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We are well into 2019 now, but I would still like to wish each of you a prosperous and successful 2019. Once again I have found myself presiding as President of the Hawthorne Chapter of Missouri AAHAM. I had the honor of serving this chapter for a few years in early 2000 and I cherish the connections and good memories made during that time. When I was appointed to preside over this chapter again, I was glad to accept and I look forward to the positive experiences to come.

I originally became an AAHAM member back in the late 1980’s and I achieved my professional Certified Revenue Cycle Executive, AAHAM certification in December of 1989. I have always been an advocate of the AAHAM certification and I have not only worked to attain my certification but I made it a job requirement for the Patient Accounts staff at Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, where I am the Group Director of Patient Financial Services. I not only believe that it’s a matter of self accomplishment and pride for the individual but it adds to the professionalism of the department when I can state that all of the Patient Account staff is certified and not only do we believe that we have the skills it takes to take care of the hospital’s revenue cycle, we have proved it by studying and passing a National Certification that our peers recognize and respect. I believe our hospital administration recognizes the importance of the AAHAM certification but more importantly, I know it is a major part of the success story of the department I lead.

You all know that the healthcare revenue cycle is very much in flux. We experience changes in the health insurance industry and Medicare and Medicaid. We fight through economic and social problems that affect our operations. We deal with new regulation, payer rules and industry changes. I believe strongly in the power of a group of professionals, joined together to understand, learn and share experiences. AAHAM offers just that. The Hawthorne chapter is our local chapter, and I appreciate suggestions and ideas for how best to make sure lines of communication are open among our peers.

Going forward, please know that you can contact me for information about attaining either your own or your group’s certification. I want to serve as a conduit to encourage AAHAM certification and organize workshops and seminars locally that enhance Patient Accounting in our chapter. I also want to encourage you to let me know what State issues or programs you want included when we come together as a group. I have only benefited from my association with this organization and I want you to feel the same. Here’s to a great year! I look forward to seeing you in the near future.

Stephen Keppner, CRCE
Hawthorne Chapter of AAHAM President