Frequently Asked Questions Answered About New CERNER Electronic Medical Record

January 17, 2020

Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital employees have been working extremely hard to prepare for the January 27th launch of Cerner, a new Electronic Medical Record.  The hospital is working to improve information sharing across its critical access hospital and Rural Health Clinic in Manistique.   Cerner’s Electronic Health Record was ultimately chosen to replace CPSI and eClinicalWorks throughout the hospital and clinic. “Cerner’s Community Works is the most sophisticated medical record system that will follow our patients from doctor’s office to emergency room to inpatient or surgery and back,” said SMH CEO Robert Crumb. “It is all encompassing. We are so excited to bring this type of innovation to our region.”

Some of the changes that patients will notice include: 

-Central Scheduling / Prior Authorization

Patients will now receive phone calls to book appointments for Hospital based services and procedures from various departments including Rehabilitation Services, Radiology, Cardio-Pulmonary etc. Our prior authorization team will verify insurance coverage before calling the patient to book appointments.  Patients can continue to book office visits for Primary Care Providers and Specialists using the Scheduling Number 906-341-2153 EXT 1.

-New Billing System (Both hospital and clinic charges on one bill)

-New Online Portal & Online Bill Pay feature

The new system will have a tremendous impact on improving the way hospital departments communicate with each other and will ultimately lead to better work flows and improved patient care.   We anticipate many questions will arise with the new system so we have prepared a Frequently Asked Question Website and will update as new questions arise.  We ask for your patience during the first few weeks to allow all of our staff to get used to the new software, billing systems, and scheduling processes.  We hope you find this information helpful.

How Do I Sign Up for the Patient Portal?

View More Information on the Patient Portal Here:

Patients can self enroll online or be emailed a link at their next hospital or clinic appointment.

Currenly the App Feature of for the HealtheLife Patient Portal is not available.  This feature will be activated in the near future.

Download the HealtheLife Patient Portal Flyer

Q: What is Central Scheduling?

A: Central Scheduling will relieve the need to call multiple departments to get appointments booked.  Our phone lines are answered Monday – Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm.  Patients wishing to schedule office visits in the Rural Health Clinic or Specialist Clinic will continue to call 906-341-2153, EXT 1.  

After a referral has been received, our central scheduling and prior authorization team will work with your insurance company to insure that your test, procedure, surgery or appointment is approved.  The Central Scheduling Team will contact patients once prior authorization from the insurance company is received to schedule an appointment. The new phone line for Central Scheduling/Prior Authorization will be available for patients who need to reschedule or cancel existing hospital based appointments for services, procedures, outpatient visits, rehabilitation and more. The new phone number is 906-341-1873.  Please contact the Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital Switchboard to be transferred to individual departments. 906-341-3200.

Both lines have voicemail options for patients to request, reschedule or cancel appointments.

FAQ - Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital

Q: How do I schedule an appointment using Central Scheduling? 

A: We have moved to a Central Scheduling System handle all appointment requests, reschedules and cancellations. If a referral has been made to a hospital based provider, you will be called to schedule an appointment after the referral has gone through the Prior Authorization process. If you have been referred, please wait for our Central Scheduling team to contact you to set up your appointment, surgery, rehabilitation appointment or out-patient procedure.  If you are looking to book an office visit with a family practice provider or specialist, please call 906-341-2153 EXT 1.

Q: What should I take with me to my first appointment now that the new system has been implemented? 

  • Most Up to Date Insurance Information
  • List of Medications & Doses
  • List of Allergies
  • Name of Health Proxy (individual who can see health information on portal etc)
  • Be sure to verify your phone number, address and email address as some of this information may have been lost when we imported the data.

***Arrive Early – Registration will take longer because information has to be manually entered into the system for each patient. ***

Q: Why will I have to submit information that you have already have in your previous system? 

A: Patient information will transferred into the new Electronic Medical Record database from our other systems but we want to ensure we have the most accurate information in our new system.

