Spotlight on Caring: Natalie C.

Providing member-centered care isn’t unusual for our advanced practice clinicians, it’s the norm. This visit is a good example of how the Optum® HouseCalls model enables our members to get laser-focused support — beyond just medical. The added care and connection of a HouseCalls visit can make all the difference in helping members manage their conditions and improve their well-being.

Natalie’s story

It can be surprising how vital the annual HouseCalls visit can be to a member’s life. HouseCalls advanced practice clinician Natalie witnessed this in a recent member visit. Natalie knew the member had a history of stroke and heart attack. When Natalie arrived at the member’s home for his scheduled appointment, he was not there. Learning he’d been delayed, she decided to wait in his driveway to make sure she could see him that day.

When he arrived later, Natalie was able to examine the member and review his medications. As it turned out, the member had lost his Medicaid support the previous December and was not able to read or use a computer to complete the renewal application. Living on $700 per month, he could not afford utilities and food, let alone prescriptions and copays.

Fortunately, Natalie was able to help the member connect with an advisor at his health plan. The advisor was able to help the member get the information needed to reapply for Medicaid, plus find assistance with food and medications. The advisor said that the member would be contacted within a week to finish the application.

With the member’s permission, Natalie contacted his cardiologist and helped schedule an appointment. A call to the local community health center enabled Natalie to get the member help with medication costs. She also ensured he’d be seen by a primary care provider after the cardiologist visit. The member was grateful for this critical support that he felt he could not have found on his own.

Being able to see members in their homes enables the HouseCalls advanced practice clinicians to really understand each member’s circumstance. Drawing on that insight, Natalie and her colleagues seek to maximize those yearly visits — and strive to make every minute meaningful to the member.

This is the kind of positive and caring experience that Optum HouseCalls clinicians deliver every day.

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Meet the Author

Cara Benson, RN, MSN, ANP-BC

Vice President, HouseCalls Clinical Field Operations, Optum

Cara Benson is a nurse practitioner currently serving as vice president of clinical field operations for Optum HouseCalls West Region. Her responsibilities include oversight and management of the clinical workforce. Cara earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing from Indiana University. She is a board-certified adult nurse practitioner. She is currently working on completing the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program through Capella University. 

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