Carenet Review

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Carenet
Carenet is a San Antonio-based company that has created an in-house and virtual call center contracting with insurance companies to handle their nurseline calls. They employ nurses to field the calls, and they can work at home after completing their training on site in San Antonio.

As this is a position for registered nurses, they pay is much higher than most work-at-home jobs, although slightly less than working in a clinical setting in most cases. Expect to start at least in the mid-$20s per hour. I believe it was two weeks for training (my memory is faltering a bit) of classroom lecture and hands-on in the call center on site. Yes, some locals choose to work in the office.

Once you successfully complete training, you go home and work from a home office unless you are local. If you are local, they require you to come into the office till your QA scores qualify you to work at home. Unfortunately, I was stuck in San Antonio and became a local, and was not happy about the delays in being able to work from home, as my orientation classmates were able to simply by virtue of geography. (I didn’t have a car at the time and had to rely on public transportation.)

There are some specific requirements for working from home in addition to your QA scores. You must have high speed, wired internet in a quiet environment. Your office must have a lockable door due to federal healthcare privacy regulations, even if you live alone. That’s what Uncle Sam demands, not Carenet.

I like the software that offered scripting as each insurance company or nurseline client had different requirements. And they utilize triaging software that is a series of yes/no questions starting with the most severe status to the least. You ask the questions in order till you get a “yes” and it tells you what kind of recommendation to make, from calling 911 to taking some Tylenol.

It sounds ideal and isn’t a bad job, but there is a lot of pressure to move through calls as quickly as possible. Also, you MUST ask questions in the exact order for QA, or you’ll get docked and that alone puts your score below acceptable standards. One time while I was waiting for the question screen to load I asked a couple of questions I knew would come up for their area of complaints (pain, respiratory, etc) just to keep things conversational and not have that awkward silence. I was docked and chastised with the explanation, “What if the disposition had been ‘go to ER?’ Then you would have asked questions you didn’t need to.” (Making it a lengthier call than necessary.)

Seriously?

Also beware taking too much time to finish up documentation after the call ends. I think it was two minutes max between calls they allowed, as we controlled our incoming calls. And let me tell you, those shift supervisors watch your time between calls like a hawk. After two minutes between calls,  expect an IM. And god forbid you have to take any kind of diuretic medications. Suffice it to say they weren’t always so understanding when I was put on Lasix for four days for out of control fluid retention and elevated blood pressure.

Many people are very happy working there, and it’s a great alternative to traditional nursing work. If you’re a nurse, you will need to live in one of the “compact” license states to work for Carenet because of the high number of licenses required. You’ll also need some others, such as California, Indiana and Kansas, although they do give you some time to get those.

PROS

  • Excellent pay, as it is an RN position and pay is only slightly lower than typical clinical nurse positions (the difference is WELL worth it)
  • Full benefits
  • Great software and scripting to prompt you through calls even in areas of nursing you are less familiar with

CONS

  • Must train on site in San Antonio
  • Prolonged sitting with scheduled breaks
  • Strict call and time quotas and QA
  • Must not deviate from order of triage questions or low QA score
  • Some extremely difficult callers, and the occasional pervy calls
  • Set schedule with little flexibility
  • Must have separate, lockable home office to meet federal privacy regulations for healthcare information
  • Must obtain and maintain nursing licenses in many states
  • Customer service positions also available, but are not WAH

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