Manager, Government Reimbursement at Lakeland Regional Medical Center

Chair, Education - Orlando Region



EDUCATION: BA from Sienna Heights University in Adrian, Michigan




What did you like most about this area of study?
I enjoy understanding how businesses work.  I like gathering data and then putting that data into organized models which help the business leaders make informed decisions on how to prepare for upcoming events.  

Tell us about your path to Healthcare Finance, and what you enjoy most about it?
I started my career as a Hospital Staff Accountant with ProMedica Health Systems which is based in the Ohio/Michigan area. After a few years in accounting, I transferred into a Financial Analyst role in their Physician practice. While I enjoyed both of those sides of healthcare, I really felt like Hospital Reimbursement is where I wanted to be so I took that leap of faith and have never regretted it. I’ve now been on the reimbursement side for over 10 years and I really enjoy all the challenges that this field has to offer.

How did you become involved with HFMA?
My first Reimbursement Manager in Michigan was very involved with HFMA and he wanted me to start attending any local events that dealt with reimbursement training or discussions. In those first couple of years, I attended as many meeting as I could just due to the wealth of information I was able to take from them. After attending some events here in Florida, a position came open on the education team so decided to give it a try.  

What do you most enjoy, and how have you benefited professionally from HFMA?
Meeting new people and building relationships and then learning from them is what makes HFMA a great organization. I’ve learned new things I have been able to implement fairly quickly into my daily work that has made me and the hospital more efficient. 

What are the greatest strengths of Lakeland Regional Medical Center?
As with most Healthcare Providers, our organization puts the patient above all else. We’re constantly monitoring patient satisfaction scores and relaying those scores back to the team to see where areas of improvement may be needed.

What are some of the challenges that you have had to navigate in your leadership role?
I would say change is probably the biggest challenge. Being in reimbursement there are constant changes from year to year. Over the past few years we’ve seen changes to how DSH is calculated and paid; and we’ve seen a shift from a fee-for-service to a value-based payment system. All of these changes have an impact on our financial well-being.

How has healthcare reform shaped or affected operations and finance at Lakeland Regional?
From a clinical standpoint, they are looking for better ways to treat patients to cut down on readmissions. I’ve also seen a better approach to get more of the uninsured and underinsured qualified for charity.

How do you envision the Healthcare Industry will look in ten years?
Due to cuts in reimbursement and rising expenses, I believe you’ll see more and more partnerships forming over the next five to ten years to help offset those cuts.