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Medical Doctors | Primary Care

River Valley Health and Dental Center recently added walk-in hours for our patients with acute needs. We want to steer patients away from unnecessary Emergency Department visits. Current staffing of this service is accomplished by a rotation of two Nurse Practitioners and one Physician’s Assistant.

When we are closed, patients are provided with 24-hours phone assistance/after-hours coverage with a Nurse Triage Center. This assistance works well for patients who get connected directly when they call our center, and also for our providers who can be confident of quality patient care coverage during off hours. We maintain at least one provider on-call to communicate with the triage staff on an as-needed basis.

We work hard to provide continuity of care. When our patients present in the Emergency Department, our staff is notified and given the chief complaint. We then follow-up with the patient the next day. Both the ED and nurse triage staff have ghost appointments available to offer next day follow-up care with their primary care provider.

We provide general primary medical care, diagnostic laboratory, screenings, coverage for emergencies during hours, immunizations, well child services, gynecological care, pharmaceutical services, case management, eligibility assistance, health education, outreach, transportation, translation, and most recently, voluntary family planning.

In 2015, River Valley Health and Dental created a Care Team to address unnecessary emergency department utilization, no-shows, and appointment compliance issues. SCH&DC providers directly refer patients to this team. The Care Team consists of the health educators, lead nurse, the behavioral health team, and the Medical Office Manager. The team meets weekly and discusses high risk patients and the follow-up needed to help these patients. Providing additional support for these patients allows them to gain a better understanding of their health. All contact with these patients is documented in the electronic health record for the providers.

River Valley Health and Dental also has a full-time Outreach and Enrollment Specialist who helps patients navigate and enroll into different insurance options such as the Marketplace, Medicaid, and CHIP. If a patient is without insurance and would qualify for coverage, they are referred to the O&E specialist. All staff is aware of this role and refer patients often. The O&E specialist also provides outreach at businesses throughout the service area and beyond attending county meetings to make everyone aware of the services available.

The onsite Patient Financial Counselor effectively screens for and determines eligibility for various assistance programs, communicates with patients about their financial status, collects amounts owed, and documents activity in the electronic health record.  If a patient arrives at the center without insurance, they are informed of the sliding fee program by our check-in staff, given the sliding fee application, and referred to the counselor. These steps ensure patients understand the program and documents are given to them.

River Valley Health and Dental Center works to increase access to care for Lycoming County residents by:

  • Providing affordable primary health and establishing itself as a medical home for all.

  • Working with community groups to strengthen the network and accessibility of available health and integrated social services as needed

  • Implementing patient management and education tools so that chronic health issues will be better understood and managed

  • Developing a delivery of care model that is more responsive to our patient needs, utilizes resources more effectively, and encourages compliance and follow-up care

  • Incorporating changes based on patients need and preferences by communicating effectively with our patients to better understand needs

  • Participating in ongoing dialog with the Emergency Departments of hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals to improve hospital ER use.

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