Justin Green works on the parking lot of WhidbeyHealth Patient Financial Services, which consolidated offices over the weekend. The building, once Linds Pharmacy, is located at 40 N. Main Street in Coupeville. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News-Times

WhidbeyHealth consolidates billing offices

Improving customer service the goal of “First Call Resolve”

WhidbeyHealth consolidated its offices of Patient Financial Services over the weekend, transferring Oak Harbor billing staff into a newly-leased building in Coupeville.

The move combines outpatient and inpatient care into one billing office at the former Linds Pharmacy, 40 N. Main Street, across from the hospital. Billing and collections services no longer exist at Oak Harbor’s Primary Care Cabot Drive Clinic.

Financial services had been divided between two offices in Oak Harbor and Coupeville, which handled outpatient services and hospital inpatient services as separate entities. This often led to confusion and complaints.

“Patients will be able to do one-stop shopping,” Beth Stout, director of revenue cycle, explained. “Many of our patients utilize both medical center and clinic services. We will be looking to assist them with all of their concerns so they do not need to call another location.”

Oak Harbor’s billing and collection staff now work at the 40 N. Main Street Coupeville office. Employees at Coupeville’s former financial office, 20 N. Main Street, only had to move a few yards next door.

“There are 31 work stations that have been installed; a conference room and three administrative offices,” George Senerth, executive director of facilities, said last week while walking through rows and rows of cubicles.

Swirling around him, maintenance and engineering staff completed last-minute painting, wiring and installation of baseboards. Out in the parking lot, Justin Green carefully spray painted bright yellow letters spelling “Patients Only.”

Monday, the new office was up and running with towers of boxes still to be unpacked.

Transferring outpatient collections out of the Oak Harbor office frees up space for medical services, Stout pointed out.

“The Cabot Drive space was not configured to have the billing for all the clinics to be done there,” she said.

“This move should help with the congestion.”

Employees aim to answer all billing questions in person or on the phone at the new Coupeville Patient Financial Services office. But patients still have the option of dropping by their clinic to pay Stout explained, adding that they can also pay online.

Completely resolving customer concerns and questions the first time around is the goal.

As Stout put it: “Our motto remains First Call Resolve.”

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