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October 28, 2019

UVA Health Establishes Billing and Collection Practices Advisory Council

UVA hospital and Lee Street

UVA Health has established a 16-person Advisory Council that will inform and advise UVA Health leaders as they consider additional improvements to billing and collection policies and practices to better meet the needs of patients.

The council includes community leaders from social services, the faith-based community, schools and healthcare, along with UVA students and team members. They will work together to provide insights and recommendations to help UVA Health build on the changes to its billing and collections policies announced Sept. 13. 

“The changes we announced in September are a first step, and we look forward to hearing feedback and input from the Advisory Council on additional ways we can better serve our patients as well as improve fairness and transparency,” said Chris Ghaemmaghami, MD, Chief Medical Officer for UVA Medical Center.

Objectives for the advisory council include helping UVA Health leadership better understand the effects of current and proposed billing and collections practices on low-income, uninsured and underinsured patients. They will examine best practices, identify areas of additional improvement and make proposals to improve UVA Health’s practices. The council also will discuss ways UVA Health can consistently share information about billing policy and practice updates and gather perspectives from diverse community stakeholders.

"I am interested in helping with this group as a representative for an organization with a significant patient population that is financially challenged to afford healthcare,” said Paula Tomko, Chief Executive Officer of Central Virginia Health Services Inc. and an Advisory Council member. "We welcome the opportunity to shape policy to help balance care and affordability so that our patients at Central Virginia Health Services can access the specialty care they need."

Advisory Council Members

The members of the Advisory Council are:

  • Dr. Lehman Bates, Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Charlottesville 
  • Sylvana Fernandez-Ellauri, UVA Health Language Services Spanish Interpreter
  • Don Gathers, Public Housing Association of Residents – Charlottesville 
  • Tyler D. Gaedecke, UVA School of Nursing student 
  • Charlene Green, Director, City of Charlottesville Human Rights Commission 
  • Landon Hobbs, UVA School of Medicine student
  • Wanda Hoerman, Assistant Director, Albemarle County Social Services
  • Denise Johnson, Director of Equity & Inclusion, Charlottesville City Schools
  • Joy Johnson, Chair of the Board, Public Housing Association of Residents – Charlottesville
  • Charles Lewis, UVA Health Telemedicine team member 
  • Michaela Lieberman, Health Justice Legal Fellow for Legal Aid Justice Center 
  • Mo Nadkarni, MD, UVA Health Internal Medicine
  • Karl Quist, Charlottesville for Reasonable Health Insurance
  • Lorie Strother, SWaM Contract Administrator for UVA Office of Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services
  • Paula Tomko, CEO, Central Virginia Health Services, Inc.
  • Sharon Veith, MSN, RN, Westhaven Community Nurse and UVA School of Nursing

Karen Waters-Wicks, Community Education Coordinator for Albemarle County Public Schools, will serve as the council’s facilitator, while Elizabeth Beasley, Director of Community Partnerships for UVA Health, will serve as the council’s staff member.

The Advisory Council will begin its work this month by reviewing the council’s objectives, discussing the impacts of UVA Health’s billing and collection policies and practices, and aligning on ways to foster improved communication with the community. 

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