Care Connection Specialist Commitment
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Care Connection Specialists
Care Connection is a specialty care referral network administered by the Health Alliance for the Uninsured (HAU). It is composed of a dedicated group of health care specialists, local hospitals, and diagnostic facilities that participate in a coordinated effort to provide specialty care to low-income, uninsured members of our community.
Patients are referred to Care Connection from HAU partner clinics and the federally qualified health centers (FQHC). The HAU partners with thirteen charitable clinics, two FQHC systems (Variety Care and Community Health Centers), several local hospitals, volunteer health providers, and other community partners. Eligibility screening for Care Connection is performed at local safety-net clinics. Eligible patients are:
• Residents of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
• 18 years old or older
• Uninsured (no health insurance including Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs or Indian Health Services)
• Low-income (family income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level)
When you join Care Connection, a referral coordinator will be assigned to you based on your area of specialty. Your Care Connection coordinator is your primary point of contact for routine communication including appointment scheduling, ordering diagnostic studies, and prescribing medications. Your assigned coordinator will call you shortly after you join the program and share his or her contact information. If you are ever unable to reach your assigned staff person, call the Care Connection office at (405) 286-3343.
Patients are referred to Care Connection by primary care providers at HAU partner clinics. Care Connection staff screen referral requests for appropriateness and completeness. The HAU medical director review referrals as needed. Then the staff schedule appointments for patients with the highest priority needs. Your Care Connection staff will contact your office to schedule the first appointment. Care Connection staff and/or the specialty physician’s office will call the patient to confirm the appointment. HAU’s full-time bilingual referral coordinator assists with referrals and patient contacts to ensure patients understand their appointment information.
Two follow up appointments can be scheduled directly between your office and the patient. If the patient requires additional follow up care we ask that you contact Care Connection so we can make sure the patient’s Care Connection eligibility and primary care provider information are up to date.
To order lab or imaging studies, fax a copy of the written order to the Care Connection office at 286-3449, and give the original order to the patient. Care Connection will contact the patient’s primary care clinic and help them get the necessary diagnostic tests.
To prescribe medication(s), give the prescription to the patient and ask them to take it their primary care clinic. Ways that can access prescription medications in several ways:
• Some local pharmacies offer discounted generic prescription programs.
• The County Pharmacy provides generic medications.
• The patient’s home clinic can assist the patients in applying for brand name medications from pharmaceutical companies.
Pathology services for Care Connection patients are provided by Ameripath/DLO. If you mark on the order form that it is a Care Connection patient, DLO will send the bill to the HAU.
Please fax consult reports to the Care Connection office at (405) 286-3449. All consult reports are uploaded to a shared electronic health record accessible by the primary care provider(s) at the patient’s home clinic. Sending consult reports to Care Connection helps us coordinate follow up care.
If a patient requires consultation with another specialist, please contact your Care Connection RN and fax relevant clinical documents to (405) 286-3449. Please keep in mind that referring patients directly to another specialist is not usually feasible as Care Connection patients do not have health insurance.
The Care Connection network includes many local hospitals that provide access to facilities and ancillary services, such as operating rooms and anesthesia. If one of your Care Connection patients requires a surgery or procedure, please contact your Care Connection staff to start the process. Patients needing procedures at St. Anthony or Mercy will need to complete the hospital specific charity application. Patients needing procedures at Integris can be processed by the Care Connection staff.
A bilingual family member will be asked to come help with the administrative parts of the visit, but the provider will need to provide competent translator.
Recent research suggests that low-income patients are less litigious than other patient groups. Like other charity care provided within your practice, treatment of Care Connection patients is covered by your malpractice insurance. In addition, Oklahoma provides volunteer immunity for providers who treat patients for free that were referred by free/charitable clinics. You can go to http://www.hauonline.org/images/volunteer_immunity_article.pdf for more information.
You can contact Jan Miller MD at (405) 286-3343 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can go to www.hauonline.org/volunteer and complete the online form and we will be in contact with you or your staff.