Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Educate Yourself and Get the Information You Need

 

 

To Your Health
Scott Lowe
CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd

Remember the good old days when it was commonplace to clip a helpful and/or interesting article out of the newspaper for future reference or to share with a neighbor? Well, grab your scissors, this is one of those times.

As the CEO of Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard, I believe there is nothing more important than your access to information to successfully navigate all aspects of your health care needs.

Today, I’m going to cover some basics about insurance and billing as well as a great new resource to access your patient record information.

Insurance

First and foremost, empower yourself — take the time to know your benefits. Having a working knowledge of your policy, deductible and co-pay — as well as any exclusions on your policy and your in-network vs. out-of-network providers — will prove to be invaluable.

This information can typically be obtained through printed and/or online sources or by calling your insurance company’s customer service number. Don’t forget, you are a “paying customer” to your insurance provider, and they have a responsibility to help you understand what you are paying for.

What’s more, don’t wait until you need insurance coverage. Be proactive and educate yourself in advance.

Yes, members of the Physicians Regional team can help you with many insurance-related issues; however, by the time some questions come our way, a specific treatment process may already be underway.

When all is said and done, no one can understand all the nuances of your personal health insurance policy better than you.

Billing

To begin, please keep in mind that Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard is home to Physicians Regional health care providers as well as host to other specialty physicians and health care service teams. For example, outside organizations such as Naples Radiology provide essential services out of our hospital centers.

The result: Your insurance company may be billed by multiple providers; you may be as well.

Now, write this down and keep it handy: 866-481-2553. If you are a Physicians Regional patient, this telephone number will put you in touch with a member of our well-staffed customer service team.

Customer Service is prepared to help you understand issues such as the cost of specific procedures and the status on bills and insurance payments.

They can also assist you in determining estimated insurance benefit coverage versus out-of-pocket expenses in advance of a hospital visit. In fact, Physicians Regional Customer Service can access most patient/insurance benefit. Should your visit be to our emergency room, simply call Customer Service afterwards, and review the services provided rather than waiting for an unknown number of invoices to be sent your way.

Your patient record is typically updated within 24 hours of your visit.

My Health Home Patient Portal

Another great option for information is “My Health Home Patient Portal,” a secure online home for your hospital health information. This FREE online service is designed to help you be a more active partner in your healthcare.

To sign up, present your photo identification and email address at registration on your next visit to any Physicians Regional medical facility or doctor’s office. An email will then be sent to you to guide you through the online set-up process.

When you create an account in the My Health Home Patient Portal, you can:

  • View and share your personal health record (PHR) related to your hospital stays.
  • View your lab results, list of medications, diagnoses, allergies, lab test results, physician reports and other healthcare information related to your inpatient hospital care.
  • Access your hospital discharge instructions to help you take better care of yourself once you are home.
  • Review and update your personal information.
  • Manage family member health records (once you are authorized).

Plus, the My Health Home Patient Portal is easy to use. You don’t have to download or install any programs. You can access My Health Home from any computer or smartphone with an Internet connection.

The My Home Health Patient Portal is especially helpful for those who travel north during off-season — those with physicians in other geographic areas in need of your most updated health records.

So often, I find that “fear” of technology and automated voicemail systems keeps patients from proactively educating themselves. However, both your “comfort” and your “comfort level” impact your health care experience.

Give technology the benefit of the doubt and take the initiative to educate yourself. You may be surprised at how much more pleasant your overall experience will be. After all, knowledge is power.

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