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News | Staff Development

Spectrum Health employees accept challenge to earn HFMA certifications

News | Staff Development

Spectrum Health employees accept challenge to earn HFMA certifications

Amy Assenmacher, FHFMA, senior vice president of revenue cycle at Spectrum Health, knows how much work it takes to earn HFMA certifications.

In addition to being a fellow of the Association, Assenmacher has three: Certified Revenue Cycle Representative (CRCR), Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) and Certified Specialist Business Intelligence (CSBI). So she understood the commitment she was asking for when requiring 64 Spectrum Health team members to obtain an HFMA certification.

 

Amy Assenmacher, FHFMA, SVP of revenue cycle, Spectrum Health

 

The challenge

Everyone with a title of manager or higher working in Spectrum’s revenue cycle department was required to obtain the certification of their choice, Assenmacher said. They had one year to complete it, with a deadline of Dec. 31, 2020.

Knowing how much work it takes to get certified, Assenmacher carefully crafted messaging to ensure staff understood why they were being asked to do it. She also pulled a report each week to see who had received a certification and celebrated each time someone new did. By keeping the message positive, Assenmacher was able to keep people invested and excited instead of overwhelmed or anxious about taking the certification exam.

The results

“Continuous learning is essential to success in any career. We get really excited as leaders when somebody joins the crew,” she said. “Team members were supporting each other, rallying around each other to get their certifications. There was palpable energy across the team as the number of certifications continued to grow each week leading up to the December deadline.”

That support from leadership and peers was crucial as the deadline approached, as some were struggling with the material and many had to dust off old study and test-taking skills. Staff held “lunch and learn” sessions to study together and share their thoughts about course content.

The process of getting certified en masse also led to people connecting with colleagues they typically don’t interact with at work.

“Distant team members [were] pulled together to reach a common goal,” Assenmacher said. As a result, in addition to working toward certification, many staff members also expanded their networks.

By the end of 2020, revenue cycle staff at Spectrum Health had achieved 141 certifications. Assenmacher said she’s eager to see how performance improves as a result of this effort. She hopes the increased collective knowledge and tools eventually will lead to new ideas that improve performance.

“I think this is going to be that additional factor to push us over the edge [to hit our performance goals],” she said.

 

Peg Burnette, FHFMA, CPA

Burnette new CFO at Stormont Vail Health

Peg Burnette, FHFMA, CPA, recently joined Stormont Vail Health as senior vice president and CFO. Previously, she served 16 years as CFO of Denver Health and Hospital Authority. Burnette is a Fellow of HFMA and a former member of its Board of Directors.

Jeff Hurst, MBA, FACHE

AHR/BHR name Hurst new chief revenue officer

Jeff Hurst, MBA, FACHE, was named chief revenue officer for Active Healthcare Receivables, LLC (AHR) and Balanced Healthcare Receivables, LLC (BHR). A member of HFMA's First Illinois Chapter, he has more than 25 years of experience in revenue cycle management and information technology. 

To have your professional announcement published in People, contact Crystal Milazzo.

HFMA certifications

Amy Assenmacher, FHFMA, senior vice president of revenue cycle at Spectrum Health, knows how much work it takes to earn HFMA certifications. In addition to being a fellow of the Association, Assenmacher has three: Certified Revenue Cycle Representative (CRCR), Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) and Certified Specialist Business Intelligence (CSBI). So she understood the commitment she was asking for when requiring 64 Spectrum Health team members to obtain an HFMA certification.

THE CHALLENGE

Everyone with a title of manager or higher working in Spectrum’s revenue cycle department was required to obtain the certification of their choice, Assenmacher said. They had one year to complete it, with a deadline of Dec. 31, 2020.

Knowing how much work it takes to get certified, Assenmacher carefully crafted messaging to ensure staff understood why they were being asked to do it. She also pulled a report each week to see who had received a certification and celebrated each time someone new did. By keeping the message positive, Assenmacher was able to keep people invested and excited instead of overwhelmed or anxious about taking the certification exam.

THE RESULTS

“Continuous learning is essential to success in any career. We get really excited as leaders when somebody joins the crew,” she said. “Team members were supporting each other, rallying around each other to get their certifications. There was palpable energy across the team as the number of certifications continued to grow each week leading up to the December deadline.”

That support from leadership and peers was crucial as the deadline approached, as some were struggling with the material and many had to dust off old study and test-taking skills. Staff held “lunch and learn” sessions to study together and share their thoughts about course content.

The process of getting certified en masse also led to people connecting with colleagues they typically don’t interact with at work.

“Distant team members [were] pulled together to reach a common goal,” Assenmacher said. As a result, in addition to working toward certification, many staff members also expanded their networks.

By the end of 2020, revenue cycle staff at Spectrum Health had achieved 141 certifications. Assenmacher said she’s eager to see how performance improves as a result of this effort. She hopes the increased collective knowledge and tools eventually will lead to new ideas that improve performance.

“I think this is going to be that additional factor to push us over the edge [to hit our performance goals],” she said.

 

Burnette is new CFO at Stormont Vail Health

Peg Burnette, FHFMA, CPA, recently joined Stormont Vail Health as senior vice president and CFO. Previously, she served 16 years as CFO of Denver Health and Hospital Authority. Burnette is a Fellow of HFMA and a former member of its Board of Directors.

AHR/BHR name Hurst
new chief revenue officer

Jeff Hurst, MBA, FACHE, was named chief revenue officer for Active Healthcare Receivables, LLC (AHR) and Balanced Healthcare Receivables, LLC (BHR). A member of HFMA's First Illinois Chapter, he has more than 25 years of experience in revenue cycle management and information technology.

      

Amy Assenmacher, Spectrum Health’s senior vice president of revenue cycle, challenged team members to obtain an HFMA certification.

 

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