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The 2019 IHS Partnership Conference highlights quality of care and customer-focused service

by Jennifer Reeder, Public Affairs Specialist, Indian Health Service
The 2019 IHS Partnership Conference highlights quality of care and customer-focused service

The Office of Resource Access and Partnerships hosted the 2019 Indian Health Service Partnership Conference this month in Spokane, Washington. This year’s theme, Strengthening Partnerships for Excellence and Quality, highlighted the importance of collaborations and partnerships in improving quality of care and delivering customer-focused service. This three-day, annual event brought together nearly 1,000 staff from throughout the agency and programs operated by tribes and urban Indian organizations, to share the latest updates and training on revenue cycle improvements, business functions, and policy.

Conference organizers collaborated with IHS, tribal and urban partners to deliver a series of training sessions that provided valuable information for federal, tribal and urban healthcare administrators, managers and front-line staff who work in information technology, business office, Purchased/Referred Care, and health information management departments.

Conference attendees learned about various topics that focused on business office best practices and productivity, finance and accounting principles, and updates related to health information management, and tribal and urban programs. The PRC track featured sessions that provided training for the new automated tool that IHS recently implemented to electronically submit Catastrophic Health Emergency Fund requests.  The new online tool streamlines both the workflow and the documentation required for a CHEF case to be considered complete for reimbursement.

During the opening general session, Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee, IHS principal deputy director, provided an IHS update and discussed current efforts to implement the IHS Strategic Plan for 2019-2022. Sessions on leadership training, stress management, quality improvement, and wellness activities were also available to this year’s attendees.

A new feature of this years’ conference was a mobile app that provided an interactive and real-time experience for the conference participants.  All conference materials were available through the app allowing attendees to build their own agenda and manage their sessions. 

Presentations from the breakout sessions will be available on the 2019 Partnership Conference webpage in the coming weeks.  Attendees are encouraged to complete the IHS Partnership Conference evaluation survey.

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Jennifer Reeder, Public Affairs Specialist, Indian Health Service
Jennifer Reeder, an enrolled member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, is a public affairs specialist at IHS headquarters. Jennifer's educational background includes a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis on marketing from Oklahoma Christian University, and a Master in Legal Studies in Indigenous peoples law from the University of Oklahoma, College of Law.