For LaTasha Bowen, membership in HFMA is synonymous with opportunity — but it’s an opportunity she might not have received without the Association’s enterprise membership program.
Bowen is revenue cycle manager for Hughston Clinic, a Columbus, Georgia, medical group specializing in musculoskeletal disorders. While the clinic had been part of HFMA’s MAP Keys program for three years — a stipulation her boss, Chief Revenue Cycle Officer Angela Shelton, had insisted on when she joined the clinic in 2019 — membership had felt out of reach for the physician-owned clinic.
Then HFMA offered enterprise membership, which allows providers and other healthcare-related organizations to obtain membership for their organizations as a team, rather than individually. Suddenly, membership fit within the Hughston Clinic’s budget.
In April, Bowen became HFMA’s 100,000th member, a never-before-achieved milestone for the Association.
“HFMA membership opens up a world for me to be able to take classes that I wouldn’t have been able to take prior to joining HFMA, like CRCR [certified revenue cycle representative] certification and classes on leadership and management,” Bowen said. “I’m looking forward to being able to collaborate with other revenue cycle managers and bounce ideas off each other.”
A milestone 5 years in the making
In its 77-year history, HFMA has never seen an increase in membership quite like what it has achieved with the introduction of the enterprise membership program in 2018.
For much of the past two decades, membership had hovered around 40,000. Then HFMA created the Enterprise Solutions program. The program is designed to offer healthcare organizations an affordable way to bring all their team members onboard and give them access to professional certification and education in a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex field.
“As an accountant, I did the math: How many members do we have now that we’re paying for, and how much would it cost us to offer everyone membership?” Shelton said.
The changes HFMA made to the cost structure for enterprise membership made it a more attractive option for Hughston Clinic than it was before.
“So many people in our organization agreed it was worth the cost, and our employees were eager to take advantage of this benefit,” Shelton said.
Finding out Bowen would be recognized as HFMA’s 100,000th member — which comes with free registration for HFMA’s Annual Conference this June — was icing on the cake.
“We were pretty excited about that,” Shelton said. “More than anything, though, we’re pleased by the response of our staff, who are signing up for membership and taking advantage of what HFMA has to offer.”
Bill Casey, senior vice president of member experience for HFMA, said the goal of enterprise membership is not only membership growth, but also membership retention.
“By inviting providers and business partners to enroll their staff at a group rate, we’re elevating the conversation for all our members through diversified viewpoints and expertise,” Casey said.
Today, many of the organizations Casey speaks with are incorporating HFMA’s certification courses into the career paths established for employees.
“Especially during the pandemic, organizations were looking for solutions to build revenue cycle competencies among their teams,” Casey said. “What we’re finding is that enterprise members are highly engaged within their cohorts in our HFMA communities. This expands their knowledge, extending the benefits of membership beyond programs and certification.”
A tool for employee retention
Just as HFMA views enterprise membership as key to member retention, Shelton hopes membership will help reduce turnover rates among revenue cycle staff.
“I’m hoping that by incorporating HFMA certification into our career ladder, people want to stay and learn and grow in their career at the Hughston Clinic,” she said. “It’s a vital piece for encouraging employees to learn more about their jobs and the industry — and that strengthens job security.”
Bowen, meanwhile, is excited to attend HFMA’s Annual Conference for the first time. It’s an experience she might not have had without the 100,000th-member recognition.
“We’re going to have a minimum of four people attend,” she said. “I can’t wait!”