What My Relationship with our Health Assistants Means to Me
Updated: Mar 11, 2019
In July of 2017, I reached out to one of my favorite past colleagues to congratulate him on his updated LinkedIn profile status…Not fully understanding what his new position entailed, beyond the title “CEO,” I was greeted with an excited and eager (familiar) voice, describing a company and service that sounded like a dream to this working wife and mother.
As someone who has experienced and survived a major, complex illness, I clearly understand the advantage that TouchCare provides to members and the many challenges consumers face when navigating the healthcare system. I was drawn in, anxious to learn more, and soon after accepted the position to lead Client Success within the organization.
My life, like most working mothers, is not boring. Beyond the day to day commute, robust and creative (endless) projects, team building/management, client support, member support, and other work-related objectives, I am greeted at home every night by a tired husband and a house full of kids and fur babies. The laundry doesn’t seem to do itself, meals still have to somehow land on plates, homework and school projects are still a thing, clothes and shoes need to fit, everyone needs a bath, and kids somehow have to magically appear at softball practice, dance lessons, and music events. The only way we make it through an average week is to simplify, delegate, and outsource as much as possible. Allowing others the ability to complete time-consuming, frustrating “must do” tasks, allows me to spend my time where it matters most.
As the queen of outsourcing, I had a high standard of excellence and expectations for the type of service our TouchCare team would deliver. I wanted it to be a phenomenal experience, not just as the leader of our Client Success department, but also as a valued member who uses our solution often! Our Health Assistants play a critical role in the “Gill arsenal” of day-to-day task busters. I have learned to leverage TouchCare in multiple ways, for multiple reasons, saving an unmeasurable amount of time, frustration - and money.
Like most, December and January are significant months for healthcare management in our family. December marks the end of a plan year when most members have met their deductibles and have achieved access to their full benefit. January is a brand new year, when many plan annual physicals with Primary Care Physicians, covered 100% as preventive care by health plans. Often, the new year also means the beginning of the HSA / FSA plan year to help cover incidentals - like contact lenses, copays, new glasses, Rx’s, etc, etc...
In our home of eight, this is a snapshot of our annual health usage / exposure: monthly orthodontist visits, annual eye exams (contacts / glasses), semi-annual dental visits, sports physicals, annual health physicals, random illnesses, the occasional ER/urgent care visit (last year, everyone broke at least one finger), orthopedic care, consistent chiropractic care, behavioral support, health / wellness, dermatology, ENT services, gastrointestinal specialists.
Reading through the entire list should give me massive anxiety - which is exactly what I felt when I was managing each of these areas independently. Now, I simply log physician requests, appointment scheduling availability, billing discrepancies, general health questions, plan status questions (for example: what have I paid toward my deductible to date?), via the TouchCare app - oftentimes after hours during my long commute to/from New York City. I track each of the responses directly from my phone, and the only aspect of care management that requires my active participation is literally showing up for the appointments that are set on my behalf by one of our TouchCare Health Assistants.
Our Health Assistants are challenged to view every inquiry from the member’s perspective prior to beginning their research, response, and resolution. They understand the impact they have on the lives of those who use our service and working for our members becomes a personal experience for both the member and TouchCare. Our HAs also understand that healthcare is complex and incredibly confusing. We work hard to provide clear, thorough, and efficient responses - while also creating comfort and trust with our members. TouchCare is a lifestyle, not a service.
Life looks very different as a TouchCare member. I am no longer spending hours trying to find in-network physicians, calling providers and carriers to discuss billing mistakes, making appointments for everyone in my family, managing the limits within my health plan and supplemental benefits. TouchCare has literally helped me sleep better at night….And longer. TouchCare has become a way of life, a resource, an assistant - and, most importantly a trusted partner in helping my family be more healthy. Not only am I blessed to work with this team, I am blessed to have them as a consistent and ongoing source of support.
Codi Gill is the Vice President of Client Success at TouchCare. She keeps busy with her 6 kids and 2 dogs in the suburbs of New Jersey.