To Our Patients,
First, our best wishes for a very Happy New Year! We’re extremely hopeful that 2022 will bring us closer to the end of a long and exhausting pandemic and all the subsequent issues, difficulties and challenges that have arisen as a result. We are so grateful for the talent, skill, and commitment of our medical professionals here and throughout the nation and offer our thanks to them for supporting us all through these unprecedented times.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to offer you our deepest apologies on behalf of the entire Westmed Medical Group team, including all of your doctors and nurses, for the various challenges you may have experienced over the last two months related to phone wait times through our Contact Center managed by Optum, as well as our new Electronic Health System managed by Athenahealth. Unfortunately, many of our difficulties could not have been predicted and hit us very hard. For example, the technology glitches related to our new portal technology, and numerous employees calling in sick with COVID at one time. Like all other businesses, the pandemic has greatly impacted our operations and we are working intensively to overcome the various hurdles.
Although the amount of time it’s taking to resolve everything is frustrating, please understand that we’re working closely and continuously with our third-party vendors to make all the improvements and enhancements needed for the greatest operational efficiency. In the interim, we’re pulling in staff from our other departments and offices here to help our patients reach their doctors, who continue to provide them with the highest level of care and treatment.
We appreciate all of your feedback and can assure you that our entire team is working around the clock to make changes that we hope will be visible to you over time. Meanwhile, we promise to keep you posted on the progress we are making and communicate with you every day.
Here’s a list of FAQs based on your feedback and questions. If there are any we’ve missed, please feel free to contact us anytime at email@example.com.
With the numerous challenges patients have been experiencing, why did you change to a different patient portal system?
Our previous system was unfortunately discontinued by the organization that serviced it. That is why we had to find a new vendor and selected one that we believe is the best fit for the future needs of our patients. We understand that there’s always a learning curve when integrating a new system and that there wll be much room for enhancement. Therefore, we can assure you that over time, the experience will improve greatly and offer our patients the benefits of convenience accessibility and on-demand access to care.
How do I make appointments online?
Patients can simply visit www.westmedgroup.com/appointments to schedule an appointment online. You can then type in your provider’s name or the reason for your visit to get started. You will need your insurance information handy the first time you schedule your online appointment so that we can be sure you are established in our new health system, but after that you will not need to complete as much registration information. Scheduling via www.westmedgroup.com is available via desktop, mobile or tablet device.
Alternatively, you can navigate to our online scheduling environment through our new My Westmed Portal when you are on a desktop. You’ll log into your portal, select “Appointments,” and click “Schedule Now” to start the process. There are some scheduling scenarios that you will be required to call in to schedule, but most providers will permit you to complete your scheduling online. For any issues related to online scheduling, email our technical support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My physician is not listed on my portal, and I am having trouble sending them a secure message. How can I reach my physician directly?
If your provider is not available as an active provider for you to send a secure message, it may be because you have not seen this provider in the office recently. After an upcoming visit with one of your providers, your provider should be available for you to message in the new My Westmed portal.
What is the cause of these long hold times at the Contact Center?
We apologize and agree that the hold times many of our patients have been experiencing are completely unacceptable. Like all other businesses throughout the US, our Contact Center partners managed by Optum, has been experiencing a staffing shortage. This shortage is exacerbated by absenteeism fueled by growing cases of COVID-19. It is now all hands-on-deck here at Westmed, with everyone here pitching in and working together to find interim solutions, including redirecting calls to your specific physician’s offices, as well as our staff in various other departments stepping up to help connect calls.
I have been on hold for a long time trying to make an appointment. Is there any easier way to make an appointment?
Our partners at Optum are working as fast as possible to scale up the number of agents available to respond to appointment requests through the Contact Center, but we encourage you to utilize our new online scheduling platform to schedule your appointments. Visit www.westmedgroup.com/appointments to get started, and type in either your physician’s name or your chief complaint to begin.
The online portal will not allow me to cancel or reschedule an appointment. How can I best do this?
Unfortunately, at this time you cannot cancel or reschedule appointments via the online portal. We understand that this is a huge inconvenience, and we are working diligently to add this feature to the new portal. In the meantime, please call your physician’s office directly to cancel or reschedule an appointment. If you experience issues, send your provider a secure portal message to cancel, or even share feedback with us through direct message on Facebook@WestmedGroup, or email email@example.com.
*It is best to use the portal on your PC, rather than on a mobile device at this time, as work on this system continues.
I can’t access my records on the new online portal! How can I gain access to my medical records, lab results, and past appointments?
Rest assured your records are not gone! Although some of your previous medical history information may not be visible to you in the new portal, you can easily request a consolidated summary of your health record sent to you instantly via email when you log in and visit the “My Health > Health Records” section of the new My Westmed portal.
You can access this consolidated view of your medical records, login to your portal from a web browser on a desktop and click “My Health.” You’ll navigate to “Health Records” and select the Outpatient Visit Documentation you are hoping to export (information such as medications list, allergies and immunizations will be included in this data). You can specify a date range or access this information from your “all time” record. For more detailed copies of your medical records, such as images/CDs, you will need to contact the HIM department for assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (914) 682-6416.
Why are COVID test results taking so long?
This is a universal problem that all medical facilities, hospitals, and urgent care centers throughout the US are experiencing. Unfortunately given the huge surge in cases due to the Omicron variant, labs are taking a lot longer to turn around test results. We apologize for the long wait time and will have your results to you as quickly as possible.
Where can I go to get a COVID test?
COVID rapid tests are currently available at all Westmed Urgent Care locations. Fast track testing appointments are available at our Urgent Care sites at 210 Westchester Avenue in White Plains and at One Theall Road in Rye, both as walk-in and by appointment as supplies allow.
I have been experiencing billing issues and need to find out what my insurance will cover?
For questions related to billing please call our billing department directly at (914) 681-3110 or email email@example.com.