HI Career Member Spotlight — Colleen Goethals

Colleen Goethals, MS, RHIA, FAHIMA

Job Title

Vice President, Mid-Revenue Cycle

Employer

Xtend Healthcare

Education

  • Master of Science,  Healthcare Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts, Heathcare Administration
  • Associate degree, Health Information Technology

AHIMA Credentials

MS, RHIA, FAHIMA

How did you get your state (in HI)? 

My mother was an HI professional and Director of Medical Records.  She would take me to work with her to help in the department filing and assembling charts. I observed her and her team and decided that it was the profession I wanted to be a part of.  I continued to work in various HI departments while in school doing a variety of tasks. My first full job as a college graduate (associate degree) was a coder/record analyst. Thirty-five years later, I’ve built a resume of working in various settings and experience with multiple HIM-related functions.

What do you focus on in your job? 

Xtend Healthcare is a Revenue Cycle Company providing end-to-end revenue cycle solutions to healthcare facilities nationwide. I oversee the Mid-Revenue Cycle division which provides outsourcing services for HI management and assessments, coding services, audits, denials management and CDI.

I primarily focus on providing leadership for my team, ensuring customer needs are met, and growing the mid-revenue cycle division. I’m also always looking for innovate ideas, processes and technology that will enhance efficiencies.  The favorite part of my job, however, is when I go out and see customers and prospective customers and speaking at revenue cycle/HIM related conferences educating audiences on leadership, HIM, and privacy issues.  I love public speaking!

Have you had the opportunity to volunteer with ILHIMA/AHIMA or other HI organizations? If yes, what benefits have you seen from your volunteer experience?

I started volunteering with ILHIMA on the nominating committee at the regional level. From there I went onto represent ILHIMA as Director, Delegate and President and assisted, for many years, with the ILHIMA legal manual.  I was elected to the AHIMA Board of Directors serving a three-year term which was a wonderful experience.  I have volunteered for AHIMA committees including many Advocacy-related ones. I have proudly represented ILHIMA in Washington D.C. at Advocacy Day (formerly known as Hill Day) for 20 years; my first Hill Day being in 2003.

I have been recognized by ILHIMA and AHIMA with various volunteer awards; but the best reward has been the opportunity to give back to the HI profession which has been so very good to me.

What advice do you have for somebody interested in pursuing a position like yours? 

Network.   The best way to network:  volunteer.  Participate in the regional, state, and national associations by attending meetings, join committees, run for a board position.  The current position I have is because of someone I knew in the profession and was encouraged to apply.  Plus, you’ll meet so many colleagues from around the state and country that you’re building a network of HI professionals. You will always have someone to call and ask advice, their opinion, pick their brain for their expertise and knowledge you’re looking for.  HI professionals love to share their experiences and knowledge.

And, never stop learning!  Life-long learning is essential.  The HI profession is constantly evolving, and you need to evolve with it.  Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.