Frequently Asked Questions
Browse through our frequently asked questions; if you need further assistance, visit our contact page and submit your question through our form.
A Community Health Center (CHC) is a non-profit health organization that provides care to community members. Heritage Health welcomes all members of our community — whether they have Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance or are uninsured. We treat all age groups from pediatrics to adults and geriatrics. CHCs are unique in that they are led by a Board of Directors, a majority of which have to be clients/patients. CHCs are designed to provide increased access to health care services for people across the United States and are also known as a Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).
Yes! Your health is important and you can access high-quality care through our providers regardless of insurance status. We never turn anybody away or deny services because of inability to pay. However, services are not free. Low-income community members are charged based on a sliding fee scale and we will always work with the patient to find a payment solution that works for them.
Yes! Heritage Health has trained and certified Outreach & Enrollment Specialists on hand to help patients and community members learn more about health coverage options through the Affordable Care Act. These specialists are available by phone at (208) 620.5220, by office appointment, or by dropping into the 1090 Park Place health center when the schedule allows.
Proof of income is not required to access services. However, in order to access the sliding fee scale and avoid being billed the full amount for services, we do require proof of income. It is best to bring income documentation with you to your first visit if you wish to have your visit discounted. To apply and qualify for the sliding fee scale we will need (one) of the following listed below for each applicable member of the household: 30 days of paystubs, Official documentation of child support, Official documentation of alimony, Official unemployment documentation, State aid approval letter (must include amount of income), Social Security benefit form, Notarized letter from the patients employer in the case of contract work. If income verification is not provided at the time of the first visit, patients have 30 days to bring in verification to receive the reduced rate. After 30 days the full amount will be billed. Proof of income must be updated annually.
The cost of a visit at Heritage Health is designed to be affordable. Any co-pay will depend upon the individual insurance plan. Heritage Health also offers a sliding fee scale for uninsured community members. Click on the link below to help determine eligibility for the sliding fee scale:
Heritage Connect (Shared Medical Appointments)
Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs) are sessions that bring together a group of patients with similar medical conditions to meet with a provider. These sessions can be any length, but most are between 60 and 90 minutes. The sessions blend education and peer support to help patients discover new ways of managing their care.
SMAs give patients more time with their provider, even if the time is shared with other patients. The benefits of SMAs comes from open discussion. Group members can share their experiences and help other patients who may be struggling. More questions and answers are generally offered in a group setting, improving the patient-provider relationship.
No, while SMAs may look like a support group, these appointments are run by a qualified clinician. Each patient in an SMA will receive individualized support and care, including a private exam, if needed. The goal of these appointments is to give you the tools you need to be successful managing your health.
Studies have shown patients who participate in Shared Medical Appointments are more likely to continue group visits over their solo appointments. Patients have also reported having a better relationship with their provider when using SMAs as opposed to using traditional office visits.
Talk to your provider about the SMAs available for you. SMAs work best for those with chronic conditions who can benefit from group education and interaction with others in a similar situation.
Some insurance plans may cover the entire cost of the visit. For others, depending on your level of income, your responsibility may be as low as $2 – $10 per visit. PROOF OF INCOME MUST BE PROVIDED in order to make this determination.
School Based Health Center (SBHC)
A school-based health center (SBHC) is a doctor’s office located in the school or on school property that provides a full range of health care services so students can avoid health-related absences and get support to succeed in the classroom. SBHCs are sponsored and operated by community-based health organizations, hospitals, and similar organizations; and adhere to state and federal laws, policies, procedures and professional standards for the provision of medical and mental health care. The School Based Health Center in the Lakeland School District is sponsored by, Heritage Health in Coeur d’Alene. Heritage Health been serving the community for nearly 30 years and was formerly named Dirne Community Health Center. Heritage Health is a non-profit organization that is controlled by the patients it serves.
School-based health centers reduce barriers that have historically prevented youth from seeking the health services they need including accessibility, cost, transportation, concerns about confidentiality, and apprehension about discussing personal health problems. Since the SBHC is located on or near school property, students can receive health care services and return to learning in their classrooms. Additionally, parents do not need to take time off work to transport the sick student to a doctor.
A physician, nurse practitioner or a physician assistant provide health care. A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has received advanced training and education to care for the general health of most individuals. A physician assistant has also received advanced training to provide health care to members of the community. Both nurse practitioners and physician assistants can prescribe most medications and are specially trained to address the comprehensive health of their patients. Behavioral health services (when available) are provided by a mental health provider such as a social worker, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatric nurse practitioner.
Parents or legal guardians must sign consent forms for their children to receive care. However, under Idaho law, all students can seek emergency medical care; diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV; examination for physical or sexual abuse; and substance abuse counseling, confidentially and without parental consent. Counseling is provided to students receiving these services, including guidance in discussing health concerns with parents whenever appropriate.
To enroll in the SBHC, parents or legal guardians must complete and return a Parental Consent Form.
SBHCs provide care to students whether they have insurance. SBHCs do bill private insurance and Medicaid for the services they provide when appropriate.
Enrolling in the SBHC is not mandatory, however, it is strongly encouraged so that all students may have access to quality comprehensive health care. Students enrolled in the SBHC can receive immunizations, comprehensive physical examinations (for sports, working papers and required school physicals), diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and injuries, prescriptions and medication. If a student is not enrolled, the only care that the SBHC can provide is emergency first aid and those services for which minors may consent to their own treatment.
If a student already has a Primary Care Provider (PCP), then the SBHC staff will supplement the care that he or she provides. If necessary, the SBHC staff will communicate with the PCP to make sure that the student receives the best care possible both in and out of school.
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