News & Media

Employee Update: September 23, 2022

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Riverside Simplete 2023

Medicare Advantage growth a strategic priority

One of Riverside Healthcare’s strategic priorities is to grow the number of members who choose Medicare Advantage products. We’ve partnered with Health Alliance to offer Simplete Medicare Advantage plans in an effort to grow our patients enrollment in a Medicare Advantage plan that has been design to best fit their health and wellness needs while maintaining the ability to remain a Riverside Healthcare patient.
 
As the Medicare Advantage Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) begins Oct. 15, you will see a significant marketing effort at Riverside Healthcare to grow membership in Medicare Advantage. 
  
Many of you are trusted informational resources to patients. If patients or family members ask you about Medicare Advantage, please direct them to Simplete Medicare Advantage. 

What you need to know:
 
The Medicare program offers two main options for eligible members – traditional Medicare coverage (with optional supplements) and Medicare Advantage (managed care products).  

  • For many years, Riverside has partnered with Simplete Medicare Advantage to create plans with unique benefits for patients and providers. For members, these plans have much lower premiums, lower out-of-pocket costs, additional benefits not covered by traditional Medicare, and low copays for Tier 1 generic prescriptions.  
  • In addition, Simplete Medicare Advantage offers robust customer service for members that includes health coaching, preventive care reminder calls, a 24-hour nurse line and online patient resources. 
  • One important advantage is decisions about care are kept where they belong  – between patients and doctors.  

For these reasons, Riverside and Simple Medicare Advantage are better able to serve Medicare patients enrolled in the Simplete plans while simultaneously supporting mission to provider remarkable healthcare experiences.

Please remind your patients to review their coverage by December 7. They can learn more by:

  • Calling (877) 642-4753 (TTY 711).
  • Attending a webinar to learn about our Simplete Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Visiting this page about Medicare and this link about our Simplete plans.
  • Visiting simplete.org/medicare to view plans, enroll and more.

 Thank you for supporting this strategic priority. 

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period
Understanding the Different Types of Medicare

With Annual Enrollment Period ongoing, our patients 65 and over, and those with certain disabilities, can shop and enroll in Medicare Advantage plans for 2023. We can help them understand their different Medicare options.

 Original Medicare is coverage managed by the government and made up of two parts. Part A covers inpatient hospital and skilled nursing facility stays, nursing home care, hospice and home healthcare. Part B covers certain care from doctors, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive care.

Original Medicare doesn’t cover the full price of many services. Some people purchase Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans to help pay the remainder of costs. Original Medicare also doesn’t cover every type of service. And it only covers some medications, so people often purchase Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) as another add-on.

Medicare Advantage plans (or “Medicare Part C”) take the place of Original Medicare, rather than adding to it. These plans are managed by private insurers and typically combine Parts A, B and D into one single plan. They often include extra perks such as fitness benefits and wellness programs. Riverside partners with Health Alliance™ to offer Simplete® Medicare Advantage plans designed specifically with our community in mind.

Please remind your patients to review their coverage by December 7. They can learn more by:

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2022 Walk to End Alz

Join Team Riverside in The Walk to End Alzheimer’s Saturday September 17th. Together, we’ll walk and raise funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. And together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease.

Get ready for an inspiring and safe Walk day with the information below.

Parking and Walk route information:
The Walk will be located at Kankakee Community College and the route is about a mile long.

Parking is available in the lots adjacent to the event site.

Event schedule:
Venue Open & Start of Festivities: 8:30am

Promise Garden Ceremony: 9:30am

Walk Day FAQ:

All participants should register prior to Walk day at alz.org/walk.
All children must be registered.
Strollers, wheelchairs and wagons are welcome.
The Walk route and festivities are outdoors — please plan accordingly.
Donations will be taken on Walk day via mobile payment and cash/check dropbox.
Be sure to wear your purple and carry your Walk flags! Take a selfie or photo of your team and post on social media using #Walk2EndALZ and #ENDALZ.

