HFMA is pleased to bring you a recurring feature on the blog, the Board and Committee Member Spotlight. Below is an interview with one of our board members, Julie Hall, discussing her history and future with HFMA. Keep an eye out for more interviews coming regularly.
Tell us how you came to a career in healthcare and the path to your current position in your organization.
[jh] When I was in college one of my professors had a former student, who was looking to fill a part time position for a registration/billing associate at a walk-in clinic and I applied. Little did I know that position would guide me to where I am today. I worked at that clinic for over a year, then moved on to a hospital billing position. I moved up the ranks from biller to team leader, to supervisor and manager of Patient Accounts. Then I took a position as Director of Revenue Cycle at another hospital which included chargemaster maintenance, third party contract negotiations, along with patient access and patient accounts oversight. In 2015, I was offered a position as a Consultant with a Revenue Cycle Management firm and in 2018 I became a Principal in my own company focusing on chargemaster reviews for hospitals, conducting education and training workshops and on-site revenue cycle consulting.
What was your moment of truth? Share an event or a decision that became a defining moment in your career.
[jh] One day I was researching an unusually small payment on a large dollar claim for a hospital I worked for. In my research I found a claim reporting issue which caused the large underpayment. Through additional research I determined this issue was a very large issue and impacted many claims across multiple payers. It took me a few months but with much determination I was able to obtain payment for all identified claims that were underpaid -even very old claims. This was when I realized how important it is to ensure all points in the revenue cycle need to be reviewed often to ensure proper reimbursement. Oh, and also to never give up on a payment you feel is rightfully due!
Other than competence in the position, what do you look for when reviewing resumes?
[jh] I like to see companies promote from within when possible. Technical skills can be taught. Showing initiative, thinking outside the box, working well with others and great communications skills, in my opinion, can be more important when looking for the right candidate for a position. If you have a staff member with those qualities then taking the time to evaluate their ability to learn the technical skills they may not have and mentor them, in the end, might get the position filled timelier and with less expense than searching for an outside candidate.
What led you to become an HFMA Board Member/Committee Chair?
[jh] I was a member of the annual Revenue Cycle Committee for many years and then became a Committee Chair. This is my favorite meeting! This meeting always has great educational sessions, wonderful keynote speakers, networking opportunities and the best of the best vendor support. How could I forget, Gillette has been such a great venue too! This year I am the board liaison for this event and I look forward to working with our Committee Chairs.
What was the most important take away/ most impressionable memory you have of your early days in HFMA?
[jh] I will always remember how welcomed I felt when attending my early HFMA meetings. From Tony Slabacheski taking my picture and offering to introduce me to others, to Karen Bowden sharing her knowledge, to Ed Kennedy sharing the funniest jokes to break the ice and Dennis Scott keeping us focused on the task at hand during our RCC committee meetings. There are so many to list, I could go on and on.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
[jh] In my spare time I enjoy playing tennis and golf, traveling with my husband and spending time with family and friends. Spending time with my grandson Alex is undoubtably the best time!