Sharlene Seidman Innovates Patient Care at Yale New Haven Health

Sharlene Seidman has been part of Yale New Haven Health System in some capacity for the past thirty years. Despite the institutional knowledge she’s amassed over three decades, the current vice president of patient financial services says that work in her role has never been more complex.

“The cost of healthcare is too expensive for just about every person out there,” Seidman explains. “Either through insurance premiums or patient cost share, on our side, we need to collect every dollar on the services we’re delivering to our patients—whether that’s from insurance or patients. The industry just continues to get more and more challenging for us, our caregivers, and our patients to manage.”

But Seidman is still here. She knows Yale New Haven Health’s challenges are the same across healthcare, and she knows just how much good her organization is able to do for its people and its patients.

Seidman says she is driven daily by the desire to make life easier for all who encounter Yale New Haven on the employee, provider, or patient side.

“There is a large chunk of my business that is patient-facing, and then there is a part that is more behind the scenes,” the VP says. “In either case, we can make a difference by preventing potential mishaps or friction for our patients. Our goal is to avoid any complications, so patients can focus on getting services and healing without having to worry about finances.”

That focus, for any health system, always rubs up against financial constraints. Seidman says that focusing on automation and tech innovation is helping minimize the cost of some areas so that they can maximize efforts on behalf of their patients.

Seidman’s team has invested in self-service kiosks and technology for patients and is considering implementing a virtual registration process for the health system’s two hundred-plus locations.

“We’re also implementing a virtual screen at our locations where patients will be able to check-in,” Seidman explains. “It allows us to centralize the resources, so instead of one or two people at each location, a much smaller number of people can work out of a central location and provide support all across the area.”

On the automation side, the health system has partnered with outside vendors who have aided the collection of insurance authorizations, a process that has gotten more complicated as insurance companies mandate more and more requirements before authorizing services.

In her role, Seidman says it’s crucial for her to speak with employees on the frontlines of work for the health system as much as she interfaces with members of the organization’s board of directors. The VP says that she often sees conversations that somehow go past each participant.

“Over the years, I’ve learned just how important it can be to make connections so [that] people are aligning around the same objectives and vision,” Seidman says. “What my team does can be difficult to translate, so I’ve put a lot of time into learning how to talk about what we do in a way that people outside our department can understand.”

It’s evident that Seidman cares a great deal about both her team and her industry at large. The VP is involved and communicative with several professional organizations that keep her connected to professionals all across the country. Seidman says those in healthcare administration aren’t playing a zero-sum game. They share what they learn and help each other.

“If we find something that’s working, I want to share it,” Seidman says. “There isn’t and shouldn’t be a competitive nature around this industry. I want to learn from others and share what I can.”

Given her experience, it’s no wonder that Seidman is willing to help her team find external mentorship opportunities whenever she can. The VP says even if she may not have a perfect mentor candidate in mind, she still works to provide stretch opportunities for employees who are hungry for development and new challenges.

The VP continues to work on herself as well. She recently graduated from the Health Management Academy fellowship program.

Looking ahead, Yale New Haven continues to grow by acquisitions, and Seidman says the coming years will provide continued challenges as the health system grows yet again. They are good challenges to have, but are challenges, nonetheless. Fortunately, the health system has a veteran of the industry, a veteran of the organization, and a determined life-long learner in its employ.

Healthcare is complex, but the power, depth and breadth of Experian® data, combined with our technology solutions, can make it simpler. Thousands of providers, like Yale New Haven Health, count on Experian Health for revenue cycle management and patient engagement solutions. We work across the healthcare journey to improve the patient experience, make providers more effective and efficient, and enhance and simplify the overall healthcare ecosystem. More than 60% of all U.S. hospitals — along with thousands of medical practices, labs, pharmacies and other healthcare providers — partner with Experian Health to enhance their operations and the patient experience.

The post Sharlene Seidman Innovates Patient Care at Yale New Haven Health appeared first on American Healthcare Leader.

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