Several satellite hospital emergency departments throughout the Akron area are getting high marks with patients.
The Cleveland Clinic’s stand-alone emergency department in Twinsburg, Akron General Health System’s satellite ERs at its Health & Wellness centers and a Summa Health System emergency department in Medina recently were recognized as ranking in the 95th percentile nationwide for patient satisfaction.
South Pointe Hospital’s emergency department at the Sagamore Hills Medical Center also earned a Guardian of Excellence award from Press Ganey, a national health-care performance improvement firm.
To be honored, hospitals had to achieve patient survey scores within the top 5 percent of the Press Ganey national performance database from May 2012 through April 2013.
Dr. Greg R. Haun, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s emergency department at its Twinsburg outpatient facility, said free-standing emergency departments are becoming increasingly popular nationwide.
Since the Twinsburg ER opened in 2011, the department has been averaging about 50 patient visits at day, with about 250 patients transferred there via ambulance each month.
“People are loving these free-standing emergency departments because the wait is shorter, the time you stay in the department is shorter,” he said.
Patients at the Cleveland Clinic’s Twinsburg ER typically see a doctor within six to eight minutes after they arrive, compared to the national benchmark of 30 minutes or less, he said.
Depending on the level of care needed, patients are discharged or transferred to a hospital on average within 110 minutes, he said.
The Cleveland Clinic will be celebrating the achievement in Twinsburg with a presentation by the mayor on Wednesday afternoon.
Medicare open enrollment
The annual open enrollment period for optional Medicare managed-care plans and prescription drug coverage ends on Saturday.
Changes are effective Jan. 1.
The annual Medicare open enrollment is separate from the recent launch of the Health Insurance Marketplace, created under the federal health-care reform law to provide uninsured Americans and small businesses a way to shop for health coverage with possible subsidies.
Next year, the nearly 2 million Ohio residents covered by Medicare can select from among more than 30 Medicare prescription drug plans, also known as Medicare Part D plans.
Dozens of Medicare Advantage managed-care plans also are available that provide help paying for doctor visits, hospital stays and other medical services.
The Medicare Part D plans are offered statewide; the Medicare Advantage plans vary county by county.
Both types of plans are available for everyone covered by Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65 and older and some younger disabled Americans.
The federal government contracts with private insurance companies to provide drug and/or medical coverage to Medicare recipients who sign up for the plans. Everyone but the poorest enrollees pays a portion of the monthly premium; the government picks up the rest.
Retirees who get their coverage from a former employer or union should have received a notice indicating whether their plan is considered “creditable coverage,” or at least as good as Medicare Part D plans. Anyone who loses creditable coverage can sign up for a Medicare prescription drug plan within 63 days after losing coverage without paying a late-enrollment penalty.
The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program offers help 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling 800-686-1578.
Information also is available through the Medicare program by calling 800-633-4227 or visiting www.medicare.gov.
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or email@example.com. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.