Celebrating Insurance Counselors Week
This week, DaVita celebrates our Insurance Counselors (ICs) across the Village: teammates who play a vital role in helping to educate our patients about their insurance options.
In celebration of our 226 ICs across the Village, we interviewed Darlene Boyd, an insurance counselor in New Jersey covering the Centurion and La Forza Divisions in Avanti. She has been with the Village over 16 years.
Describe the role of an IC. We directly support patients to help with their insurance concerns. Insurance can be very intimidating. Add this to recently learning that you face a life-threatening disease, and patients can have a lot of difficulty dealing with everything. We provide patients with objective education on their insurance options, discuss changes that occur in the marketplace and help them navigate their rights with insurance companies and the government. We also partner with field leaders and social workers regarding specific patient issues and other insurance challenges. We offer patients our encouragement and support, like many other clinic teammates.
Are ICs assigned to one clinic? No, we have several we are assigned to—sometimes as many as 15 facilities. We travel throughout the week to see DaVita patients at our assigned clinics.
What is the most difficult part of being an IC? For me, it’s market uncertainty. In today’s environment, we usually can’t predict how insurance options will change for patients, and that’s hard. An example is the uncertainty with the Affordable Care Act. I want to have all the answers and be available to provide reassurance to them. Another example is with undocumented patients. In New Jersey, we used to be able to find them appropriate coverage options, but because of changes in state legislation, we have very few options to educate patients on now.
What is your favorite part about being in the Village? Helping patients and fellow teammates. It gives me joy when I’m able to educate them and relieve some of their stress. Earlier this week, I called a patient’s husband to review some insurance issues I had discussed with him and his wife previously. His wife has multiple comorbidities and he had been her rock through all of her medical challenges. When I called, he answered his phone from a hospital bed. He had become sick, too. Your heart breaks in cases like this. After he was released, they both came into the clinic specifically to give me a hug and say thank you for helping guide them through their insurance issues. My job gives me life!
What are you most proud of professionally? My growth. I have grown from the time I started in the Village with the help of the feedback my leadership and teammates have provided to me. One such area is becoming more comfortable giving presentations to unfamiliar faces. I also earned my Bachelor degree and Master in Public Administration while working at DaVita. Being an Insurance Counselor has been a blessing, allowing me to work fulltime hours while going to school and raising my son. I have been able to see him grow and not miss any important moments in his life. Finally, I attended the Academy Graduate Program in March, where I developed new goals for myself, including eating healthy and losing weight. I have lost 30 lbs since then, and I feel much healthier. I have a lot more energy, and I am looking forward to attending a boot camp next month.