Recap: Patient Access Week

Last week (April 3-7) we celebrated Patient Access Week here at Riverside. Check out some of the fun pictures from the week here:

I can easily tell you what Access is, what it should be, and what we do, but it means everything to hear it straight from my teams who do this job every day,” said Melissa Halcomb, Director Patient Access. “I appreciate them all so much, their dedication to our patients, and I hope you can also see that dedication some of the great responses we received!”

So…she reached out to the leaders of the Centralized Access teams which include – Outpatient Scheduling, RMG Call Center, Benefits/Authorizations, Outpatient Center Pavilion, Coordination Center (ED Reg) and Labor Pool.

  What is Patient Access?

  • “Every single Riverside employee to me is considered as Patient Access. It starts with the first conversation (impression) that the patient has with our team and ends when their care plan is complete. During this process, there are countless employees that our patients encounter from the greeters making them feel at home and safe to maintenance making sure that every facility/office is clean to doctors and office staff to employees working behind the scenes for patients. Patient Access focuses fully on our patients and making their experience top notch from start to finish.”—Patient Access Team Member     
  • Access for patients for scheduling (Lindsay), My Chart (Tricia), Getting the patients to the correct departments the first time they call (Eli), More options and access for appointments and the tests they need (Access Team Member)
  • In most cases we are the first point of contact a patient will have with the facility or their provider’s office. We are the guide through a patient’s visit. 
  • The beginning process of Revenue Cycle!! We are the start of it all ???? and it has to be right for the whole process to work

 What does Patient Access mean to you?

  • Patient Access means to me that we do everything in our power to handle all of the technical things related to the patients insurance coverage so that they only need to worry about getting themselves better or whatever they are trying to accomplish. 
  • It means patient satisfaction (Lindsay, Deb) It means being available to answer questions to help patients. (Tricia) Not having to call patients back because we don’t have everything done –protocol or the systems built in the background to help them the first time! sc (Tricia). Taking care of the patients in timely manner (Tracy).
  • We are patient satisfaction!
  • Getting all of the information right for the patient, the organization so the billing processes can be smooth for Revenue Cycle (billing)

What do WE (Patient Access Employees) do?

  • Our team works on the approvals for outpatient hospital testing, verifies benefits and retrieves authorizations where needed.   
  • We schedule patients the best we can in a timely manner for test or procedures (Samantha). We make it happen—we are often the ‘behind the scenes’ group but we take care of a lot for the organization and with other departments! We work together in our team to call out to patients and are also answer incoming calls, listening to patients and making them happy, resolving their concerns and answering questions as much as we can to get them in and scheduled with their doctors and for their tests.  We go above and beyond to ensure patients are taken care of for a test—we talk to other departments to make sure everything is right (Eli). Taking the walk with patient through the process of scheduling (Ashley).

What are some things available to patients to help them ACCESS care? (that patients may not know about–but they should use!)

  • Some things that patients may not be familiar with is that there are payment options offered if they have a balance that they can not afford to pay right away.  
  • My Chart! Our Website for insurance information and customer service contacts. My Chart for resetting passwords and assigning proxy access. (Chazz)
  • Signing up for their health care providers web site this will give them access to not only deductibles and out of pocket but limitations, exclusions, and medical policies. As well as provider and facility network status.  
  • My Chart for sure!!! Patients should be using My Chart to upload their insurance, pay their bills, schedule appointments, everything!

How can patients help themselves improve ACCESS to their care?

  • Patients can help themselves when it comes to patient access by simply asking questions when it comes to their healthcare. It is beneficial to patients to understand what benefits their insurance plan has so they can properly prepare for any out of pocket costs that they may incur. -Nichole Lewis, PAIII
  • Being better educated on all information related to their own insurance!
  • Know their benefits and ask questions of their insurance
  • Encourage use of My Chart
  • Education to improve their comprehension of what type of health care coverage fits their needs.   -Patricia Shegog, PA III
  • Giving us all the details we need, giving us access to photo id’s most current demographics, insurance, everything we need. Kim Heinstra, PAIII