Spotlight on Epic Care: Empowerment and Excellence Through Education

Deborah McNeilance, MBA-HCA, CMOM-HEM/ONC, CMIS, CPC, CMC
Chief Operating Officer
Huron Gastro/Center for Digestive Care
Ypsilanti, MI

Through more than 20 locations in the Northern California East Bay area, Epic Care is delivering on its mission to provide high-quality and compassionate care to the patients and communities it serves.

As an independent organization, Epic Care carefully selects clinical and administrative staff members, specialists, and providers who genuinely care about their patients and are committed to providing accurate diagnoses and comprehensive treatments. In other words, it is about the people—the patients as well as the team members who care for them. It is also about cultivating a leadership philosophy. In this respect, the organization is committed to providing team-based training initiatives that empower leaders to efficiently run each location and to discover ways to work smarter without compromising patient care.

In early 2020, Epic Care’s Chief Operating Officer, Denise Hayes, sifted through numerous training programs to find a high-quality educational and certification opportunity for her team. Specifically, she was laser-focused on curriculum that would support the needs of practice managers. After extensive consideration, Ms Hayes selected the Practice Management Institute/Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology Certified Medical Office Manager-Business of Hematology & Oncology (CMOM-HEM/ONC) certification program.

In the following interview, Ms Hayes discusses Epic Care’s commitment to excellence and its positive experience with the CMOM-HEM/ONC program.

Ms McNeilance: What inspired you to provide additional educational opportunities for your staff?

Ms Hayes: We are responsible for the health of our patients and community. That is a privilege we hold in the highest regard, and we must continually strive for excellence. As an independent organization, we recognize the value of investing in our team. We find that contributing to the skills and knowledge of each individual delivering on our mission is as important as investing anywhere else.

Ms McNeilance: What was the deciding factor in selecting the CMOM-HEM/ONC course for your group?

Ms Hayes: The physicians and staff at Epic Care understand the unique challenges that patients with cancer and their families are facing. They also recognize that while the diagnosis is not theirs to conquer, they are key members of the team. We are all in this together. It is essential that we have our site level leadership equipped with the tools necessary to navigate such challenges, so our patients do not have to.

Ms McNeilance: How has the curriculum benefited your organization?

Ms Hayes: By empowering our leaders at the site level, we ensure experiential excellence for our patients, staff, and physicians. The broad nature of the curriculum provides our site leaders with the knowledge they need to make decisions rapidly with the support of senior leaders when necessary.

The knowledge gained from the CMOM-HEM/ONC certification course has instilled a new and greater confidence in our team. This investment to enhance our practice managers has increased their value and improved team morale. They have bonded as a cohort and work better together to solve challenges. In addition, over the course of the training series, practice managers have become more effective in their roles, and the overall performance of each of our clinics has improved, with many stars shining among them.

About the Program

The CMOM-HEM/ONC certification program teaches advanced concepts in the administration and management of policies, risks, and financial responsibilities. The detailed curriculum is designed to develop or enhance a manager’s knowledge and skills to successfully navigate the ever-changing landscape of the healthcare industry. Expertise gained in this program can protect providers from risks, motivate employees, and improve the oncology practice’s financial outlook. Managers will learn to take charge of their practice’s administrative issues so that providers can focus on the quality of patient care.

The 2-part certification course prepares experienced administrators to complete the Certified Medical Office Manager course and exam. They then complete the hematology/oncology-specific curriculum and certification exam.

In Part 1 of the course, students will learn administrative concepts and processes to become a more knowledgeable and confident leader, as well as strategies for improving communication with providers, staff, third-party payers, patients, and business associates. Course materials include guidelines and examples designed to improve decision-making and tactical skills. See Table 1 for details.

Table 1

In Part 2 of the course, students will review lectures and complete coursework to prepare for the separate Business of Oncology certification exam. See Table 2 for details.

Table 2

If your organization is interested in finding out more about bringing this experience to your team, please click here or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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