University of Virginia Health creates billing and collections advisory council

The University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville has established an advisory council focused on improving billing and collection policies and practices.

This announcement, in an Oct. 28 news release, comes after a Kaiser Health News analysis earlier this year revealed that the University of Virginia Health System sued thousands of former patients, seized wages and put liens on homes.

UVA Health — which includes a hospital, Level I trauma center, cancer and heart centers and primary and specialty clinics — said the 16-person council will primarily focus on providing guidance to health system leaders as they consider expanding on billing and collection changes 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, CMO of the UVA Medical Center.

The council includes community leaders from social services, the faith community, schools and healthcare, along with UVA employees and students.

Members are:

  • 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 of the City of Charlottesville Human Rights Commission
  • Landon Hobbs, UVA School of Medicine student
  • Wanda Hoerman, assistant director of Albemarle County Social Services
  • Denise Johnson, director of equity and inclusion for Charlottesville City Schools
  • Joy Johnson, chair of the Public Housing Association of Residents board, Charlottesville
  • Charles Lewis, UVA Health Telemedicine team member
  • Michaela Lieberman, Health Justice Legal Fellow, Legal Aid Justice Center
  • Mo Nadkarni, MD, UVA Health internal medicine
  • Karl Quist, Charlottesville for Reasonable Health Insurance
  • Lorie Strother, Small, Women-owned and Minority-owned Business contract administrator, UVA Office of Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services
  • Paula Tomko, CEO of Central Virginia Health Services
  • Sharon Veith, Westhaven community nurse and UVA School of Nursing

UVA Health said goals of the council include helping hospital leaders gain a better understanding of the effects of current and proposed billing and collections practices on low-income, uninsured and underinsured patients, as well as talking about how the health system can share information about billing policy and practice updates on a consistent basis.


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For-profit hospital stock report: Week of Oct. 25

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