Patient Access Team Member Receives National Accreditation

Humboldt General Hospital's Patient Access to Healthcare Department now has its second certified expert.

Last fall, team leader Theresa Chwastek was recognized by the National Association of Healthcare Access Management for having fulfilled the requirements to become a "Certified Healthcare Access Associate."

Now its team member Lyndsi Jurado's turn; she successfully completed her CHAA certification on January 30, 2014.

Humboldt General Hospital launched the Patient Access to Healthcare department in March 2013 to coincide with the expansion of its "Charity Care" program.

Additionally, the department provides estimated treatment costs, checks insurance coverage, provides Medicare and Medicaid information and assistance, reviews qualifying funding programs, provides application help, reviews current accounts and sets up payment plans.

It's the job of Jurado, Chwastek, Debbie Ames and Lindsey Sherbondy to advocate for patients and act as a resource for them in whatever they need.

"It has worked so well," said Administrative Director Pam Wickkiser, who oversees the department. "These ladies are a breath of fresh air to our patients."

Wickkiser said Jurado has been a wonderful addition to the Patient Access to Healthcare Department.

"She is a very kind person who focuses entirely on the individual," she said. "People trust her, and they should; she is a very trustworthy and capable person."

As a Certified Healthcare Access Associate, Jurado had to pass a 115-question national certification examination in the field of patient access management.

The exam covered everything from patients' pre-encounter experience with the hospital to patient and family education, financial considerations, payer authorization and verification of benefits, patient check-in and registration, special needs of patients and benchmarking, among other topics.

The Patient Access to Healthcare department is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call (775) 623-5222, ext. 1130, to schedule an appointment, or patients may drop by during business hours for a personal consult.

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