Ahead of the Patient Financial Services online event, taking place November 14th, we had the opportunity to sit down with Stacie French, Senior Director of Revenue Cycle, Enterprise Admissions & Registration Support at Monument Health to learn more about her career journey, current priorities for her team, and what she’s looking forward to discussing at the upcoming meeting.
Tell us about your career journey, and how you came to work in the healthcare industry.
Thank you for the invitation and the opportunity. I am Stacie French, and I’m the Senior Director of Enterprise Admissions and Registration Support at Monument Health. We are a community-based health care system composed of five hospitals and forty plus medical clinics and specialty centers in beautiful western South Dakota. I bring a wealth of leadership experience with an extensive background in the financial services industry, including roles in insurance, banking, lending, collections, foreclosure, and legal administration. In a twist, I would share that I also once owned and operated a NASCAR franchise retail store!
Bringing my financial experience to the healthcare sector and revenue cycle in 2008, my journey began as an Insurance Claims Follow-up Representative. During my 15-year tenure at Monument Health, I have been fortunate to hold various key positions leading teams throughout the entirety of the Revenue Cycle. Currently, I directly serve the enterprise population of caregivers and leaders who care for patients through their duty performance of pre-arrival and registration functions, scheduling, prior-authorization and certification, financial clearance, fund finding, and charity care, in both the ambulatory and acute care environments.
I have always been a strong advocate of team building, personal growth, and continuous lifelong learning. My leadership philosophy is guided by the words of Mary Church Terrell, “Lift as You Climb.” I aspire to elevate others and challenge them to embrace their inner strengths and confidence while on their own personal journey. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Health Science studies, and hold certifications in the Epic platform, as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, as a training educator, and in legal administration studies. I am currently finalizing my Masters in Healthcare Administration with an emphasis on leadership development.
Beyond my professional achievements, I find solace in adventure and the great outdoors, especially in the Black Hills or Wyoming mountains. I am an amateur nature photographer and relish unplugged moments, whether hiking, camping, ATV-ing, boating, or kayaking. Most cherished are moments spent creating memories with my husband, and the families of my two adult sons.
In your current role as the Senior Director of Enterprise Admissions & Registration Support at Monument Health, what are some of your main priorities, and as we look ahead to 2024, what would you say are some of the challenges you are either currently, or will be, facing?
One of the main priorities for my area of oversight is focused improvements centered within patient financial clearance. In efforts to support the principle of non-maleficence, our organization is striving to minimize financial risk for both our patients, and the organization. The Monument Health Executive Leadership Team has committed to the support of a clinically integrated and fully collaborative financial clearance model that begins with pre-registration / schedgistration, pre-arrival and arrival management, financial counseling, and patient advocacy, to provide patients with the right services, at the right times, and in the right environments. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure patient access to care is improved for the betterment of those in our communities and that service to others in this capacity remains aligned with the multiple dimensions of patient wellness, inclusive of financial wellness.
Some of the challenges I see in our organization and industry are the increasing out-of-pocket patient financial responsibilities and the ever-changing payer plan policy criterion. Insured patients are being asked to shoulder greater portions of the cost of purchasing their healthcare services. These high out-of-pocket costs place strain on the patients and their families, leaving some of them feeling as if they may need to delay or forgo care. Additionally, plan policy criterion continues to grow in its variability by payer, its complexities, and the sheer length of the multiple requirements; making coverage by medical necessity more difficult and time consuming to achieve on behalf of our patients. This has become an especially huge hurdle to overcome when trying to build more automation and efficiencies intended to reduce the administrative costs associated with the work we must perform to meet these requirements.
We’re really looking forward to having you participate in our Patient Financial Services meeting on November 14th, where you are joining the panel on the importance of accuracy in registration, verified eligibility, and prior authorization on generating clean claims. What is one area related to the topic that you’re specifically looking forward to discussing with the panelists and audience members?
I personally am looking forward to hearing from others regarding how they are utilizing automation, and what efficiencies are being inserted into these specific workflows. It will be interesting to learn how they are working on their challenges or how they may have achieved even small, iterative successes. I hope to find this to be a forum for engaging in transparent discussions about what we have tried and what did or did not work well in registration, eligibility verification, and prior authorization standard practice workflows. I hope we can find connection through our shared experiences, and that everyone can leave with at least one idea from this event that they choose to further build upon in their own health systems.
Stacie, Thank you so much for your support of the upcoming Patient Financial Services meeting, taking place November 14th, and for sharing your inspiring background with us. We are looking forward to some very engaging discussions with the panelists and audience!