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I need a cardiologist … now what?

U-M Call Center professionals make the process smooth

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The U-M Call Center team (from left): Cheryl Palmer, Sandy Coffey, Andrea Navarre and Ashley Chang.

Your primary physician just recommended you see a cardiologist for a suspected heart condition. So where do you go from here?

If you decide you’d like to see a University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center cardiologist, the process is straightforward, beginning with a call to one of our Call Center professionals.

Call Center professionals are here to help guide you through the process of identifying the right cardiologist.

Getting started

“We start by gathering as much information from the caller as possible,” says Andrea Navarre. This includes a diagnosis (if one was given by the primary doctor) and a description of any symptoms the person is experiencing. “We realize that finding the right doctor can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to provide guidance and to point each caller to a cardiologist who aligns with his or her specific diagnosis or needs.”

U-M’s CVC team goes beyond general cardiologists, offering a depth of specialization and expertise in such areas as aortic disease, heart failure, heart arrhythmias, cardio-oncology, stroke and vascular disease, just to name a few.

“Some callers haven’t been given a specific diagnosis,” says Navarre, “so we ask them to describe their symptoms: Are they short of breath? Having chest pain or experiencing any other symptoms? We then get them registered in our system if they’re not already a U-M patient.”

Other important questions

“Once we’re ready to set up an appointment, we ask a series of questions,” says Navarre. These include:

  • What type of insurance do you have? U-M accepts most types of insurance. In some cases, the primary physician must initiate a request from the insurance company, which may be denied. For more information, visit the U-M Billing & Insurance page. For a list of Participating Insurance Plans, visit the Insurance page on UofMHealth.org.
  • Do you have a referring physician? Although in most cases you do not need a physician referral, we will ask if you have one in order to locate your records. We also share your results with your referring physician.
  • Where are your records? We are happy to help retrieve your records for you. Knowing where your records are is important because we will need to make sure the cardiologist you’re scheduled to see has them before your first appointment. Some places require a signed release form from you in order to release them.

Meeting with a doctor

The patient is then scheduled to meet with the appropriate cardiologist at one of seven locations, including: U-M Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor, Briarwood, Brighton, Canton, Chelsea, Domino’s Farms and Northville. We’ve expanded our cardiology locations to ensure easier patient access to care in convenient locations. The U-M Cardiovascular Center also offers Saturday clinics.

According to Navarre, “Most callers say the process is: ‘easier than I thought it would be.’ Our job is like that of a detective. We strive to get as much information as possible to make the process seamless.”

Take the next step:

  • If you’d like to make an appointment or just have questions related to cardiovascular care at the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center, call 888-287-1082.

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The University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.