Billing Managers and CFO Conferences bring financial matters to the forefront

CPCA’s 2018 Billing Managers and Chief Financial Officers Conferences brought over 350 participants including Finance Directors, CHC Executives, CFOs, Billing Managers and Patient Account Managers to the Portola Hotel and Spa in beautiful Monterey, California on August 14-17 to meet, discuss and learn about issues that impact billing processes and the potential changes and challenges that health centers will face in the coming years.

The Billing Managers Conference kicked off in the De Anza ballroom with a welcome and opening remarks by Tasha Amick, Director of Billing with SAC Health System, followed by the opening keynote speaker Ray Jorgensen, President and Co-Founder of PMG, Inc. who presented “Optimizing Operations and Learning from Denials.” This informative and engaging session allowed attendees to learn how to identify patterns within their denial data, with the goal of impacting their CHC’s bottom line.

After a brief networking break, the attendees reconvened for a second general session, “Understanding and Demonstrating Compliance with HRSA Requirements: Sliding Fee Discount and Operational Site Visits” featuring Jay Boyer, MBA, Senior Director of Strategy and Finance at Greg Facktor & Associates and Tammy Wilham, Front Office Supervisor at Shingletown Medical Center.  The two dynamic speakers presented information that was both valuable and relevant to health centers, as they aim to understand ever-changing compliance requirements.

The second day of the Billing Managers Conference started bright and early with breakfast and a chance for attendees to network with the 26 exhibitors who were present.  This was the first year that exhibitors have been invited to exhibit at the Billing Managers Conference, in addition to the Chief Financial Officers Conference.  The attendees were pleased to be able to have this one-on-one time with exhibitors, and learn about the different solutions and options that they offer. CPCA is thankful to all of the exhibitors who gave their time to add value to the experience of our attendees.

Breakfast was followed by a general session presentation of “Coping with Billing Compliance” by Rebekah Wallace Pardeck, CPC, CMPE, CPCO and President of Achieve Revenue Management, LLC. Rebekah addressed the struggles that often accompany billing compliance issues and how to cope with them by understanding key elements of compliance and implementing appropriate processes.

After the general session and a short networking break, attendees divided into the first round of breakout sessions which addressed guiding operational workflows to improve financial health and implementing and billing for specialty care services, both imperative and engaging topics.  The attendees took a break for lunch and exhibitor networking, and then broke out again into sessions.

The closing afternoon plenary on Wednesday featured Laree Kiely, Founder and CEO of We Will, Inc. who eloquently discussed the topic “From Managing to Coaching.”  Kiely pointed out the important differences between “managing” and “coaching” employees and how to go from one to the other.  After that inspiring session, the Billing Managers Conference was closed with final remarks by Antonietta McGuirk, Senior Director of Revenue Cycle with San Ysidro Health as well as a group picture in honor of National Health Center week.

The conference reception followed, as the Chief Financial Officer Conference attendees arrived at the Portola and joined the Billing Managers Conference attendees for more exhibitor networking, a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card by playing “Exhibitor Bingo” and great food and refreshing beverages.  The reception was a wonderful opportunity for the health center financial professionals from both conferences to mingle and share new ideas and insights. CPCA would like to extend a special thank you to Epic Insurance Brokers and Consultants for co-hosting the reception this year.

The content-packed week in Monterey continued on Thursday morning with the opening of the Chief Financial Officers Conference, which began with a warm welcome and opening remarks by Carmela Castellano-Garcia, Esq., President and CEO of the California Primary Care Association.  The opening general session followed immediately and was presented by Curt Degenfelder, President of Curt Degenfelder Consulting. The session, entitled “The Biggest Challenges Facing Health Care over the Next Five Years” provided eye-opening insight into the largest challenges that all health centers face and solutions to address those challenges.

The first day of the Chief Financial Officers conference was packed with breakout sessions that allowed health center attendees to learn from knowledgeable speakers about various topics that affect them most, including learning strategies for mission sustainability, how to operationalize population health management services, how to generate new revenues through practice transformation and the next generation of value-based contracting.

When the breakout sessions concluded, participants took a short break and then reconvened in the ballroom for the afternoon general session entitled “Medical PPS Change in Scope: New Issues and Challenges.”  The panel of speakers included Kathryn Doi, Esq., Partner at Hanson Bridgett LLP, Carlos Jimenez, Senior Manager, Wipfli LLP and Linda Costa, MBA Chief Financial Officer of Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Inc.  Steven Roussos, MBA, MPA, Partner at Wiplfi, LLP did a great job of moderating the panel, which was a wealth of knowledge related to Medi-Cal PPS Change in Scope.

On Friday morning, CFO Conference participants attended breakout sessions related to accounting and tax updates as well as pharmacy models and how they impact the 340B program.  The attendees learned about the latest changes and best practices that affect health centers in regards to these topics.  The speakers for both breakout sessions were knowledgeable and concise.

The four days of learning and networking in Monterey concluded with the final general session of the Chief Financial Officers Conference.  Steven Rousso, MBA, MPA, Partner at Wiplfi LLP took the stage again, this time joined by Ginger Smith, Director of Health Center Operations at the California Prirmary Care Association.  Together, they discussed “SPA Changes – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”  This session was crucial in helping CFOs understand the effects of the changes to the State Plan Amendment (SPA) and how they will affect Medi-Cal PPS revenues.

CPCA would like to thank all who participated in this year’s Billing Managers and Chief Financial Officers Conferences including speakers, exhibitors, attendees and staff.  We appreciate all who worked hard to make this week of learning a success. We aim to offer valuable educational content to our members and our Billing Managers and Chief Financial Officers Conferences will continue to be a vital part of meeting that goal.  We hope to see you next year in La Jolla, CA!