Patient Services,

Departments & Programs,Programs and Initiatives

Welcome Center

Welcome Center - Departments & Programs, Programs and Initiatives


The Welcome Center; comprised of Agents, Medical Record Abstractors, RNs, Medical Assistants, and social work service staff, is a telephone call center focused on preparing adult patients for our system by:

To learn more, visit www.uwhealth.org/welcome


What is the UW Health Welcome Center?

The Welcome Center is located at the Administrative Office Building (AOB) and is a program within the Department of Patient Resources. The Welcome Center is a telephone call center focused on preparing adult patients for our system by:

Can my clinic utilize the Welcome Center?

The Welcome Center will assist new adult patients for all UW Health Primary Care clinics if the patient is:

How does this program benefit all other primary care offices?

The establishment of the Welcome Center has allowed for a more controlled flow of patients into the primary care system, and provides an opportunity to prepare each new patient prior to the first visit with their new PCP by updating and abstracting the medical record, assessing compliance with health maintenance initiatives and triaging urgent medical needs and coordinating care with the new Primary care clinic. 

How does the Welcome Center facilitate obtaining previous health system medical records?

The Welcome Center is able to open the Care Everywhere link for all Dane County organizations (Dean, GHC, Meriter) as well as many others across the state and country; records are then abstracted from CE. The Welcome Center sends patient appropriate ROI for non-Care Everywhere organizations, follows up for return receipt, forwards request to previous health system, and follows up for receipt of records. Paper records are scanned (in their entirety) and abstracted.

Note: Clinics always have the option of having a patient sign Care Everywhere release at their first visit. Available information can then be pulled from the identified organization for 365 days from the date of signature.

What direction is given to patients around scheduling physicals with the clinic?

Welcome Center staff does not recommend physicals or new patient appointments. Staff recommend that the patient schedule appointment based on the recommendations of previous PCP and then work with new PCP to establish the schedule for care going forward. Some patients are very adamant about having an annual physical.

What direction does the Welcome Center give to patients after they are on-boarded?

Welcome Center orients the patients to UW Health in general and prepares them for the first visit (e.g. obtaining outside records, discussing HM/making mammogram appointment as needed, asking that they bring pill bottles for first visit, etc.).

How does the process for a new patient with an acute need work?

Welcome Center collaborates with each clinic by completing the necessary triage based on the patient need. The Welcome Center RN will then either schedule directly into an available appointment slot or message the clinic triage staff to review triage notes and work with provider to determine best appointment options.

Note: The patient does not need to be re-triaged by the clinic before scheduling.

How does the Welcome Center communicate to a physician when a new patient has been onboarded

Health Link is updated in several areas to alert staff of Welcome Center involvement. The following is documented:

Who will refill medications or see the patient if he/she no showed for office visit with their new PCP? The patient now has a medical concern or needs medication refilled and PCP clinic is unable to fit the patient into schedule.

No Show guidelines should be followed and warning should be provided to patient. Patient Resources is available to assist patients with barriers in keeping appointments via the Social Work Services Program.  PCP clinic will need to determine whether refill may be safely provided prior to next visit.

When does the Welcome Center change a patient’s PCP field to their new PCP?

See Health Link Guidelines: Use of Patient Care Provider Fields in Epic. At the time of the patient selecting the provider during the Welcome Center on-boarding process, the PCP field is updated. If patient’s insurance begins in the future, you will see a future effective date which allows the current PCP to receive necessary care reports until the new insurance is active.

How are uninsured patients assisted in the Welcome Center?

Patients are reviewed by the Community Care team to determine the best options. If UW Health is the best option, patients are resourced by the Welcome Center and Patient Resources Representatives.

How does the Welcome Center handle new patients specifically requesting controlled substances?

Staff utilizes standard scripting to inform patients that previous records will be needed and that there is no certainty of prescriptions by a new physician.

How does the Welcome Center accommodate patients who are not Welcome Center eligible?

Welcome Center staff provides information on clinics and transfers the patient to the clinic.

Welcome Center continually strives to expand services as resources allow. In the future, Welcome Center hopes to expand to serve pediatric patients.

When a patient is transferring to a new PCP, but his/her current PCP is still practicing, is the former PCP practice responsible to care for the patient? Who is responsible for refilling medications until the patient has established with their new PCP?

There is no simple answer to this question. If a patient has an insurance change, it may not be possible to return to the previous PCP. Care should be coordinated with the previous PCP office to ensure a safe transition of care. From a HMO standpoint, once the PCP is listed in the PCP field, that PCP is responsible for the patient.

Why are new patients assigned to physicians whose panels are closed?

Patient chose or was assigned to the physician when their panel was still open. Several months may elapse between a patient choosing a PCP and making contact with the clinic. In addition, the Welcome Center maintains a list of closed doctors who would like some new patients but are unable to open their practices. These patients should be accommodated.

How do I refer a patient to the Welcome Center? If patients would like more information regarding one of the doctors in the clinic, where can we refer them?

Patient Resources has information on all of the UW Health doctors. We can provide the patient with information regarding where the doctor went to school and if he or she has any specialties listed.

Have additional questions or want to refer a patient?

Patient Referrals:

Phone: (608) 821-4819
RE: Pt Msg to INTUW Patient Resources (22705199)
Mail code: 1080
Fax: (608) 662-2488
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

What if I have more questions?

Patient Resources Program Questions:

Director of Patient Resources: Teri Helmke
Phone: (608) 821-4192

UW Health Welcome Center Manager:

Welcome Center Manager: Kathy Justinger
Phone: (608) 821-4162

Or visit one of the following resources for additional information:

Patient Resources

Welcome Center on uwhealth.org



Health History Form - Adult

Health History Form - Pediatric

PCP Change Documents

Pediatrics to Adult Transitions

Youth Health Care Transition



Welcome Center/PCP Referrals

Welcome Center on uwhealth.org