Valerie VanBooven RN BSN, presents The Senior Care Industry Netcast where leaders with 3 or more years in the Senior Care Industry share their advice.

Want to be a guest? https://www.seniorcareindustrynetcast.com/netcast

Jean Llamas MSN, RN, CCM, ACM

Visit Jean’s website: https://www.care-navigators.com/

Jean Llamas is president and owner of Care Navigators, Inc. She has 21 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in a hospital setting (medical surgical, oncology, cardiac and addictions), skilled home care, evaluation and set up of durable medical equipment, private duty nursing, utilization management, outpatient and inpatient care management, diabetic education and insurance case management.

Jean founded Care Navigators to help patients and families navigate the complex health care system – a service gap she uncovered as a working nurse. Recent projects include a large-scale readmission project in the largest healthcare system in Illinois and implementation of the two-midnight rule Medicare project within the same system.

Jean received her Master of Nursing with a focus in business from Benedictine University and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Northern Illinois University. She is Milliman certified for Utilization Management. She obtained ACM certification by the American Case Management Association and CCM certification by the Commission for Case Manager Certification. She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau.

Full Transcript:

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

This is Valerie VanBooven with the Senior Care Industry Podcast, where leaders with three or more years in the senior care industry share their advice. It’s six questions in nine minutes because we don’t have much of an attention span anymore, and I got a lot of kids back here that need my attention. We’re going to get going and today we are meeting with Jean Llamas. She is from Care Navigators, Inc. and Care Guardians, NFP. Hi, Jean, how are you?

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

Hi, I’m good. Thank you for having me on your show.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. Cool. And so let’s just get started. We’ll get right into it and we can’t wait to hear your words of wisdom. So in a few sentences, tell me who you are and what you do.

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

Sure. So I’m the owner of Care Navigators and Care Guardians. We provide healthcare advocacy, care management, guardianship services, care management services, counseling, medication set up, wellness visits, we open up long-term care insurance claims, appeal insurance claims, we help with placement, and we are now providing medical visits at home with nurse practitioners and physicians. My background is nursing. I have a master’s in nursing, and I opened up both firms within the last seven years to help to advocate for patients because I saw there was a missing gap in healthcare.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

You’re exactly right about that, and we need more people like you out there advocating for our seniors, absolutely. What’s the best thing about serving aging adults?

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

It is an amazing feeling to be able to protect our older adults. Our society focuses on youth, and sometimes our older adults who have all the wisdom, have all the knowledge, can give us a lot of guidance and inspiration, are forgotten in the mix with healthcare and someone needs to be their voice.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Thank you. You’re right. We have very much sometimes forgotten it seems like, about the voice that our seniors need and folks like you help so much with all of that. So I’m going to change the direction a little bit and just ask you this question because this is what we do. I hear from other senior service providers that marketing online in particular is challenging because it’s confusing, it’s ever changing, so what has your experience been with that?

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

So previously, prior to COVID, we were all able to connect and network in person. We’ve always had an existence and presence online with the web, with social media, et cetera. Facebook is really important, but now it’s even more important because people do not know how to find us or what resources are out there. So social media and everything related to it is critical for all of marketing campaigns. It should be a company owner’s first step to make sure that that’s in place.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. Yes, I believe that whole heartedly. That’s part of what we do. And part of this whole point of this podcast is to create that content that helps others, helps you, helps me get the word out about what we do and how we do it. What other successful leaders in the senior care industry like yourself, would you like to acknowledge? Is there anybody else you’d like to give a shout out to? I know there are probably so many marketing partners you have out there.

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

Yeah, there’s some amazing partners. So we provide care management, guardianship and power of attorney services, so we network and interact and coordinate care with every provider. So a couple of them that I think would be excellent resources for other people to hear speak would be Pete Miska. He’s with Phoenix Home Care. He’s an expert in skilled home care. Another one would be Sherry McGowan. She’s with Visiting Angels. She’s also an owner like Pete, with a caregiver company, and she just exudes compassion. I would say those are the two people.

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

Also Kate Curler, she’s an estate planning attorney, and not only does she do estate planning, advanced directives, we’ve worked on a lot of guardianship cases with her, she is such a patient advocate when she’s working with the family and the patient.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Very nice. Yeah. When we talk to someone like you, it’s great to know who else in your local area is someone that you trust and so that’s extremely helpful for all of us. Okay. So what piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers, any kind of advice at all?

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

The advice that I would give is we… I was just on a conference call previous to this. When you’re working through concerns or issues from multiple coordination standpoints, so what we do is really mostly coordination with lots of providers, we act like rent-a-daughters and healthcare advocates, and they need to listen to each other to figure out strategies and solutions to make something work. It tends to be in healthcare, my experience over 20-some years, is right away someone wants to find who did something. It’s not who did something, it’s let’s fix the process, let’s make things better, and this particular call was related to COVID and sending a patient home without alerting the providers to take PPE precautions with protective equipment. So there was about six different people exposed and now those people are going to be in quarantine. So that’s one thing, listen, coordinate well with everyone… Should I wait?

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Hold on one second. It’s okay. Hold on one second.

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

Is it okay to go ahead?

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Sorry to interrupt your thought.

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

Oh no, it’s okay.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Are the dogs done? Okay. All right. We can go on now. Sorry.

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

Oh no, that’s okay. So I think important to not work in a silo or territorial, to listen, and you should be using your emotional intelligence with every conversation you have with each person, whether it’s the physician that I’m talking to, whether it’s the daughter I’m talking to, the son, the son and the daughter are going to be different, their personalities. How you handle and communicate information is so important. I can think of about five situations this week, where if somebody would have had compassion, emotional intelligence, not pointing a finger within areas that we work in, that we coordinate the care in, it just could have gone smoothly and the family and the client would have been at ease.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That is amazing advice and you’re right, from long, long string of being a registered nurse and working in this, you are exactly right. Everyone has a different personality. It’s not who did it, it’s let’s fix the problem. Let’s fix the overall issue. There’s so many parts and pieces to helping our aging adults and we all have to be in it together.

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

Absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

From the family to the providers. Okay. This is our fun question. When you have a win in life or in business, how do you celebrate?

Jean Llamas  MSN, RN:

Well, a lot of times our wins are team-oriented with our staff. We have nurses, social workers, health care advocates, and bringing on some nurse practitioners now for medical visits. And so what we do is we try to celebrate it together. So I try to make an announcement on our team meetings about positive wins, whether it was a family member that felt good about it, a client that felt good about it, a physician that was just amazed that we were on the physician visit and we were able to provide that information to make his visit with his client a success. So I like to announce things, do some kudos and yeah, just… And I also try to be, when it comes to me helping with clients as the owner, I try to be very humble about it because it’s not about me, it’s about the team and it’s about all the providers together.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. Thank you so much for doing this, for being on our fast podcast, and for helping us understand more about what you do, because it is vitally important. I love talking to advocates. Everybody with wisdom who has been in this business for a while really understands this need, and so I thank you for being on. Thank you, Jean.