New HHS Division to Provide Better Service for Patients

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Clinic Scheduler Carmen Benally is one of the new schedulers that will help improve the clinic services to the SRPMIC members.

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Health and Human Services has created a new division, the Centralized Scheduling Division, that essentially takes care of all of the incoming phone calls to the Salt River Clinic. Now the calls go straight to the new division’s staff, who can help patients schedule an appointment, give them their next appointment time and date, and help them with any information. Also housed in this new division is the medical billing and coding staff.  

“This new division will help better serve patients as the clinic grows and expands,” said Clinic Administrator Timothy Joyce. “This space will house our growing referral, scheduling and billing offices.” 

One of the biggest concerns expressed by patients is difficulty reaching someone at the clinic, because only three to four staff members were working at the front desk and they had to handle checking patients in and out, eligibility verification, medical records requests, insurance issues, and scheduling future appointments for patients who were in front of them. With all that going on, it was difficult to answer every phone call. 

This new division has more people who specifically handle the phones, so it helps patients get faster service.

“Our goal is to transition Behavioral Health and Medicine to the same health record system so that patients will have one place to call to schedule an appointment and only fill out paperwork once a year. This will help us communicate to treat the patient. The second step is transitioning Behavioral Health scheduling and taking their phone calls, including [calls for] dental [services],” said Joyce. “We’re trying to put staff in positions to help all of our divisions.” 

Centralized Scheduling is temporarily located in office space west of the Talking Stick Resort and Casino. It will move to the Northeast Ambulatory Care Center in February 2022.

The Salt River Clinic also has launched text-message appointment reminders, to better communicate with patients. The text reminder will notify a patient though a call or text two days before their appointment. The calls and text messages will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information and how to sign up for text-message reminders, call Timothy Joyce at (480) 362-7635.