Why Care About Care Coordination?
Ask Regina P. who her healthcare provider is and she’ll respond, “Which one?” That’s because in addition to her primary care provider she sees a pulmonary specialist to help manage the asthma she’s had since childhood. And lately, after being injured in a fall, Regina has been going to a physical therapist. Then there’s the imaging center where she has her mammograms and the lab where she goes when her doctor orders a blood test. How does she keep track of them all?
“I always start with my primary care doctor,” Regina explains. “I want to be sure I’m staying within the network so my SCAN benefits apply.” Doing so also helps Regina’s doctor to easily oversee her care. While that is the role of your primary care doctor, it really is a team effort.
Your primary care doctor and office staff coordinate your care by:
• Keeping an up-to-date medical record for you. This includes all care you receive, test results, medical conditions and other information related to your physical and mental health.
• Ordering tests, screenings and services necessary for your care. They should also explain where you’ll get this care and how and when you will learn any results or next steps.
• Referring you to specialists when needed and ensuring you can get a timely appointment. Your doctor should stay informed about the care you receive from other doctors.
What you can do:
• Get educated. When your doctor orders a test or refers you to a specialist, make sure you understand why and what to expect next. If you have a smartphone, download the Abridge app (free to most SCAN members!) before your doctor’s visit so you can record the discussion and refer to it later. Find Abridge at scanhealthplan.com/extras.
• Be involved. There are resources made expressly for you to manage your healthcare:
– A patient portal is where you’ll find specific information about your care, such as a record of your doctor visits and lab test results. Ask your doctor if his or her office has a patient portal and how to use it.
– In a SCAN online member account, you can track care in your personalized Health Check Record, view and order prescriptions through Express Scripts, access your Delta Dental benefits information, order health products with the Over-the-Counter benefit and so much more—all in one place and with one sign-in.
• Give feedback. Healthcare surveys are one way for you to share your opinions and experiences about your care. If you receive a survey from Medicare, your doctor’s office, another provider or SCAN, please take the time to respond. This will help your team understand how to best care for you and your health.
If you receive care from somewhere other than your doctor or a provider referred by them, let your doctor’s office know so the care can be added to your medical record. Got a flu shot from the pharmacy? Went to an urgent care center while traveling? It needs to be added to your medical record kept by your doctor.