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Employee Health Care Concierge Service makes appointment scheduling easy

Penn State Health recruiter’s experience inspires drive to promote unique benefit

As a senior recruiter for Penn State Health, Katy Rush is used to promoting the health system’s comprehensive benefits to prospective employees.

She’s particularly passionate about one benefit she says isn’t as well-known as it should be, the Employee Health Care Concierge Service. The service offers Penn State Health employees and their families free, confidential scheduling and coordination of their doctor appointments and diagnostic services, as well as support with specialist referrals and authorizations.

“Needing to see a specialist can be overwhelming, and I felt as if I had to jump through hoops to get a referral,” she said. “The concierge service makes it so unbelievably easy that I can focus on my work without worrying about it.”

A two-year Penn State Health employee, Rush has nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that causes inflammation and liver damage. Experts estimate that about 24% of U.S. adults have the disease. “That, along with Riedel’s Lobe,” an anatomical variation of the liver, “causes me a dull pain in my right side every day,” she said. When she learned Penn State Health had launched a Fatty Liver Disease Program to diagnose and manage the condition, she was excited. Dr. Jonathan Stine leads the program, which is based at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

“I wanted to be seen at the program,” Rush said, “but it’s open just a few days a week until July 1, when it goes full time.” Because of her busy schedule, she contacted the concierge service and asked them to help her get an appointment. “After I sent the Concierge Care Service an email, I heard back from them in less than 24 hours. They contacted my primary care physician to initiate the referral request, and the specialist appointment was scheduled within a week. It was great!”

Two coordinators staff the concierge service, scheduling medical appointments and diagnostic services and making calls for doctor referrals and authorizations on behalf of Penn State Health employees and their families. They manage about 50 cases a week. Penn State Health employees can reach the Employee Health Care Concierge service by calling 833-PSH-TEAM or sending a message through the My Penn State Health Patient Portal.

Concierge health care service helps busy parents, caregivers

Having firsthand experience with the Concierge Health Care Service helps Rush explain the benefits of the program to prospective employees. “I promote the concierge service because of how well it takes care of our staff members and their health care needs,” she said. The service is especially helpful for busy parents or people who are caring for older family members and don’t have time to make a doctor appointment or call for referrals.

“People in health care joke that they’re so busy taking care of others, they don’t take care of themselves,” she said. The concierge service helps solve that problem. “For me, it’s been great because my work is so fast-paced and involves some travel.” Rush uses social media, Indeed and LinkedIn to recruit new employees, conducting virtual pre-screening interviews and on-site interviews with applicants and marketing Penn State Health at career fairs.

Penn State Health Senior Recruiter Katy Rush works at a hiring event in the lobby of Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center Wednesday,  June 14, 2023.

Penn State Health Senior Recruiter Katy Rush works at a hiring event in the lobby of Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center Wednesday, June 14, 2023.

She was previously a director in career services at Penn State Harrisburg. Before that, she served in career, graduate and intern services at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pa., and Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pa., where she earned two master’s degrees in education and English.

Service is part of comprehensive benefits package

Rush is proud to promote careers at Penn State Health. “We offer prospective employees a lot of exciting careers, room to grow and opportunities for continuous learning so they can advance to higher positions, plus some very generous benefits.”

One of those competitive benefits is the health care concierge service, which she always makes sure to mention.

“Navigating health care systems isn’t always easy, even for those who work in health care, and the concierge service takes care of that problem. Thanks to the wonderful coordinator who helped me, I got some appointments that I’d been putting off for a long time. She was so friendly, professional and helpful. I couldn’t get better care anywhere else.”

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