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Christine Stottlemyer, CRCE | Director of Patient Financial Services | Wellspan Health

I would not have my current position, where I oversee the business operations of six hospitals, without my involvement with AAHAM. When my current employer interviewed me, they focused on my AAHAM activities and the AAHAM certifications I had earned. And when they announced I had been hired, my AAHAM background and credentials were one of the first things they noted.

Make the commitment to get involved . . . doors will open for you

Our VP of Revenue Cycle here is a big proponent AAHAM. He knows he can walk into our office and ask us a question about any issue, from billing to contracts to problems, and our staff has the ability to get on the phone and talk to AAHAM members from all around the country to ask how they're dealing with the same issue. We always have our finger on the pulse of what's happening in the industry.

AAHAM also offers my staff tremendous opportunities for continuing education. I can send my people to extremely valuable seminars at our local AAHAM chapter as well as the Annual National Institute. I can also bring 20 of my people together here to watch an AAHAM webinar, which is very cost-effective.

If people in the industry would just make the commitment to get involved with AAHAM, they'll find so many doors will open for them.

Paul Fitzpatrick, CRCP | Vice President, Business Development | IC System, Inc.

I joined AAHAM in 1991 as a way to meet people in the industry. It's a phenomenal networking organization. I didn''t realize at the time how important the group would become to me.

When I walk into a hospital as a vendor, I need to know what they're facing

The educational programs AAHAM provides are an invaluable resource, especially for someone like me who's never worked for a provider. As an outsource provider of collection services, I need to have as much knowledge about the revenue cycle as I can. When I walk into a hospital, I need to know what they're facing and what their pain points are.

When issues arise that impact the industry, I need to be on top of them. There have been so many significant challenges to the healthcare industry over the past 25 years; AAHAM has provided its members tremendous education and training on almost every challenge they might face.

AAHAM has been a tremendous benefit to me both professionally and personally. I have made countless lifelong friends through my participation in the organization.

Joshua Johnson, CRCE, CRCP, CRCS | Director of Patient Financial Services | Gibson Area Hospital

I entered into healthcare as the start of a new career seven years ago, after being a small business owner in another field. There is no college program available that offers a degree specifically pertaining to the revenue cycle. AAHAM was my go-to association from the start.

Having access to people who specialize in the same thing is invaluable

Within my first eight months, I was able to earn two AAHAM certifications and develop the contacts in the industry I needed to be successful. Thanks to AAHAM educational   programs, networking and certification, I was able to progress successfully in my career to attain the position of Director of Patient Financial Services.

As an AAHAM member, having access to a network of people who specialize in the exact same thing that I do is invaluable. Whenever an issue or topic comes up in my job, within minutes, with one email, I can network with multiple individuals in the field who can provide information and guidance.

AAHAM is the nation's leader in revenue cycle education, certification and networking.

Marty Lassiter, CRCE | PFS/CBO Auditor | Baycare Health System

Early in my career, I worked as an operations manager at a small company. After joining AAHAM and earning my CRCE certification, I was offered a higher-level job at my current company at a more lucrative salary.

AAHAM conferences and education expand your knowledge level

Later, when I decided to go back to college, I submitted my CRCE certification for college course credit and it was accepted. The cost of AAHAM training and certification was much less than what many colleges charge to take actual courses; you can see how cost-effective it is. You may also qualify for AAHAM tuition reimbursement.

AAHAM conferences and educational opportunities enable you to really expand your knowledge level. At my AAHAM local chapter seminars, we have speakers who are experts on virtually every topic in the revenue cycle, from front-end operations like admitting all the way through bad debt. Recently, we had hospital experts at our conference talk about managing payer denials and appeals, which we broadcast on Facebook live.

John Currier, CRCE | Executive Director of Revenue Cycle | Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services

I started my career as a teacher and coach at the junior high school level, before deciding to change careers to healthcare. My first job was billing and collections for the ophthalmology department of a medical school. They hired me because I had a college degree, but I admit I wasn't exactly sure what billing and collections involved.

I owe a great deal of my career advancement to AAHAM certification and networking

Very shortly after I got involved with AAHAM, and became active in the Illinois chapter. The educational opportunities were fantastic. The best part was the networking. I met and exchanged business cards with so many people I could call to get a fresh perspective on issues in the industry outside of the people in my organization.

At first, the AAHAM certification scared me, because I was to the healthcare arena. Once I studied and took the exam, I gained so much additional knowledge. It gave me a boost my career knowing that I really knew what I was talking about.

