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Understanding Your Crucial Role in the Patient Experience for Medical Mutual Members

UH Clinical Update - September 2017

By Cliff Megerian, MD, President, University Hospitals Physician Services

The new agreement we have with Medical Mutual of Ohio (MMO) is an extraordinary opportunity. It opens in-network access to all UH physicians and hospitals for all of Medical Mutual’s 650,000 members in Northeast Ohio. UH doctors, and all our hospitals, including UH Cleveland Medical Center, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital, and UH Seidman Cancer Center, will now have unfettered access to the largest group of commercially insured patients in Northeast Ohio.

It’s up to us, as physicians on the front lines, to win over these members as new UH patients. The initial experience that they have with UH, with you and with your practice staff is crucial to earning their confidence and loyalty.

As the leader of your practice, here’s what you can do:

  • Talk with everyone on your staff about welcoming new patients. Be sure that all patients, and especially those new to our health system, are cared for with compassion, and that new patient appointment requests are met with a “yes” from your staff. 
  • Open your calendar for MMO appointments. We’re asking all UH physicians to expand their schedules to onboard new MMO patients. Our goal is to see patients within three days of their initial call to UH. To do that may mean adding weekend and weeknight hours to physician schedules.
  • Refer patients to other UH physicians when your schedule is full. Keep in mind that the MMO agreement is an excellent opportunity for physicians who want to grow their practices.
  • Refer to specialists within UH. Medical Mutual SuperMed members now have in-network access to our specialists at UH Cleveland Medical Center, UH Seidman Cancer Center and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital. Look to UH specialists first so that your patients benefit from continuity of care within our health system.

Patients and UH physicians alike have long requested that we find a way to extend full UH systemwide access to Medical Mutual members. We have done this, and we completed the agreement at an opportune time. Our new agreement with Medical Mutual is effective Oct. 1, 2017, and we are already starting to receive calls.

When our health system is growing and meeting our financial, quality, satisfaction and outcome goals, University Hospitals is at its best as a place for physicians to practice medicine. Positive financial performance that should result from this initiative helps in future investments in equipment, facilities, systems and people. It enables us to be more responsive, more innovative and to support you in creating a better experience for our patients.

Of course, taking on new patients presents challenges. Business and clinical departments throughout UH are gearing up for an influx of Medical Mutual members. Since it will require additional time and assistance to transfer new patients’ medical records, we will establish a dedicated Medical Mutual concierge line to support you and these patients. As you welcome new Medical Mutual patients, you will strengthen our health system to meet the demands of our changing health care environment.

You’ll be hearing more about UH preparations for onboarding Medical Mutual members during the weeks ahead. If you have questions, I invite you to contact me or to see your department or institute leader.