Join us at the kick-off event on August 12 at Westwood Senior Living in Kankakee!

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Riverside Healthcare: What Family Feels Like

We all can understand what it is to be part of a family. To feel included, accepted, cared for, part of
something special.

We are starting a campaign at Riverside that centers on that theme. What Family Feels Like.
We have all probably heard at one time or another someone say, “Riverside is like a family.”

How we connect to that statement may be different for each of us, just as our own family
experiences differ. But what is true, is that feeling of family is at the core of what we do.

In the days ahead, you will see posters appearing in various areas throughout our healthcare
system. The messages are reminders of the hard work we do and impact we can have…on both our
co-workers and our patients.

A campaign, like family, takes lots of people to make it successful. We hope you are able to join us in
making Riverside a stronger family.

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COVID Vaccine Policy Update

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Update: Frequently Asked Questions

What is being announced?

Based on the latest scientific data and research, recommendations by the CDC and guidance from our own team of experts, we have updated our COVID-19 vaccine requirements to allow employees in both patient-facing and non-patient facing roles to apply for and receive an approved medical or strongly held belief exemption. Previously, we were only allowing such exemptions for non-patient facing employees.

Why is this change being made now?

Over the past few months, we have been encouraged by a continued decline in the severity of COVID-19-related symptoms, hospitalizations and death, and we are hopeful that future variants will have even less impact on our daily lives. Our decision reflects the level of risk associated with current variants and our confidence in our ability to ease precautions while continuing to provide the highest quality of care and safest environment possible to everyone we serve. This decision was made based on the latest scientific data and research, recommendations by the CDC and guidance from our own team of experts.

Does this mean that COVID-19 vaccines are no longer required for employees?

No. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to require health care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or an approved medical or strongly held belief exemption. We will continue to comply with this requirement.

Why did Riverside initially not allow employees in patient-facing roles to get a strongly held belief exemption?

Given the high number of hospitalizations and deaths that were associated with early COVID-19 variants, we continue to believe that requiring our employees, especially those in patient-facing roles, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine allowed us to provide the highest quality of care and safest environment possible at a critical time in the pandemic.

What safety protocols will unvaccinated employees be required to follow?

Employees who receive an approved medical or strongly held belief exemption will be required to follow all state and federal regulations, including wearing a surgical mask while on Riverside Healthcare grounds. For testing protocols, please see the Riverside policy as requirements may change based on transmission rates.

Will employees who left because of the vaccine requirement be eligible for rehire?

Yes. We understood that this was a difficult decision for some of our employees, even those who chose to comply. We left the door open for our former colleagues to return if they met job qualifications and complied with our current policies. Any qualified applicant who complies with our policies, including our updated COVID-19 vaccine requirement is eligible for employment at Riverside.

Does leadership have any concerns about rehiring employees who made the decision to leave Riverside in response to its COVID-19 vaccine requirement?

No. This was a painful time for both those who made the decision to leave and those who continued working at Riverside. As the transition was made, we maintained a respectful and collegial environment, and we are confident we will continue to do so as we welcome back former colleagues who qualify for an open position and comply with our current policies.

Was this decision made to resolve litigation Riverside is facing regarding the COVID-19 vaccine mandate?

No. While we cannot discuss matters related to ongoing litigation, we can say that this decision was made based solely on the latest scientific data and research, recommendations by the CDC and guidance from our own team of experts.

Does Riverside Healthcare plan to contact former employees who left due to vaccine requirement to notify them of this change?

No. However, we look forward to welcoming any qualified applicant who will comply with our current policies, including our requirement to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or receive an approved medical or strongly held belief exemption.

Will Riverside revise its vaccine policy again in the future?

Riverside Healthcare will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases and trends. If a future COVID-19 variant appears to result in more serious illness or a higher number of hospitalizations and deaths, we may need to revise our COVID-19 vaccine policy accordingly.

A PDF version of the FAQs can be found here.
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