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News | Leadership

Spectrum Health uses certification competition to foster engagement with HFMA

News | Leadership

Spectrum Health uses certification competition to foster engagement with HFMA

The results are in, and the winner of Spectrum Health’s revenue cycle certification competition is the revenue cycle team led by Jeff Cave, CRCR, CHFP, director  of revenue cycle reporting and analytics/revenue cycle education. Cave saw  34 members, or 53% of his downline staff, obtain HFMA certifications in a competition involving 16 revenue cycle teams across the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based health system.

The runner-up team was led by Courtney Guernsey, CRCR, CHFP, director of patient financial services, with 24% of her team members obtaining 32 certifications.

The competition, which began in July and concluded at the end of December, was one of various strategies for promoting HFMA Enterprise membership and engagement among Spectrum Health’s revenue cycle staff, said Hannah M. Perez, MSA, CRCR, senior project specialist, revenue cycle shared services, for Spectrum Health. Perez also worked with the revenue cycle education team to organize monthly “lunch and learns,” open to all staff so they could learn more about the certification opportunity..

Perez noted that the competition garnered results that exceeded all expectations. “The engagement just skyrocketed in a positive way,”   she said. “Our Enterprise members ended the  year with 225 total HFMA certifications, and   176 of those were from revenue cycle team members (78% of total certifications). The competition was a great way to get our employees and teams engaged with HFMA.”

“The idea was to generate some healthy competition between my peers and me, which would then roll down to our managers,” Cave said. “We published results on it in a revenue cycle newsletter every other week and had a leaderboard in a cafeteria in one of our facilities with everyone’s picture to provide a barometer on how everyone was moving along in the competition.”

Cave emphasized that offering staff the opportunity to obtain certifications has been an effective part of Spectrum Health’s strategy for improving staff satisfaction and engagement overall. “The Enterprise membership has been a great way for us to show an investment in our entry-level staff,” he said, noting that the health system covers the costs of the certifications.

The competition’s focus on revenue cycle staff was intended as a prelude to similar efforts to engage other staff through Enterprise membership, Cave said. “We were really focused in 2019 on finance and revenue cycle staff to start to get a road map of how we can spread this out further, to get in front of our practice managers and nursing leaders, for example,” he said. “I think having the metrics at the end of 2019 of how many finance and revenue cycle staff we had engaged will help us tell that story.” 

About the Author

Eric C. Reese, PhD,

Is a writer and editor, HFMA, Westchester, Ill. 

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