Q: Where will I be able to access records for appointments BEFORE January 27th

A: Health Information Management stores all of your patient records.

Rural Health Clinic Records: 906-341-3200 EXT 1834

Hospital Records: 906-341-3200 EXT 3209

*The old patient portal will still have appointment information, lab results etc available for viewing.  Please register for new portal to view upcoming appointments and results after January 27th, 2020.

Q: Where will I be able to access records for appointments AFTER January 27th 

All patients are encouraged to register for a new Patient Portal Account.  Upon registration, if an email address is given, patients will receive a link to register a new account.

Patients can opt into the Patient Portal  on their own from home.  Login Here:

Important Note:  Patients who share an email address cannot create separate accounts.  You can contact our Admitting office to set your loved one up as an Authorized user and your Healthelife account can be shared.  If you wish to have your own account, you must provide a unique email address.

Health Information Management Phone Numbers

Rural Health Clinic Records: 906-341-3200 EXT 1834

Hospital Records: 906-341-3200 EXT 3209

Q: Which Providers or Services are considered Hospital / Specialist Clinic vs Rural Health Clinic?

A: Patients often question why some services are billed through the hospital and others through the Rural Health Clinic.  Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital is both a Critical Access Hospital and a Rural Health Clinic.   The list below explains how each department is categorized.  Our  new billing services will place both Rural Health Clinic and Hospital Services on one bill.  Your insurance company will determine whether you have co-pays or co-insurance for each service billed.

Hospital Billing Rural Health Clinic Billing
Ambulatory Care Behavioral Health
Cardiac Rehabilitation Diabetic Education
Cardiology Family Practice Visits
Cardio-Pulmonary Care Green Bay Oncology
Dietitian Naubinway Rural Health Clinic
Ear Nose & Throat Pediatrics
Emergency Room Visits Psychiatry
General Surgery RediCare
Gladstone Cedar Hill Clinic Urology Office Visits
Infusion Therapies
Inpatient Stays in Hospital
Interventional Radiology
Occupational Therapy
Ophthalmology Surgeries
Outpatient Surgical Procedures
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Physical Therapy
Radiology / X-Ray
Rehabilitation Services
Respiratory Therapy
Sleep Study
Speech Therapy
Swing Bed
Telehealth Facility Fees
Vein & Pain Clinics
Wound Care

Where do I present to register for my appointments? 

Patient Financial Services Office Hours

Payments can be made online using the Portal System or placed in the Payment Box located outside of the Rural Health Clinic.  Cash, Checks or Credit Card payments can be placed in the envelopes provided.

If you have questions about your bill or want to set up a payment plan, please call Patient Financial Services to make an appointment.  906-341-3230

The Office is Open Monday through Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm – A Patient Financial Service Representative is available for questions by phone or in person during the posted hours.  Appointments can be scheduled from Monday – Friday 8:00am-4:30pm.

Q: How can I send messages to my doctor / provider now that the Healow Portal has shut down this feature? 

A: Patients can continue to message their provider on the new HealtheLife Patient Portal once their account is active.  The new portal allows patients to send messages to specific providers, request medication refills and request appointments.

Q: How do I make payments Online or In Person? 

Visit our Online Bill Pay Website for more Information:

A: Hospital Services/ Specialist Visits with Service Dates Prior to January 27th.  Payments for Rural Health Clinic cannot be made on our old online system.


Payments can be made online using the Portal System or placed in the Payment Box located outside of the Rural Health Clinic.  Cash, Checks or Credit Card payments can be placed in the envelopes provided.  Refer to Patient Financial Services Office Hours above.

A: Rural Health Clinic/Naubinway Rural Health Clinic Services with Service Dates Prior to January 27th

Payments cannot be made online for Rural Health Clinic appointments prior to January 27th.  Payments can be placed in the Payment Box located outside of the Rural Health Clinic.  Cash, Checks or Credit Card payments can be placed in the envelopes provided.  Refer to Patient Financial Services Office Hours above.

