax).

Research

The UNC COVID Recovery Clinic is not currently enrolling Long COVID patients for research studies.  Research opportunities may become available in the future.  If you are interested in participating in Long COVID research, please check back to this page in the future for updates.

Other Questions

For other questions about the UNC COVID Recovery Clinic, contact the UNC Center for Rehabilitation Care at 984-974-9747 press 2.  Click here to view news coverage about the clinic.

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