Hilltown Healthcare opens

To the Editor:

As Hilltown Healthcare approaches its starting line, Tinhorn Healthcare crosses its own finish line. This is the last update on progress toward the re-establishment of a primary healthcare clinic in the Helderbergs. The “progress” is over, and the clinic is now a reality.

On Dec. 2, Nurse Practitioner Jill Martin and her staff opened the doors of Hilltown Healthcare, PLLC at 1772 Helderberg Trail in Berne.

Here, in some detail, is how things stand:

— 1. Medicaid certified Hilltown Healthcare this week as a reimbursable provider of care. The list of reimbursing healthcare plans now includes: Medicare, Medicaid, Capital District Physicians Health Plan (CDPHP), Aetna, Humana, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the Empire Plan. Accreditation by MVP also appears imminent.

Remember: No matter your insurance situation or your financial situation, Hilltown Healthcare will be able to provide primary care with the support of the donation from Hannay Reel. Call 518-872-0009 to discuss your situation, and to arrange for medical appointments;

— 2. Hundreds of prospective patients have provided release-of-information forms. These allow Hilltown Healthcare to contact other providers you may be using currently, and to have your records transferred electronically to Hilltown Healthcare. Forms are still in the foyer of the office on 1772 Helderberg Trail, and they may be

completed and placed in the box there.

Submit the form, and call 518-872-0009 to set up your first appointment.The office hours as of Dec. 2 are Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.;Tuesday, Thursday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday: 8 a.m. to noon.

Some hours are reserved for “same-day illness” appointments, and some home visits are also being scheduled;

— 3. A new Electronic Medical Record (EMR) has been installed and staff is currently being trained on it. This system will allow patients to authorize care and record management via electronic signatures, thereby eliminating the need for many paper copies;

— 4. As of now, the following tests will be available in office: rapid strep, rapid flu, urinalysis, HA1C (diabetes screening), electro-cardiograms, and gynecological exams. Vaccines will be available in office on Dec. 2;

— 5. Jill has added Dr. Jung Wen Chen, a long-time colleague and friend, as a consulting primary care MD.

Before saying goodbye, I want to thank all of you for the support you gave to Jill Martin NP and her family as they worked their way toward a new reality — one that seemed so improbable and almost unimaginable on June 27 when we met at the Helderberg Ambulance building.

We’ve reached our destination and you all played a part. Good luck — and good health — going forward.

Raymond Schimmer

Berne

Editor’s note: Raymond Schimmer, an emergency medical technician volunteering with the Berne ambulance squad, also worked in the vitalist program, which used a video feed and proxies to visit homebound patients. When the Berne doctor’s office was closed this past summer, Schimmer volunteered to assist Nurse Practitioner Jill Martin as she established the Hilltown Health primary care medical clinic.

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