HMHEB’s Programs Help Make Patients’ Hospital Stay Easier
11/10/2005

BEDFORD, Texas – Managed Care. Referrals and specialists. Preferred providers. Co-payments and deductibles. The health care system in the United States today is incredibly complicated, filled with jargon and acronyms, forms to fill out, and insurance companies to call. Understanding your insurance is often difficult on the best of days, and may be even more so when you or a loved one are in the hospital.

At Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital, special “care coordinators” help patients and their families navigate the waters of the health care system and ensure everything goes smoothly. Care coordinators assist with insurance claims, serve as liaisons with insurance companies and physicians, and help social workers facilitate long-term care for patients after they leave the hospital. Care coordinators also coordinate insurance benefits to ensure a patient's treatment will be covered.

The eight care coordinators at Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital provide assistance seven days a week. “We've had several care coordinators receive compliments and thanks from patients and their families,” said Barbara Baldwin of Quality Management, who oversees the program. “We want to be sure that patients have someone to help with insurance to make sure things go smoothly as patients transition from the hospital to other health care providers, like physical therapy or long-term care.”

In addition to care coordinators, who help patients navigate the business side of the health care system, Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital also has three special volunteers called “patient advocate ambassadors” who visit with new patients in the cardiac care unit and the oncology care unit.

“The ambassadors provide personal attention to the patient and answer any questions patients have about the hospital,” said Carolyn Braxton, director of Volunteer Services at Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital. “They also serve as a liaison to the nursing staff by identifying and sharing patient concerns and requests in a timely manner.”

About Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital
Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital, a member of Texas Health Resources, is a 284-bed, acute-care facility serving Northeast Tarrant County since 1973. Services provided at Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital include outpatient surgery, women's services, a level III neonatal intensive care unit, a dedicated oncology care unit, neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery and a dedicated cardiac care unit, cardiac rehabilitation, physical medicine and rehabilitation, occupational health services, psychiatric and addiction treatment and pediatrics.