Jamestown Regional Medical Center received recognition as an Adopter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s PATIENT FINANCIAL COMMUNICATIONS BEST PRACTICES®. As a Best Practices Adopter, Jamestown Regional Medical Center demonstrated that it follows nearly 100 best practices regarding financial interactions that take place in a variety of care settings.

JRMC financial counselors work with patients before their procedures to make sure they have coverage, said Alison Kennison, JRMC patient access manager. Insurance specialists work behind the scenes to ensure patients’ plans cover these procedures.

“Our team advocates for the patient,” Kennison said. “If the claim is denied, we work with the insurance company so the patient doesn’t experience financial hardship. Education and communication are the keys to being THE difference for our patients.”

The acknowledgment as a Best Practices Adopter recognizes JRMC as a whole and especially the 50 or so individuals who work in the following departments: health information management, patient access management and patient financial services.

“In a time when patients are paying more out-of-pocket for their health care, the financial conversations we have with patients have never been more important,” said K.C. DeBoer, JRMC President & CEO. “We have taken steps to ensure patients are treated with compassion and respect, and this recognition confirms that.”

JRMC joins a select group of hospitals, health systems and physician practices that have received this first-of-its-kind, national recognition. Nationwide, 22 organizations received the award. Of the 22, JRMC was one of only two critical access hospitals.

“When people are dealing with health issues, they should be focusing on their health, not trying to decipher confusing financial information,” said HFMA president and CEO Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA, in learning of the award. “Jamestown Regional Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring patients have a good experience when it comes to the financial aspects of their care.”

A blue-ribbon task force developed these best practices to help improve communication between healthcare providers and consumers about financial matters. The task force included representatives from major industry groups, including the American Hospital Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the National Patient Advocate Foundation, among others. The best practices are part of HFMA’s HEALTHCARE DOLLARS & SENSE® initiative.