The past couple weeks have been quite exciting. I have started up walking in the evenings because summer is here and I want to take advantage of every minute of the outdoors as possible. It is so pretty with great views of the mountains. I can get some fresh air and vitamin D and–my favorite–it is FREE to walk and jog. I don’t have to worry about monthly dues or having the right equipment. All I have to do is get out, walk and enjoy.
Our Employee Wellness program at Teton Valley Health Care also encourages us to get out and enjoy the mountain air. We’ve been doing some group hikes after work, and we went on our first hike of the season earlier this month.
I’d never been on Sheeps Bridge trail in Teton Canyon. It was a great, mellow hike with wildflowers in bloom. This was a great teaser and warm up for my ultimate goal this summer, to hike Table Mountain.
While the rest of my coworkers (and their dogs) had a fairly uneventful trek in and out of the Canyon, my trip was not with out a minor technological mishap. As we got to the end of the trail, we walked around the creek for a little bit before turning back. The creek water was gushing. It looked so beautiful and welcoming. So naturally I went to feel the water, and as I bent down to touch it, I noticed something falling out of my shirt. Instantly, I knew what it was. I said to myself “Oh, there goes my phone!”
Here I am at the bridge, before I lost my phone!
But I didn’t mind too much, really. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so light about losing something so expensive. The whole thing was quite funny, if you ask me. Maybe my lack of reaction was because I’m trying to simplify my life with less expensive things … Well, maybe not. The next day I went out and bought another expensive phone!
My family also came to visit us recently from Arizona. They stayed with us for two weeks. It was fun having them here. They enjoyed our small town Fourth of July style (meaning just the parade, lol). I was sad to see them leave, but it’s always great to see family!
My wellness goals for the summer include:
1. Do three 5K (2 down 1 to go. YAY!)
2. Try to hike up to Table Mountain (meaning go as far as I can) by the end of the summer
My son, Colby, and I celebrated at the Tin Cup finish line.
I did run most of the Tin Cup 5K, I proudly can say. As I was getting tired, my little bad angel started to tell me “you can’t do it, just give up” but then my good angel started to tell me “yes you can, you are almost there, just think of your goals and how far you have come.” So then my will power kicked in and I was able to finish out at 40 minutes, 12 seconds. Not bad for a newbie, right!
Don’t forget you can still donate to your favorite valley nonprofit through the TCC until July 28. The Teton Valley Hospital Foundation is a participating nonprofit, and the organization would be grateful for your support.
I’m registered to do my third 5K on Aug. 16, which I can’t wait for because it is a neon color run (way too fun!).
I need your help on choosing what color tutu I should make for the neon color run! Send me your ideas on the TVHC facebook page, or leave a comment on this post below, and tag your suggestions, #rubistutu. I have to stay stylish, even when I run!
Disclaimer: This blog discusses my personal wellness goals and is in no way a soapbox to tell anyone else how to eat, exercise and/or live their lives.
When it comes to making improvements in our billing process, our most valuable resources are our patients and their families. Concerns, complaints and suggestions from our patients have led to changes throughout our entire business cycle including changes in our processes, staff training, and software changes. We get patient complaints for less than one percent of all bills we send out, but we know that doesn’t help if you are the one with a billing issue.
If at any time you or someone you know has a question about their Teton Valley Health Care bill, please be sure to give us a call or send an email or letter requesting assistance. While it may feel therapeutic to turn to your neighbors or Facebook friends, we appreciate direct communication otherwise we won’t know about the problem and can’t fix or answer the concern.
Here’s an overview of how our billing cycle works, along with definitions of different billing terms.
When we send the first statement after a patient visit, it’s a detailed list of services. Every statement thereafter is a summary of the balance remaining, not a detailed list. We believe this provides patients with necessary data, but it doesn’t overwhelm patients by repeating the same details multiple times. If you ever need a detail for any of your visits, we’re happy to provide that for you along with any assistance in understanding the details.
We don’t send a statement for a service until the claim has been processed by the patient’s insurance. This helps to ensure that a patient is only billed for the amount they owe TVHC and that any insurance issues (eligibility, deductibles, and coverage terms) are dealt with before we ask you for payment. We do everything we can to provide a correct claim to your insurer immediately after the care is rendered. We want to see the insurer quickly and correctly process the claim as much as the patient does. If we’ve received incorrect billing information (this is why we always ask for your insurance information when you check in), if the insurance doesn’t process the claim correctly, if the insurance company needs additional information such as accident verification data, or if there are any other problems with the claim, it can take several months for the insurer to process and pay for the claim.
You’ll know when your insurance has processed your claim when you receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) that shows what you may still owe after your insurance has paid for any covered services. If you disagree with your EOB, you should contact your insurance provider for clarification. Most claims (bills) are sent to the insurance company and processed by the insurance company within 3 weeks of the date of service, so you should expect a TVHC bill 3-4 weeks after your visit.
Once the patient’s claim is processed by the insurer, or if the patient is uninsured, we send out the first statement with a list outlining the provided services. We then call each guarantor (the person listed as responsible for payment) within two weeks of that first statement to ensure that the statement was received, that it’s correct, and to see if there are any questions regarding the statement. This is not a “collections call”; it’s a courtesy call from our billing office offering to help you with any questions about your bill. If the statement is received and correct, we offer to accept payment immediately (we do accept most major credit cards).
We continue to reach out to the guarantor by phone and in writing (at least monthly) until the balance is paid or a payment plan is established. We work with patients who are unable to pay their bill by offering payment plans, assistance in applying for insurance, or through our financial assistance program. However, if a patient or guarantor doesn’t respond to our letters or calls, or fails to make necessary payment, we refer the person to a collection agency after 120 days. This is an action of last resort.
In addition to your hospital or clinic statement, you may also receive statements from other providers such as radiologists and pathologists. Multiple statements and potentially multiple explanations of benefits from insurance companies can complicate the process.
We want our patients and their families to be as satisfied as possible with our care and we’re available to help you navigate the statements, instructions and explanations that you may receive. We want to hear from you.