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The Lives We Change with Healthcare Navigation

My husband had a heart attack and stent surgery, and now we have $145k in medical bills. How can I afford this?

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I need a biopsy, and my plan doesn't cover it. What do I do? 

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We just lost our son this weekend. He has outstanding medical bills; can someone help me with this, or should we file for bankruptcy?

...

Every phone call, question, or request is unique, more so than the next. We experience heartbreak, confusion, and devastation when we help our members navigate through their healthcare needs. Once we step in, we offer an open ear to listen to our member’s story, provide a glimpse of hope in a dark time and share the options available to them to navigate out of an unimaginable situation.

Our Healthcare Navigators are the first people you talk to when you call The Karis Group to open a new case or have a question about your health benefits. They are problem solvers that guide you in the right direction and always leave a long-lasting feeling of hope. We asked Cindy Putney, one of our longest tenured Healthcare Navigators, to share her story and explain how she makes an impact on the individuals she assists daily.

“Thank you for calling the Karis Group. My name is Cindy. How can I help you?” That’s a simple question I ask many times a day. I try to accommodate the caller and meet them where they are emotionally on their healthcare journey. This process is most enlightening because we get to know the caller on a more personal level, and it also helps me understand how to meet their needs. Whether I am verifying their benefits, finding a doctor in-network or helping them resolve an unexpected medical bill. 

But the real story or the bigger picture is how we impact the lives we touch. These are real people calling in and are dealing with real-life problems. I continuously remind myself to imagine myself in their shoes. How would I feel if I just lost a loved one or cannot figure out if my insurance covers my medically necessary surgery? I would feel lost and confused. No one wants to think about these roadblocks, and no one has the time. Members call us scared, desperate, powerless, and are confused regarding their complex medical needs. We try to minimize the stress and create a custom plan and goal for the reasons they are seeking our expert guidance. 

There are times when I catch myself comforting the member like they are a long-time friend. If you think about it, I am probably the first person to listen to what is going on in their lives. Praying with them when they feel alone is one of my most powerful tools. Assuring them, we will pursue every option, whether it is negotiating a reduction on their bills or finding them the most cost-efficient appointment. This gives them a reprieve from their worries. In this position, you must empathize with members, and kindness costs nothing, especially if you want to help. 

Every day, with every call, I am grateful that I can offer compassion to someone in need. I am blessed when I can provide hope. And, what I know for sure is that we are stronger together than we are apart. 

-Cindy Putney

We couldn’t have said it better. We are honored to be able to help our members in their time of need and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. Our Healthcare Navigators are passionate about their work whether they are comparing costs for surgeries, prescriptions, imaging, MRIs or lab work; scheduling appointments; transferring records; or contacting members with physician, specialists, facility or counseling searches.

This team is handling members head on and are intelligent, innovative, and problem solvers. Listing their duties is half of what a healthcare navigator does to improve a member's overall experience. Hopefully from Cindy’s perspective you can understand the lives we change with healthcare navigation.

And we are actively looking for passionate leaders who care as much as Cindy does. If you think you would be a good fit on our healthcare navigation team, visit our careers page to learn more and apply for a role. 

If you are a broker, employer, health plan or health care sharing community and are interested in offering our healthcare navigation services to your members, please contact us to schedule an intro call!


Photo by Ryan Crotty on Unsplash 

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