I was able to attain the position of Executive Director of Revenue Cycle. I owe a great deal of my career advancement to AAHAM - its certification and the ability to network with people who have the same issues.

When physicians ask me why they should encourage their staff to join AAHAM, I emphasize the networking. For example, if the doctor starts doing a new procedure, will the staff know how to code it and how to get the maximum reimbursement? As AAHAM members, they can pick up the phone and talk to people who have the answers.

Gary Hickman | 20-year AAHAM member

I recently sold my healthcare receivables company. As a vendor, the greatest benefit of AAHAM membership for me was the ability to showcase my services at the Annual National Institute. I was also able to network at my local AAHAM chapter in Maryland, which held seven or eight meetings throughout the year.

The greatest benefit of AAHAM membership is the ability to showcase my services at the Annual National Institute

Certification is valuable for vendors as well. The exams are not easy, and people know that. So when you have that certification after your name, everyone knows you really know your stuff. My company's VP of Sales was certified, which made a big difference with the providers.

AAHAM provides excellent prep for the exams. They provide training as well as extensive study guides for people preparing for certification.

With the providers, it has become more and more important that their staff be AAHAM certified. One large hospital group in our area that I know of requires staff to be certified to qualify for higher level positions. They provide payroll deductions for the cost of the exams, and offer increased pay for certification.

Steven Markesich, CRCE | SBO Financial Information Specialist | Yale-New Haven Health System

In my opinion, AAHAM certification is second to none for anyone involved in revenue cycle management. Over the years, the industry has developed a much clearer understanding of what AAHAM certification means. It's become a real asset to advance your career.

At under $200 a year, nothing gives you better bang for your buck than AAHAM membership

As an AAHAM member, you meet a lot of people involved in the revenue cycle from coast to coast. If you ever have a problem, or a question, you can just pick up the phone and ask them about it: "What have you heard about this?' How are you handling that?" If you were not involved with AAHAM, you wouldn't know who to call.

Given that the cost of membership is under two hundred dollars, in my opinion nothing in the revenue cycle industry gives you better bang for your buck. You'd really be a fool not to join. With other industry associations, if you look at a pie chart of what they cover, the revenue cycle is just a small slice. With AAHAM, it's one hundred percent.

And here's one more thing potential members should know: being involved with AAHAM is a hell of a lot of fun. The people involved are extremely interesting and fun. I've made some of my closest friends through my involvement with AAHAM.

Brenda Chambers, CRCE, CRIP | Director, Revenue Integrity | Parallon Business Solutions

One of the biggest benefits of AAHAM membership is networking. It enables you to meet so many knowledgeable professionals in the industry. You can always pick up the phone and contact someone and ask, "I'm having this issue, are you?" Or you can put a question on the AAHAM listserve and get responses from a range of people.

AAHAM certifications provide the stepping stones to move from a starter position to the executive level

A second big benefit is AAHAM certification, which is by far the best available for people involved in healthcare receivables. It provides the stepping stones that enable people to move from a starter position like patient account representative to the manager or supervisor level, and then to the executive level as a director or higher. The exams are very stringent. If you pass, there is no question you are very well versed in the topics covered.

A third benefit for members is the ability to participate in AAHAM Legislative Day. You have the opportunity to represent your local chapter and meet with U.S. Congressmen and Senators in Washington to discuss issues are that are important to the revenue cycle industry.

Charles Myers, CRCE | Director, Patient Financial Services | Johns Hopkins Health System

There is no doubt that the resources available to me as an AAHAM member, including AAHAM certification, helped me attain my position as Director of Patient Financial Services at Johns Hopkins Health System.

If someone is serious about their career, they would be foolish not to be an AAHAM member

I strongly encourage the supervisors and staff members in my department to earn AAHAM certification. We provide them with a monetary incentive to do it.

AAHAM membership is well worth the $209 annual membership fee. One great resource is the AAHAM Listserv, which allows you to put questions and issues out to the members at large and get their perspectives.

Another significant activity for AAHAM is our annual Legislative Day, when we go down to Capitol Hill and lobby for changes we'd like to see in healthcare laws. When the Affordable Care Act was originally being developed, AAHAM lobbied heavily for administrative simplification and ended up getting almost everything we asked for in the final law.

If someone in the industry is serious about their career, it would be foolish for them not to be a member of AAHAM.