For Vicki Bond, work is all about fact-checking.
Bond is the COO of Medical Provider Resources, a for-profit medical credentialing service associated with the Medical Society of Sedgwick County.
“We want to take the administrative hassle out of the physicians’ work, so that they can see patients and attend to the things that they really are trained to do, and we can take all the hassle of the paperwork away from them, getting them privileges at the hospital, getting them enrolled into the insurance plans and now even getting them enrolled into different managed care products,” Bond said.
She started work at Wesley Medical Center in 1985, and started her own medical credentialing company, Medical Staff Services Inc., so she could stay at home with her twin sons, who were born in 1992. That same year, she received her master’s degree in health care administration from Wichita State University.
In 2011, Bond’s company combined with the Medical Society of Sedgwick County’s Kansas Physicians Information Verification Program to create Medical Provider Resources. Bond’s company served critical access hospitals across the state, and the medical society’s program had facilities in the Wichita area.
“I was wanting to break into the Wichita market, and they were wanting to go statewide,” she said. “So it was the perfect union.”
Now, MPR works with 44 hospitals and 33 physician groups across the state.
Medical Provider Resources recently moved into the medical society offices at 1102 S. Hillside.
Q. How did your role as a stay-at-home mom and business owner affect who you are today?
A. I think it helped me in a variety of ways. It helped with patience, multitasking and organizing. I think my coping skills were sharpened during that time period.
I had three under the age of 3. It was a busy, busy, busy time. So it’s great to be in that chapter of your life where kids are on the move doing their own thing and it opens a chapter where you can do what you want to with your life.
I don’t know how I survived that. I look back and think I was finishing my master’s when I was nine months pregnant … and within two years started a business out of my home. I thought, “How in the world did you ever do that?” I don’t think I could do it again today.
Q. What are some of the biggest challenges with credentialing?
A. The biggest challenges are the transition between written verifications and electronic … and determining what’s meaningful information in getting a provider on staff at a hospital. … We in the past have had a lot of emphasis on hospital affiliation letters, and they in the past would answer every question we had about the provider: Have they been in trouble? Have they abided by the bylaws? Have they shown good citizenship? But people have gotten busier so now what we usually get is a form letter … and that type of information isn’t as meaningful to use as what it used to be.
Q. How did hospitals handle credentialing before services like MPR?
A. I think that in the past the licensing and accreditation standards the hospital had to meet were minimal, and what we’re seeing is a shift to where those are more in-depth. So our file has to become more in-depth. What they used to be able to do through human resources, now we are seeing a shift to medical staff services providers like myself … that provide more information that is current, clinical competency. That’s the key. And that speaks to any licensing or accrediting agency.
Q. What are some of your future goals for the organization now that you’re all under one roof?
A. The industry is headed into some exciting places. What we’re going to see in our industry is more and more allied health. …
What we’re seeing in health care is fewer and fewer practitioners pick medical doctor as their degree, but we are seeing more students go into the allied health field of physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners, CRNAs. We’re able to provide credentialing for both sides of that equation. So I think the dynamics of health care are changing in that regard and we’re able to meet that challenge, which I think is exciting.
Q. So you recently started a nonprofit organization?
A. It’s called Raise My Head Foundation, and it’s a two-year program for women who have identified a need to transition out of prostitution into a more traditional lifestyle, and we are in the process of board development for that and I’m super excited to offer that to the city of Wichita. … I love it because it’s women helping women and a hand up rather than handout, and it can be life changing.
Anytime you can get involved in a life-changing thing, that’s an opportunity you should seize.