How Referrals Work at Hometown Health and Senior Care Plus
Your provider wants to send you to a specialist. Now what? You are about to enter the referral process. A referral is your provider’s recommendation for you to see a specialist or receive specialized treatment. When it comes to referrals, the process can seem like the wild west for people not familiar with it. At Hometown Health and Senior Care Plus, we make the process simple for all our members. We know that access to specialists is a vital aspect of total health, and our goal is to break down those barriers to care at every level. Here is a step-by-step guide to how the referral process with your Hometown Health or Senior Care Plus provider works: 1. Your primary care provider (PCP) or urgent care provider will send a referral to the specialist’s office. A referral can also be sent from another specialist or after discharge from the hospital. This is usually done via email or fax. 2. As your referral is sent, now would be the ideal time to discuss with your provider’s office how the specialist will receive your medical records prior to your appointment. Your provider’s office will most likely send these records to the specialist for you, but it is always a good idea to double-check with them directly. At Renown, the referrals team will send the following items to your specialist’s office when available: ID Insurance card Most recent and relevant office notes to support the referral The referral order Any relevant labs or imaging pertaining to the referral Demographics information 3. The specialist’s office will call you to schedule the appointment after they receive the referral. Each office processes the referrals they receive in a slightly different time frame, so if you have any questions about the status of your referral, it is best to call their office directly. At Renown, if you are enrolled in MyChart, you can access the phone number for your specialist as soon as the team processes the referral. Those not enrolled MyChart will receive a letter in the mail with scheduling information. 4. The specialist will start to develop a course of treatment. That may include procedures, diagnostic tests or medications. Some of these treatments may require prior authorization from your insurance plan, so don’t forget to discuss how and when your specialist will receive the authorizations before you begin your course of care to avoid any surprise bills. What can I expect if I have a Renown specialist? At Renown, we handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes nitty-gritty so you don’t have to. After the referral is placed, it routes to Renown’s centralized referrals team and triaged to make sure you are scheduled with one of our providers with the right specialization for your specialty care needs. This team will also obtain the prior authorization you need and will you to a specialist that is in your network and based on you and/or your provider’s preference and continuity of care. The referrals team will attempt to find you a Renown provider first if you are not yet established elsewhere. For Hometown Health and Senior Care Plus members, prior authorization is not required for certain services if you are being referred to a Renown provider. This makes the scheduling process go quicker for both the provider and the patient. Our referrals team strives to keep their turnaround time for referrals within three business days, not including prior authorization wait times. If your referral is marked as ‘urgent,’ it will be reviewed within one business day so you are seen as soon as possible based on the needs of your medical condition, and you will receive a direct phone call with scheduling information. After prior authorization is obtained, the Renown scheduling team will call you through an automated phone system or via a message in MyChart with a direct link to schedule your appointment. To speak with a Renown scheduler or if you have any questions, please call 775-982-5000. What does prior authorization mean? Prior authorization isn’t as scary as it sounds! Essentially, prior authorization is your provider “going to bat” for you to receive this specialty level of care. Some medical services, including many specialists, are covered only if your ordering provider (usually your PCP) submits an authorization request to your insurance plan. They will include specific details about the type and duration of treatment they would like you to receive and any medical records that support your need for the specialist. After your insurer receives the request, a licensed medical professional will review the request, your records and your plan benefits. They will decide whether the specialty treatment is considered medically necessary based on recognized standards of care. Where can I go for more information? Your referrals and authorizations can be viewed in MyChart. To view them, navigate to Your Menu in the upper left corner of the page, scroll to the Insurance section and click on “Referrals.” The Renown referrals team is available to answer your questions and address any concerns. Give them a call at 775-982-2707 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Any questions you may have related to referrals and authorizations, including outside-of-Renown providers, can be directed to our expert Hometown Health or Senior Care Plus customer engagement representatives.
