This past fall, Nancy Guerrero, of Morris, was honored as Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers’ Fire Starter of the Month for August.
Guerrero is the charge master liaison in the health information management (HIM) department,
She came to Morris Hospital in July 2013 as a volunteer in the HIM department while she was preparing for the Certified Professional Coder exam.
Inspired by a cousin who is a medical coder, she had recently gone back to school to obtain a medical coding specialist degree following completion of a bachelor’s degree in business management and careers in information systems with a major accounting firm in Chicago and then payroll and accounting for area school systems.
Within three months of starting as a volunteer at Morris Hospital, she was hired for a scanning position in HIM and soon after moved into a clinic coding position after achieving her certification.
Guerrero then decided to pursue certification in hospital medical coding and went back to school again. In the fall of 2018 when the Charge Master Liaison position at Morris Hospital became vacant, Guerrero’s unique skill set made her an ideal candidate.
“There aren’t many coders who have dual certification in the hospital and physician office setting like Nancy,” Kahla Boe, director of health Information management at Morris Hospital, said in a news release from Morris hospital.
“The charge master role is very integral to our business and requires someone who has critical thinking skills, great knowledge in coding on both the professional and facilities side, and the ability to conduct research, understand the findings, and put it into practice.
"Nancy is skilled at all of these things and isn’t afraid of big challenges. She has really done a great job with the position in a short period of time.”
Clinic coding auditor Lesli Lair nominated Guerrero as Fire Starter of the Month.
“Nancy is a wonderful role model of excellence,” Lair said in the news release. “Her dedication is what impresses me the most. She is always determined to find an answer for every question, and not just an answer but a thoroughly investigated answer. We can always count on the same level of professionalism and respect from Nancy.”
Guerrero says the most rewarding part of her job is knowing that she is helping patients and the hospital.
“I enjoy the research and problem solving involved with investigating claims denials so the hospital can get appropriately paid for the services provided,” Guerrero said in the news release. “This helps the hospital financially, and it helps the patients when we can get denials overturned.”