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Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Regina Smith, NP-C

Each day looks different for the nurses at Hattiesburg Clinic. However, one thing remains constant – their passion for patient care.

Regina Smith, NP-C, is one of the seasoned nurses at the clinic, who now works in chart audit as a risk adjustment coding specialist.

At its most basic, risk adjustment utilizes Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC), which is a risk adjustment model that has been around for years. HCC has heightened visibility since Medicare started to require a risk adjustment factor (RAF) score for reimbursement.

“I run a report every morning of the patients assigned to our hospitalists. When I receive the report, I review each patient and ensure the HCC diagnoses listed are addressed and attempt to close what is called the HCC gap,” Smith said.

The main goal of HCC is to allow for better health management along with accurate reimbursements from Medicare Advantage plans. To achieve that goal, medical professionals, like Smith, are there to ensure appropriate diagnosis codes are reported along with complete clinical documentation.

“I make sure the outpatient care coordinates with the inpatient care,” Smith said. “Our physicians are on the front line, treating acute conditions as well as chronic conditions. After they make their assessments, I go through the chronic diagnosis.”

Smith, a native of Tylertown, Miss., attended the University of Mississippi before receiving her Bachelor’s in nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi. She later received her Master’s in nursing at Walden University in Minneapolis, Minn. Smith is board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

“I started as an RN at Forrest General Hospital and worked at a travel nursing agency on weekends,” Smith said. “I worked at nursing homes, patients’ homes, and I even worked at a correctional facility.”

When Smith isn’t working, she is most likely spending time with her husband and children. Smith and her husband, Antonio, who works primarily on the road, have been together since she was 14.

“We’ve always been long distance. I’ve always been in school, and he started off working offshore,” Smith said. “We know that the time we do spend together is precious and limited, so we make sure we’re each other’s priority. It’s important to stay present and in the moment.”

Together the two have three kids – Jasmine, 14, KeVaughn, 12, and Anthony, “A.I.,” who is 9-years old.

FUN FACTS:

What traits best describe yourself?

RS: Compassionate, reserved, quiet, observant, and honest 

If you were to meet anyone, living or deceased, who would you want to meet?

RS: I am fascinated with Dwayne Johnson, also known by his ring name, “the Rock.” He’s so down to earth, plus he’s easy on the eyes.

Dream vacation spot?

RS: A secluded beach far away with just my family. That would be the dream.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

RS: I want to learn how to crochet. I want to be able to make things. My daughter is the creative one. She’s learning, so maybe one day she can teach me.

Favorite quote?

RS: Everything happens for a reason. No matter how things go, everything happens for a reason. It’s all in God’s hands.

Tate Rutland

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