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Voices of Veritas: Breaking Down Barriers to Care

Nikki Hudson, MHA, Senior Director of Patient Access Services

In our Voices of Veritas series, we highlight the Veritas team members that help fulfill our vision of a world in which all persons with eating disorders have access to best-practice care and hold hope for a cure. These individuals ensure that patients, their families, and their communities of support receive the proper tools, resources, and education to support lasting recovery.

This month we are spotlighting Nikki Hudson and the valuable work she does to break down barriers to care for individuals with eating disorders, their families and communities of support. As Senior Director of Patient Access Services, Nikki oversees the Intake & Admissions team as well as the Revenue Cycle team.

The Intake and Admissions Team, comprised of master’s level clinicians, assist individuals, families, and communities of support with the education, support, and guidance to ensure that they receive the right level of care at the right time.

The Revenue Cycle Team is comprised of the Utilization Review and Patient Financial Services teams who help bridge the gap between insurance companies and patients & families and reduce financial barriers to care through the utilization review process.

Together they are changing how patients access the care they need and reducing the financial barriers associated with eating disorders treatment.

ACCESSING THE GUIDANCE & CARE YOU NEED  
The Veritas Collaborative Intake and Admissions team is a resource for anyone searching for answers. The team is comprised of Master’s-level Clinicians, who will help assess your needs – whether it be for yourself, a loved one, or a patient. They will work as a true partner in care, to help determine the best next steps.

“We want individuals and families to know that we care about them and understand the commitment they are making by entering treatment. We want to set them up with the resources so that they can get back home.”

In some instances, patients need medical stabilization or treatment for a primary condition prior to beginning treatment at Veritas. We work closely with other treatment facilities and healthcare systems to access the level of care needed and ensure a smooth transition between facilities.

From your first phone call, the Intake team will provide support, education, and guidance to ensure that you, your loved one, or your patient receives the care needed for lasting recovery.

REDUCING FINANCIAL BARRIERS TO CARE 
Once an individual and their family decide on treatment at Veritas Collaborative, Nikki and her team assess the insurance benefits to provide guidance in understanding expenses involved.  We understand the importance of having full disclosure of the cost of treatment upfront and the desire to avoid unexpected financial surprises at the end of treatment.  Veritas’ Patient Financial Service Coordinators are thorough in their efforts to determine patient benefits and eligibility for coverage.   We are committed to providing the most accurate information upfront to our prospective patients and their families.

If coverage is denied, the Utilization Review team works diligently with health care providers and families to build a case for coverage.

“I want families to focus on caring for and being present for their loved one, not trying to work with their insurance company over coverage and cost. That is my job!” she says. “I love the challenge and the reward of getting people access to what they need to ensure a successful recovery.”

In instances where insurance coverage is denied, Nikki and her team utilize a multi-step appeals process to help patients and families access the care they need. Other times, if the insurance is provided through an employer, the team can work through their employer’s HR department, since they can often override care decisions. Occasionally, Nikki uses her last option, which is bringing the case to the state’s Department of Insurance or Department of Labor.

“By working to expand coverage and educate insurance providers I know that we are helping set precedence and break down barriers to care for eating disorder recovery at Veritas and across the nation.”

Together, Nikki and her team are creating solutions that allow providers to focus on patients, patients to focus on recovery, and insurance companies to focus on coverage.