Healthcare finance professionals from the provider community discussed real-world, actionable case examples during their presentations at the Region 9 Annual Conference held Nov. 10-12 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. Some 421 people registered for the 2019 event compared to 383 from the prior year.
The Customer Experience presentation, for instance, by April LaFontaine, FACHE, CPC, chief administrative officer at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, Mississippi, reviewed how the organization identified revenue billing numbers and providers after acquiring another facility. The presentation explained how:
- The pre-planning process and communication about the acquisition benefitted customers who did not experience a gap in receiving appropriate and timely billing.
- Clear, direct communication with the agencies confirmed when updates would happen.
“As the healthcare industry moves forward during rapid disruption, it is more important now than ever before for providers to offer convenient access to care and ensure the customer is receiving exceptional services,” said David Williams, FHFMA, CPA, MPH, co-chair of the Mississippi Chapter and of the 2019-20 Conference committee, and a partner at Horne LLP. “Our conference focused on being better in order to compete for the savvy healthcare consumers’ business now and in the future.”
What was new this year?
New conference features included:
- The use of Cvent On Arrival to track participation in the conference and, for those who required CPE credits, the educational sessions.
- Presentations from Kevin Brennan, 2018-19 HFMA Chair; Joe Fifer, FHFMA, CPA, HFMA president and CEO; and Michael Allen, FHFMA, CPA, current HFMA Chair.
A message to never give up
Amberley Snyder, a competitive rodeo athlete who experienced a life-changing accident, presented There Is No Future in Giving Up, in a general session.
According to Williams, key messages from Snyder’s presentation included:
- Each patient has individual needs that others may not have.
- The general public has minimal understanding of healthcare finance.
- Flexibility and adaptability go a long way in providing exceptional customer service.
- Disclosing prices from the start is significant in helping minimize surprise billing.