A:Hospital Services/Specialist Visits / Rural Health Clinic/Naubinway Rural Health Clinic Services with Service Dates after 27th

Bills for these services will be combined and therefore can be paid for using our new Patient Portal.  Cash, Checks or Credit Card payments can be placed in the envelopes provided.  Refer to Patient Financial Services Office Hours above. You will need to have the bill in front of you to enter the access code for each bill.

View More Information on the Patient Portal Here:

Download the HealtheLife Patient Portal Flyer

Q: Why didn’t my insurance company pay this?

A: Have you met your deductible or does your policy require co-pays? Most insurance policies have deductibles and co-pays.

A deductible is a certain amount of money you must pay before the insurance company starts to pay. For example, if you go to the emergency room for a broken leg and you have not been to the hospital under your current insurance plan, you must pay until you reach your deductible. Once you have paid that amount, your subsequent visits to the Hospital should be covered according to your policy.

Often insurance companies require you pay a portion of every medical bill, a co-pay. For example, they may pay for 80% of the costs and you are required to pay the other 20%. Or you may need to pay a flat $25.00 fee every time you visit your primary care provider.

Was the service covered by your insurance policy? Be sure you read and understand your policy. Be sure you know what services are covered prior to going to the doctor or hospital. Your insurance agent or insurance company can help you if you have specific questions on your policy.

Q: Why wasn’t my visit to the Emergency Room covered?

A: Every insurance policy is different, but typically companies won’t pay if they determine the visit was not an emergency. Trips to the emergency room cost more money, given the high costs of making available a highly trained emergency staff and emergency equipment 24-hours a day. If you have any doubts about whether your condition is an emergency, call your primary care provider’s office and talk to a physician or physician assistant about your condition. If the offices are closed, we recommend you call your insurance company for specifics about your policy. Lastly, if these options are unavailable, it is better to err on the safe side when it comes to your health–the cost may be well worth it.

Q: I only came to the ER, and now I’m receiving a bill from a doctor with UP Imaging.

A: If you had x-rays, you will be receiving a bill from a radiologist. The radiologist is the doctor who reads your x-ray, and they bill separately for their service.

Q: I have not been seen by a provider at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital recently, why am I receiving a bill?

A: If you recently visited one of our hospital departments and had lab work done–if your blood was drawn, for example, the hospital does most laboratory work and bills for that processing.

Q: If I have recently switched insurance companies, but my old one is still covering me, which insurance do I use?

A: In most cases you should use your primary insurance first, which means the insurance you had previously. You should also report both insurances and make it clear which is your primary. Often, if insurance companies are not billed in the correct order, they will not pay for certain services. If you have questions, please call your insurance companies before you seek services.

Q: Why do I have more than one bill for some of my services?

A: If you are seen at your doctor’s office, you will receive a bill from Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital Rural Health Clinic for the visit. If you are seen in the hospital or have lab work done, they will be billed as hospital services.

You may also receive a bill from an outside provider, such as the radiologist who reads your CT scan or X-ray, or an outside laboratory that processes a specimen.

Q: Why do I have a co-payment?

A: Your insurance company and your individual policy determine your co-payment amount. Because of the variation in insurance policies, any questions regarding this amount should be directed to your insurance company directly.

Q: What is the difference between Medicare Part A coverage and Medicare Part B coverage?

A: Medicare Part A coverage covers inpatient hospital charges only. Medicare Part B covers outpatient charges such as doctor’s office charges, laboratory, and radiology charges.

Q: Why do I receive so much correspondence after my hospital/doctor’s office visit?

A: In addition to the hospital bill, most insurance companies send out an Explanation of Benefits. This letter explains which services were billed to the insurance company as well as what the insurance company has covered and what you are expected to pay for. This is done to help you understand what your insurance company will cover and ensure that the correct services were billed to the insurance company.

Find A Physician Pay My Cerner Bill