COVID-19 Response Team reaches out to higher-risk health insurance members

MADISON, Wis.—May 12, 2020—In response to the coronavirus pandemic, WPS Health Insurance/Arise Health Plan is checking on higher-risk members with phone calls from a COVID-19 Response Team.

The need for virtual check-ins became evident as health care providers were canceling scheduled appointments and elective surgeries in the early stages of the pandemic. The WPS/Arise team of three Registered Nurses/Integrated Care Managers helps to promote good outcomes even when routine care is temporarily interrupted.

“On April 21, we made our first call for the COVID-19 project. Now, we are over 500 calls to our members and still growing every day. The calls have been very well received. Most members are grateful for talking with a Registered Nurse from their insurance company. The discussions have been educational and supportive for our members during these difficult times. They have expressed appreciation for our outreach and the care and concern that WPS/Arise has for them.”

Kim Alton, RN, BSN, Integrated Care Manager at WPS Health Solutions

The nurses are educating members about telehealth options and home delivery of medications.

“Many members are very interested in hearing about the Teladoc® benefit and appreciate the offer to assist them with setting up an account. We have provided education on Express Scripts home delivery service to allow easier access to their medication and give them one less thing to think about.”

Tracey Bishop, RN, BSN, BSW, Integrated Care Manager at WPS Health Solutions

Members also are encouraged to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for physical distancing, hand washing, and refraining from touching their faces. The nurses also ask whether the members have access to masks.

“The overwhelming response when talking with members is that they are truly appreciative when knowing that there are RN Case Managers working at WPS/Arise who care about them and their families and that we will be here for them in the future.”

Debra Hartwig, RN, CCM, Integrated Care Manager at WPS Health Solutions

Meet the nurses on the COVID-19 Response Team:

Kim AltonRN, BSN, Integrated Care Manager. Her nursing experience has been in long-term care as a Certified Nursing Assistant and Licensed Practical Nurse, and then 10 years as a Registered Nurse in the cardiac unit in a Madison hospital. She has been with WPS for five years, including three years in case management.

Tracey BishopRN, BSN, BSW, Integrated Care Manager. She has been a Registered Nurse for 15 years with experience in pediatrics, emergency care, and medical/surgical care. She also has been an RN coordinator for a non-profit for children with special needs and health care needs, and an RN Case Manager for family care. She has been with WPS for three years, including 2½ years in case management.

Debra HartwigRN, CCM, Integrated Care Manager. She has been a Registered Nurse for 25 years, including 20 years in long-term care and rehabilitation. Roles included Clinical Manager, Assistant Director of Nursing, and Director of Nursing. She has been at WPS for five years, including three years in case management.