From Registered Nurse to Field Reimbursement – A Surprising Path to Patient Advocacy

Submitted by Joseph Thatcher, RN

Tags: advocacy advocate

From Registered Nurse to Field Reimbursement – A Surprising Path to Patient Advocacy

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That’s right, registered nurse. It jumps out at people when they see it on my business card, and they often ask “Why is a nurse in reimbursement?” It’s a great question. And my simple answer is one that you’ll hear from not only me, but from so many of my fellow Field Reimbursement Managers (FRM). From former practice managers and administrators to patient care coordinators to billing and revenue cycle specialists, we’ll all say the same thing – we’re passionate about helping patients.

When I took the oath of a nurse, I promised to be an advocate for patients. I never imagined that keeping this oath would lead me out of my bedside scrubs and into a suit as an FRM. As a nurse, I worked in many capacities. I saw firsthand the miracle of modern medicine and its ability to heal the sick. Doctors prescribed much needed medication and patients received relief from their illness by taking it.

Part of this process, which they did not teach me in nursing school, is applying for prior authorizations from insurance companies. The more complex the disease, the more detailed criteria and proof of illness required by the insurance company prior to treatment. Through the skilled eyes of a nurse, I was able to assist patients in obtaining authorization and appealing denials. A passion grew for reimbursement.

What has been exciting about discovering my current company, Xcenda, is the possibility to help more patients than just those I encountered bedside. Being an Xcenda FRM allows me to marry my love of science and medicine with astute business savvy. Daily, I walk into offices as a nurse who happens to be an FRM. I, like so many of my FRM colleagues, aide my fellow nurses, practice managers, and office staff through complex prior authorization and appeal processes. Utilizing my knowledge of medicine, health and reimbursement, I advocate for patients and help them receive their much needed medications. I am proud to uphold the oath I took as a new nurse and still advocate for patients on this non-traditional path.

It’s been evident since joining Xcenda that they draw from the best of many disciplines and groups of reimbursement experts to build a top notch team. I’m so glad to be part of an organization that unites such diversity of experience to help patients, and values the experience I have to bring.