COVID Recovery Program
Scripps Health has developed the COVID Recovery Program to address the lingering complications endured by many patients previously infected with the COVID-19 virus. Some patients experience ongoing symptoms such as shortness of breath, continued loss of taste or smell, dizziness or headaches, fatigue and brain fog.
The program is designed for Scripps patients recovering from a hospital stay, as well as those who did not require hospitalization but are recovering from COVID. The goal of the program is to help patients on the road to recovery and ensure that post-COVID patients get proper, compassionate medical treatment customized to their needs.
Patients can choose to see the COVID Recovery physician for their initial consult via telemedicine or in person at one of two locations — Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines (north) or Scripps Advanced Care Clinic (south/central). After the initial consultation, patients will be referred to a high-quality network of medical specialists and services, as appropriate
The Scripps COVID Recovery Program team consists of primary care providers, specialty physicians, physical therapists, social workers, occupational therapists, RN care navigators and behavioral health experts (external referral).
Our team will perform a detailed evaluation and provide necessary referrals to specialists who can further address each patient’s symptoms. Our RN care navigators will assist with scheduling, coordinating and managing the plan of care.
Who is eligible
Patients who meet the following requirements are currently being admitted to the COVID Recovery Program by physician referral only. This includes patients who:
- Have had a positive previous COVID test
- Have had persistent symptoms for 30 days or more, including but not limited to the following:
- Decreased exercise tolerance, including shortness of breath
- Headaches, dizziness, prolonged loss of sense of taste or smell
- Cognitive conditions including memory loss, brain fog, or mental fatigue
- Mood disorders like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
What to expect
The intake process performed by a registered nurse will take approximately 30 minutes. Subsequently, an initial consultation will be scheduled with one of our COVID Recovery Program physicians. That visit will take 30 - 45 minutes.
This visit might also include referrals to additional doctors, including cardiologists, pulmonologists, neurologists, psychiatrists and physical medicine/rehabilitation medicine specialists, as needed.
Frequently asked questions
Who qualifies for the COVID Recovery Program?
Patients who are enrolled in the COVID Recovery Program must:
- Have a history of confirmed COVID
- Have had persistent symptoms for 30 days or more following their positive test that are continuing. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty exercising or a decrease in exercise tolerance, including shortness of breath
- Headaches or dizziness
- Chest pain
- Cognitive conditions including memory loss, brain fog or mental fatigue
- Mood disorders like anxiety, depression or PTSD
How do I get referred to the COVID Recovery Program?
Patients should discuss their symptoms with their primary care provider to help determine whether this program is an appropriate next step in their care.
Why do I need a doctor’s referral to be seen?
If you don’t have a primary care doctor at Scripps or haven’t been seen by a doctor recently, you may have underlying medical issues that need to be addressed prior to being evaluated for post-COVID complications. In addition, many post-COVID symptoms can be appropriately addressed and managed by your primary care doctor without requiring specialty evaluation in our program. A doctor's referral is required so that your health condition and needs are reviewed ahead of time and medically deemed as needing more specialized care from the COVID Recovery Program.
How can I qualify if I’m new to Scripps?
If you are interested in becoming a Scripps patient, please call 800-727-4777 for a physician referral.
What specific services does the Scripps COVID Recovery Program provide?
Depending on the patient’s needs, the Scripps COVID Recovery Program physician may refer the patient to:
- Patient navigation
- Visit with a Scripps specialist in the following divisions: Pulmonology, neurology, cardiology, gastroenterology, dermatology, allergy, diabetes/endocrinology, gerontology, integrative medicine, nephrology, rheumatology, sleep medicine, pain management
- Scripps Post-COVID Rehabilitation Program (physical therapy)
- Occupational therapy
- Behavioral health (external referral)
- Social worker
- Home-based care services
How long does the program last?
Participation in the program is expected to last for a period of two to six months. The patient’s primary care physician will be closely apprised of the care each patient receives during that time.
How soon after having COVID can I schedule an appointment to get referred to the program?
It is considered normal to have lingering symptoms following COVID for up to three months. So, you should wait until you are having persistent symptoms beyond 10 to 12 weeks before seeking a referral to the COVID Recovery Program. Patients who were hospitalized due to severe COVID may require follow-up as soon as four to six weeks after leaving the hospital.
Is the COVID Recovery Program a clinical trial?
No, the program is not a clinical trial. Your consultation includes an evaluation with our doctor and all testing and office visits are billed to insurance.
However, Scripps does plan to participate in research through our COVID Recovery Program, which could vary from registry trials, to joining existing multi-center trials, to creating our own investigator-initiated trials.