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What You Need To Know About Flu Shots
Flu shots don’t just protect those who get vaccinated; they guard everyone, including your family and the community. Renown Health experts help us understand why everyone, including children, pregnant women and the elderly, should get a flu shot. Ways to Schedule Your Flu Shot Call Us! 775-982-5000 Urgent Care Appointments Renown Pharmacy Vaccinations Make an Appointment via MyChart Need a Doctor? Find One Now Flu Shot Information Whitney Robinson, Renown Health Infection Prevention Expert Chills, body aches, fever and congestion; getting the flu isn’t fun. When you get a flu shot, you’re not just protecting yourself, you’re also helping reduce the total flu cases and hospitalizations. The ideal time to get your flu shot is September through October. This timing allows the vaccine to provide the strongest protection during the length of flu season. However, getting the vaccine later is better than not at all as it's still flu season well into spring. Flu Symptoms In general, influenza (flu) is worse than the common cold and shares symptoms with COVID-19, causing mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Symptoms include: Fever or feeling feverish/chills (not everyone will have a fever) Cough and/or sore throat Runny or stuffy nose Headaches, muscle or body aches Fatigue (tiredness) Vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults Who Needs a Flu Shot? Almost everyone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers it the first and most crucial step in protecting against the flu virus. Therefore, they recommend the yearly flu shot for those six months of age and older. Does the Flu Shot Help with COVID-19? The short answer is no. However, flu vaccines can reduce the risks of flu illness and hospitalization. Therefore, it is crucial for you to get your flu shot to not only protect yourself and the community, but also to help conserve vital, local healthcare resources. CDC Resource: Who Needs a Flu Vaccine and When Kids, the Elderly and Flu Shots Vanessa Slots, M.D., Renown Medical Group The flu is not a passing cold. It is a serious illness that takes lives every year and it happens like clockwork. The onset of flu season is fall and lasts through winter into the spring months. This lung illness is caused by viruses, with yearly outbreaks occurring worldwide. No one is immune, and anyone can catch to the flu. Flu Signs and Symptoms Quick onset of fever Headache Body aches and fatigue along with respiratory symptoms including cough Sore throat and nose Who's at Risk for the Flu? Children and the elderly are at greater risk of complications from the flu, specifically toddlers less than two years old. At this age, their immunity is still developing. Seniors over 65 are also at increased risk because their immune systems have weakened with age. The severity of a child’s symptoms depends on age and prior exposure to the virus. With young children, for example, the flu is more problematic since they cannot talk and communicate their symptoms. As a result, children often experience higher fevers, which can lead to seizures or convulsions. This can be coupled with issues such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and poor appetite, all of which put children at risk of dehydration and other complications that can require hospitalization. An average of 20,000 children are hospitalized for flu each year. Pre-Existing Health Issues Ongoing health conditions including asthma, heart conditions, diabetes and more can intensify flu symptoms. Still, many children without risk factors can experience severe flu complications. CDC Resource: Flu Information for Parents Pregnant Moms and Flu Shots Tamsen Carson, PAC, Surgical First Assistant, OB/GYN, Renown Medical Group “During pregnancy, your immune system wards off infection for your baby, leaving you more susceptible to infection and adverse health conditions,” Tamsen explains. She highly recommends flu shots for ALL women during pregnancy. You must receive the injected vaccine versus the live vaccine, a nasal spray, which can cause the flu to occur. Passing Flu Immunity on to Your Baby Also, remember that you will also be able to pass the immunity onto your baby if you breastfeed, which will protect your baby from the flu. CDC Resource: Flu Safety and Pregnancy
MyChart Proxy Access
What is Proxy Access? Proxy access allows parents, legal guardians and caregivers to log into their personal MyChart account and connect to the health information of a patient they represent. As a proxy, you can view upcoming appointments, request appointments, view lab results, email a doctor on the patient’s behalf, view medications, request prescription refills and view health reminders. How Do I Establish Proxy Access? Login to your MyChart account with your username and password Go to the Profile menu at the top of the screen, then select Personalize From this screen you can see whose records you currently have access to Click Request Access to a minor’s chart Complete all of the fields When finished click Submit Request What if I Don’t Have a Renown MyChart Account? If you don’t have a Renown MyChart account, call 775-982-2781 and someone from the Renown Health MyChart team can help you set up proxy access. Keep in mind, the ability to request proxy access is only available on the MyChart website and not via the mobile app. However, the website can be accessed with your smartphone or tablet by using the web browser and going to mychart.renown.org.
Virtual Visits – Healthcare You Need At Home
Virtual visits are basically secure, video conferencing visits with your health provider. Of course if you are sick, you want to avoid going outside of your house. With Renown Health’s virtual visit program, you can now see a provider from the comfort of your own home. As we work to keep all of our patients home and healthy, we’re here for any ongoing healthcare needs you have. There are two easy ways to access a virtual visit with Renown Health. If you need an urgent care visit, you can get in line using your MyChart account You can make a virtual visit with some Renown Health providers you see currently Virtual Urgent Care from a Renown Provider By using MyChart, you can now login and request to “Talk to a Doctor.” After filling in some information and confirming your healthcare concern, you will be put into a virtual line. The healthcare team will notify you by text or email when a provider is ready to talk to you virtually. Virtual urgent care visits are available for all ages. Get To Know MyChart Virtual urgent care visits are available for all ages, and can address: Common cold and cough symptoms Muscular, tendon or joint pains not caused by injury Allergy or sinus symptoms Pink eye Urinary discomfort Diarrhea without vomiting Rashes or skin sores Backache Nail problems Screening examination for sexually transmitted illness (without symptoms) Medication refills (not controlled substances) Symptoms for In-Person Urgent Care Visits Shortness of breath Chest pain Abdominal pain Numbness or weakness of any location that is new Traumatic injuries (including eye injuries or something in the eye) Severe pain of any other body location Dizziness or confusion Bleeding from any location High fever (greater than 102 degrees for all ages) Persistent vomiting Loss of vision Ear pain Substance abuse or psychiatric problems Virtual visits are open 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for Nevada residents. Renown Provider Virtual Visits Many primary and specialty care appointments for adults and children are now available virtually. If you have a provider with Renown Medical Group, call 775-982-5000 to see if you can have a virtual appointment from the comfort of your home. MyChart Assistance If you need assistance with your MyChart account, please call 775-982-6686. For all other questions about scheduling and appointments, please call 775-982-5000.
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