Information for CHC staff
Want a deeper understanding of the Link to Care WA program, what it offers, and how to access it? Download more background information.
Our goal is to eliminate all language barriers to Link to Care WA. Our patient Hotline representatives speak English and Spanish – and interpreter services are available to support all languages. The Link to Care WA website is available in English, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. And promotional materials that CHCs can use to make patients aware of the Link to Care WA resource are already available in 16 languages, plus English, and can be translated into any additional language upon request.
Link to Care WA is here to serve all CHC patients seeking telehealth services and support, regardless of their insurance status or whether they’re a Medicaid recipient or CHPW member. Anyone seeking digital resources is encouraged to call the Link to Care WA Hotline. Our dedicated call center team can help patients determine their needs and the right programs for them, along with any eligibility requirements for those programs.
Link to Care WA covers the cost of one mobile device (an Android smartphone) with an unlimited data plan, including hotspot capability, a phone case, and pre-paid service for 12 months. The smartphone is the patient’s to keep.
Patients do need to be Washington residents receiving healthcare services at a CHC, but no matter where they are in the state, they can still receive assistance through Link to Care WA with technology access and use, get connected with federal and state programs for subsidized smartphones and broadband internet, receive help preparing for telehealth visits, and more.
Please note that if a patient receives a device through the federal subsidy programs, they may be required to re-apply once a year and return the phone if they become ineligible in that time. The hotline representatives can assist patients in understanding program rules and eligibility requirements.
Privacy and security are top priorities for us. Link to Care WA will only be able to see if a line is active and how much data has been used – we will not be able to see how a patient uses their phone or any personal information stored on it, like photos or contacts.
Patients do not have to apply to receive technical assistance from our Hotline team. They can simply call (866) 757-1832 on Mondays through Fridays from 8am-5pm. To receive a low-cost or free device through a Link to Care WA CHC site or a federal program, patients may have to fulfill application and eligibility requirements. Materials to promote the Link to Care WA Hotline and website to patients are freely available to all CHCs. CHCs wishing to provide in-person digital navigation services through the program will need to develop a formal partnership with CHNW to do so.
Our goal is to provide patients with the resources they need as quickly as possible. The time it takes a patient or a patient’s family to get their low-cost phone and discounted internet service may vary depending on the shipping speeds and the area provider. Our Hotline representatives are here to support patients throughout every step of this process.
Almost none. That’s what our dedicated Hotline team is for – to save CHC staff time and to get patients set up with Link to Care WA services as quickly as possible.
Yes – we believe that whole-person health care includes ensuring our patients have the digital tools they need to learn, work, and stay in community with loved ones. In fact, improving these social drivers of health has been a significant added benefit of the program.
Our goal is to improve health access for all patients. Patients who need accommodations can call (866) 757-1832 between 8am-5pm Monday through Friday to connect with a Hotline team member who can help them get what they need.
Advancing health equity is a top priority for WA state. We are hopeful the success of the program and tangible impacts on patient access will secure its long-term future with funding from the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Office of Broadband and other partners. As of right now, Link to Care WA has the grant funding it needs to operate from Jan. 2022 – June 2023.
Link to Care WA covers the cost of one mobile device (an Android smartphone) with an unlimited data plan, including hotspot capability, a phone case, and service pre-paid for 12 months. The smartphone is the patient’s to keep. If a patient receives a device through the federal subsidy programs, they may be required to re-apply once a year and return the phone if they become no longer eligible in that time. Our Hotline representatives can assist patients in understanding program rules and eligibility requirements.
No – in the same way that Washington CHCs deliver quality health care to undocumented patients, Link to Care WA will provide support and connection to resources for all patients regardless of immigration status.
There are two levels of commitment for CHCs to utilize Link to Care WA. The easiest point of entry is for CHCs to access materials to promote the Link to Care WA Hotline and website to patients. The more robust commitment level to be a program site offers significant additional resources for patients, including the ability to distribute pre-paid smartphones directly to eligible patients. CHCs must apply to be program sites.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach for how CHCs manage this program. CEOs, clinical care managers, community outreach managers, patient navigators, and other staff may all play a role in championing and implementing this program, depending on your CHC structure and staffing. CHNW will work with you to understand the activities needed and how other CHCs have supported them, to ensure the programs work for your individual situation.
Join the 2023 Digital Navigation Learning Collaborative
Do you work at a CHC, are interested in Link to Care WA, but are not sure your organization is ready to join as a partner site (more information here)? Joining our Digital Navigation Learning Collaborative in 2023 (beginning Fall 2023) may be a good option.
You’ll spend a year attending small group learning sessions with the current Link to Care WA partners (monthly commitment: 2-3 hours). We cover learning about digital navigation, literacy, inclusion, and equity; and planning clinic promotion activities. Grant funding is available to support CHC staff time to participate in Learning Collaborative activities.
Email us to complete a self-assessment form, which evaluates your clinic’s interest in and readiness to implement a digital navigation program.
Information for CHC staff
Link to Care WA offers a robust patient-facing website with tailored information just for them. This includes information on how to use our Hotline (866-757-1832, staffed Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm with digital navigators who can provide personalized, in-language support), downloads, and informational links to resources like the Federal Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity programs, an introduction to telehealth services and how to access them, and much more.
“We’ve seen our patients use the Link to Care WA services not only to maintain communication with their doctor but to stay in touch with loved ones from afar and stay plugged in at school remotely. We know digital equity is about whole-person health care and have seen how Link to Care WA moves Washington closer to that robust health care vision we all share.”
Contact us if you have questions about program resources, joining as a partner site, or how to access patient supports.