|June 19, 2014
Tribal Health patients can access any THHS clinic and health care provider
ST. IGNATIUS — The Tribal Health Department clinics operate as a network of health care providers and facilities to better serve its patients. In doing so, any patient, regardless of their chosen primary care provider and clinic, has access to care at any of the five Tribal Health and Human Services clinics when seeking care as long as THHS is their designated primary care provider.
For instance: It is understood that a patient from Arlee who has chosen the Arlee THHS Clinic and Gina Ardiana, FNP, as their primary provider would normally access the Arlee THHS Clinic. However, when the same patient seeks care at the St. Ignatius THHS Clinic or any of the other THHS clinics they WILL BE SEEN at those facilities after regularly scheduled appointments have been seen.
“The provider can verify and enter the necessary information from our records and data system, and the Prescription Drug Registry for the unscheduled patient,” said THHS Director Kevin Howlett. “It is not acceptable to turn our patients away because they have selected and normally see a different provider in Tribal Health.”
• Also patients — regardless of their chosen primary care provider and clinic — can schedule appointments at any of the other THHS clinics and providers.
The administration of Tribal Health has directed its staff to be of the utmost assistance to the patient population seeking health care.
“Convenient patient access and professional customer service are our priorities at Tribal Health. Long waits for our patients is just not acceptable,” Howlett said, adding that Tribal Health will continue to work hard to improve patient access and care. “The guiding principal of this department and its programs is to treat people as we expect to be treated.”
Howlett added that the administration of Tribal Health is cognizant of the health care delivery issues and problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Scheduling problems and long waits for service has tarnished the image of the VA and he is confident that worst-case scenario would never happen at Tribal Health.
“Any slide in that direction will not be tolerated,” he said.
Patients who feel they’ve been treated inappropriately or feel they have experienced excessive waiting periods to get care can file a complaint with Director of Operations, Policy and Planning Anna Whiting-Sorrell, at 745-3525, ext. 5118.