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Patient Consumer Information

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) 

Guidance and Prevention

All Mississippi residents should wear non-medical grade masks or homemade cloth face coverings when shopping, running errands, or otherwise away from home. Face covering is especially important when a distance of at least 6 feet cannot easily be maintained between persons. This recommendation does not include manufactured (surgical) or N95 masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.

For more information about mask usage, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, found here, for which masks are preferred, how to wear them properly and how to clean them.

Advisory from the State Health Officer on social gatherings: Due to rapidly rising COVID-19 cases, all residents of Mississippi should avoid any social gathering that includes individuals outside of the immediate family or household. MSDH recommends that Mississippians only participate in work, school or other absolutely essential activities, and avoid gatherings such as social events, sporting events, in-person church services, and weddings and funerals unless they involve only close family (preferably outdoors).

Click here for precautions and guidance that can help you and the state safer and healthier. This site also provides an updated list of counties with special requirements for masks and social distancing. 

Drive-Through Testing

Mississippians can be tested for COVID-19 at selected Mississippi State Department of health county health departments, community testing locations, and at the West Street Farmer's Market in Jackson. 

If you suspect you are have symptoms, call the Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline (7 days a week, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.) at 877-978-6453. Hard of hearing? Dial 711 for assistance. 

All Mississippians can be tested for COVID-19 free of charge by appointment at regularly scheduled county health department locations. Check here for locations. 

Free drive-through testing is offered by the Mississippi State Department of Health in partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). 

Drive-through testing by appointment is available daily at the West Street Farmers Market in Jackson. 

Testing is open to all Mississippians, but before visiting a county health department or other testing site, you must first be screened by speaking with a UMMC clinician to determine your likelihood of COVID-19 infection or exposure. This can be done by calling 601-496-7200 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Saturday) or completing the UMMC COVID-19 online patient screening form. If the clinician determines that your likelihood of infection is high, you will receive an appointment for drive-through testing.

Mississippi K-12 public, private and parochial teachers and school staff can be tested by appointment only, regardless of whether they show symptoms or have had close contact with someone positive for the virus, at the West Street Farmers Market in Jackson or at any one-day collection site coordinated by MSDH and UMMC. Testing is Monday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the West Street Farmers Market, corner of West and Woodrow Wilson Avenue, or 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at one-day sites.

Free Rides to Vaccination Sites

If you need a free ride to get your COVID-19 vaccine, call one of these organizations: 

  • Mississippi Department of Transportation - 1-866-813-3616
    Anyone in Mississippi can contact the toll-free number, above, to select a vaccinations site from one of these six options: Delta Area, Golden Triangle Area, Northeast Area, Central Area, Southern Area, and Southwest Area. Once you choose a region, you'll be connected to the designated call center. The ride will be scheduled within 24-48 hours. For evening and weekend calls, every effort will be made to confirm scheduled trips by the next business day. 
  • Vaccination Transportation Initiative - 214-302-9445
    Anyone in the Delta can call this number after making an appointment to get vaccinated. Give 24 hours notice before you need a ride. The organization will pick you up, take you to get your vaccine, and bring you home afterward. 
  • Mississippi Valley State University - 214-302-9445
    Who it serves: Anyone in Leflore, Sunflower, Washington, Holmes, Humphreys, Carroll, Tallahatchie or Grenada counties. 
    After you make an appointment to get vaccinated, call this number to arrange a ride. Give 24 hours notice before you need a ride. A Mississippi Valley State University transportation bus will pick you up, take you to get your vaccine, and bring you home afterward. 

Patient Consumer Information Resources

Helpful Health Sites: 

  • American Academy of PediatricsThe American Academy of Pediatrics provides information about health topics, diseases and conditions, child development, and child safety.
  • American Hospital Directory - The American Hospital Directory at ahd.com shows average charge and average cost for many hospital outpatient services. Charges and average costs for the 20 outpatient Ambulatory Payment Classifications (APCs) that made up the highest Medicare outpatient payment to each hospital. Critical access hospitals are excluded. List varies by hospital. Top 20 procedures may include volume (number of claims) and cost for colonoscopy, laparoscopy, CT, MRI, clinic and emergency (ED or ER) visits, x-ray tests, upper GI, lower GI endoscopy, athroscopy, cataract with lens, angiography, echocardiography, hernia repair, infusion therapy, nerve injection, observation services, outpatient cardiac catheterization, ultrasound. Scroll to bottom of the hospital page to find Outpatient Utilization Statistics. Some rural critical access hospitals may not show any outpatient test and visit prices. Also shown: inpatient market share by local zip code; net income. Link is to the Free Hospital Information
  • DoctorFinder - This online physician locator, provided by the American Medical Association, provides patients with basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States. This includes more than 814,000 doctors. 
  • Familydoctor.org provides medical advice from the American Academy of Family Physicians. Website features include an interactive symptom checker, health resources, COVID-19 facts. health tools. and more.
  • HealthyWomen - (formerly the National Women’s Health Resource Center) is a nonprofit, national clearinghouse for women’s health information. It develops original health materials and content for women and provides links to related news.   Features: Ask the Expert column, womenTALK blogs, discussion groups, free newsletters, videos and podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, and apps.
  • Hospice Compare - Compare up to 3 hospices at a time at Hospice Compare by Medicare.gov.  Site currently reports performance on 7 quality measures related to patient preferences and quality of care in managing pain and treating symptoms, 2018 data. Family satisfaction is also reported, including family training and communication, emotional support, pain management, overall rating of the hospice and willingness to recommend the hospice (national average is 84% would recommend). Search by zip code, state or city. All hospice agencies report, or face financial penalties. Published by the federal government.
  • Search for Certified Doctors - Find out whether your doctor is board certified through this link provided by the American Board of Medical Specialties. 

