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    MGMA Staff Members
    As the only board certification of its kind, the CMPE credential is recognized as the professional standard in medical practice management. In this ongoing series, we share the stories of healthcare professionals who found personal and organizational value in achieving ACMPE board certification.

    Jennifer Souders, FACMPE, CPC, is operations manager with UCHealth Family Medicine based in Parker, Colo. As a longtime healthcare professional who worked her way up from the bottom, Souders said she appreciates the rigor of ACMPE board certification for almost any medical manager.  

    “I actually only have two years of college. I never received a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, so I think I’m a little bit different than a lot of people,” she said. “That’s what made me look into [board certification]. I felt like I needed something to prove to myself that I knew what I was doing and to prove to my providers that I knew what I was doing.

    "This was a great way for me to do that," Souders added. "My outlook is that our providers are board certified in their specialty, and we should be board certified as well.”

    Souders said the work to become a Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) is probably the best investment she’s ever made. 

    “I initially paid out of pocket for the ACMPE, but after a couple of years, it really gave me the confidence to say, ‘No, I do know what I’m talking about.’ I would tell them things I would do in such a case, proving to them that it actually worked and that it did benefit the practice,” she said. “Then they looked at it in a different light. They trusted me more and more with more and more things, and then they started paying for memberships and conferences. It really allowed me to stay on top, if not ahead, of trends. We were one of the first practices to do open-access scheduling. We were one of the first to implement an EMR. And that’s all because of MGMA giving me the tools to actually make those decisions and just be on top of my game.”

    As healthcare has changed, Souders said the credential has helped her stay afloat. 

    “I’ve been in healthcare for 30 years and worked with my current clinic for 20 years as the practice manager,” she said. “We were a private practice, and two years ago we were acquired by a large healthcare system here in Colorado. I’m operations manager now. Before that, I did all the finances, I did all the hiring and firing, all the HR, risk management, OSHA, HIPAA, all of it. Now, we have large departments that take care of the majority of it, so I spend my time leading people — and it’s definitely been more challenging as a leader.”

    ACMPE board certification has also allowed Souders to stand out, even in a larger healthcare group.

    “There aren’t a lot of people within this organization that have their board certification or their fellowship, so I bring that to the organization as a whole. I can also talk to waste. Just because we’re a big organization doesn’t mean with have to waste so much. We built a new building 13 years ago, and I was able to use some of the survey data and industry best practices and actually determine how much square footage we would need, and what’s the best workflow. That was the first time I had ever really been able to do something like that.”

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