Ask Cassandra Johnson what “HMO” means and she may likely tell you the letters stand for the “hassle-free medical option.” Her health maintenance organization (HMO), Scott & White Health Plan, offers Johnson convenience and high-quality health care.
For example, Scott & White uses an electronic health record (EHR), so Johnson’s health history is only a few key strokes away from any of the doctors affiliated with the HMO. “I appreciate not having to fill out repetitive forms,” said Johnson, who has worked for the State of Texas in different capacities for nearly 20 years. “Most of the time, when you visit a new doctor or specialist, you spend the first 20 minutes completing paperwork about your medical history. With the system Scott & White uses, your information is already there.”
Scott & White’s system also allows Johnson to go online to schedule appointments or request prescription refills. If she needs to contact her doctor, she sends an email through her personalized webpage, called MyChart. “My doctor is very responsive to email,” said Johnson. She will get an email, in return, when her doctor has answered her question. “There is no calling in and being placed on hold for long periods of time.” Additionally, MyChart allows Johnson immediate access to her medical history, past appointments and test results.
Such efficiency impresses Johnson, who works at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. It is her job to help historically underutilized businesses (HUBs) better prepare “to do business with TPWD, as well as with the state of Texas.” The ultimate goal is to give Texas Parks and Wildlife more options, she explains. “We want a greater pool of vendors to choose from” when awarding contracts.
Having more health options is not always necessary for Cassandra Johnson, however. Each year, she has a few health plans to choose from, but stays with Scott & White. Although she has had to change her primary care physician (PCP) at least twice, it was not a deal breaker for Johnson. She received information about her HMO’s available PCPs well before she had to make a decision and she has found that “each new doctor was just as good as the last.”
Johnson is happy to promote Scott & White to others, but she is aware that some Texans do not live or work in areas served by her HMO, and she knows that many State of Texas employees rely on the statewide physician and health care networks the HealthSelect plans deliver. Still, if asked, Johnson will share her testimonial with those who can use Scott & White’s services. “That’s how proud I am to be a patient of theirs,” she said.