Health Insurance

  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield - Blue Cross and Blue Shield's interactive search tool links patients with network providers in the areas of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, General Practice, Obstetrics/Gynecology and Pediatrics. 
  • Health Insurance- Learn more about health insurance coverage, enrollment periods, and marketplace plans for individuals and small businesses through the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hospitals

  • Hospitals in Mississippi - Type in you full address, or city and state fo find hospitals that are closest to you.
  • Find the Best Hospital For You - U.S. New and World Report reviews hospitals' performance in adult and pediatric clinical specialties, procedures and conditions and more. Hospitals are also ranked regionally within states and major metro areas. 
  • Leapfrog Hospital Quality RatingsThe Leapfrog Group, an employer-based coalition, asks hospitals to voluntarily report how closely they follow recommended quality and safety practices. CLICK on the blue [i] to the right of each green bar chart to find out if your hospital meets survival expectations and/or volume standards of 50 very-low birth weight babies for High-Risk Delivery-Neonatal ICU patients per year. Other volume standards are also set for pancreatic resections and other cancer surgery. Info on infection rates and early elective cesarean deliveries are reported. Many, but unfortunately not all hospitals participate; easy to compare. Updated for 2019, but period covered is unclear. Leapfrog was a pioneer in getting ratings in the public eye. The 2020 survey will be shortened due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Medical Records:

  • Medical Records - Right to InformationMississippi Law states that medical records are the property of the entity that produced them, like a doctor's office, hospital or after hour's clinic. The patient, however, has the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the records during regular business hours. Medial records held by a federal or state agency are also available. 

Mental Health Resources

  • Mississippi Alliance to End Suicide - Provides suicide prevention, intervention and protection to those affected by suicidal loss. Call 601-301-6677 for more information. 
  • Mississippi Department of Mental Health offers a variety of services for mental health, IDD, alcohol and drug addictions, and Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. Enter your county here to find the nearest DMH certified service provider. 
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness  (NAMI) advocates at the county, state, and national levels for non-discriminatory access to quality healthcare, housing, education, and employment for people with mental illness. NAMI provides mental health support and education. the NAMI hotline can be reached Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., CT. 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org
  • The National Institute of Mental Health offers brochures and fact sheets on mental health disorders and related topics for patients and their families, health professionals, and the public. Printed materials can be ordered free of charge. Brochures and fact sheets are also offered in digital formats and are available in English and Spanish.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Call 1-800-273-8255. The service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Mississippi County Health Departments and Public Health Regions:

The Mississippi County Health Department serves Mississippi County and surrounding communities with various programs which include immunizations, lab services, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program, Show Me Healthy Women, Wise Woman, Family Planning, Registered Dietitians, Environmental Health Services, Safe Cribs, Infant Mortality Initiative with the Voice of Mississippi County, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, Prenatal Case Management, STD Services, Communicable Disease Investigation, Birth and Death Certificates, Parentlink Navigator, Southeast Regional Arthritis Center, Walk with Ease, Chronic Disease Self Management Program, Diabetes Center, Diabetes Self Management Program, Period of Purple Crying, Opioid Data to Action, Reducing the Risk and Teen Outreach Program.

Nursing Homes

Nursing Home CompareFree 5-star ratings from Nursing Home Compare for nursing homes that are Medicare or Medicaid certified and provide skilled nursing care. Quality ratings, nursing staffing and CNA hours per resident day, and results from survey inspection reports are updated with 2019 data. If you cannot find the nursing home you’re interested in, the facility might not accept Medicare and Medicaid patients. New feature (red “hand” icon) shows if the nursing home was cited for abuse. Federal fines are listed, but no details available. Check your state reports for additional information. Consumers can also ask the nursing facility to share their reports on resident and family satisfaction. Good nursing homes welcome your inquiry

Prescription Drug Plans 

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans - Medicare Prescription Drug Plans – Premiums and Quality Ratings for consumers. Compare the prices (monthly premium average cost) for prescription drug coverage through Medicare (medicare.gov) and see which plans have higher ratings. Uses a 5-star quality rating system that includes member satisfaction survey reports. The more accurate prices will be available if you create an account and log in.