In the three short months I’ve been with Centra, I have learned a great deal about our community, our people and culture, the good work Centra does and the challenges we as an organization continue to face.
While I still have much to learn, I have watched the Centra team make some incredibly positive impacts on the health of this community. I have also witnessed this same team handle some tough situations and make some hard decisions.
With that being said, I want to talk about one thing many of us in this community have struggled with, and that is Centra’s billing. Transitioning to a new electronic medical record last year seemed to compound an already weak process. From late bills, to incorrect bills to long wait times on hold for customer service — it has not gone unnoticed.
While we’ve had some challenges in the past, we must be honest about our reality. Just as every person in this community should expect excellent care when walking in to one of our facilities, they should also expect a fair and correct bill of services after their visit.
We must do everything in our power to help reduce the stress and anxiety of having to deal with health care bills. Plain and simple, we must do better, and we will. Period.
We did not get here overnight, and correcting the system will also not be an overnight achievement. My ask for this community is to bear with us as we get our system corrected.
We are working to review each account to ensure we have processes in place to make our billing accurate and more efficient. We’ve also embarked on additional system training and education for our staff. It’s all hands-on deck here.
Centra is a changing organization. We’ve weathered some storms over the past year, and some of the things we have done that got us here are lessons to be learned and not repeated. No one can rewrite Centra’s recent past, but we certainly have the ability to transform the future of health care in our region.
I am committed to keeping our communities updated on the purposeful and necessary changes expected to make this organization a health care system we can all be proud of. Together we all own Centra.
Mueller is president and CEO of Centra. He wrote this column for The News & Advance.