UPIC CEO Featured in PLATTiTUDES Episode

By Juli Briskman
Nov. 26, 2018


UPIC Health CEO, Mary Tucker, was recently featured in a YouTube episode of “PLATTiTUDES” a series of interviews by consultant and former Virginia Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Susan Platt.  A highly experienced campaigner and government affairs expert, Platt formed the Platt Consulting firm with her husband after running in the 2017 Democratic primary for Lt. Governor of Virginia.

She has been interviewing influential people for her Youtube channel for several months.

This episode was filmed in the days before the 2018 midterm elections and explores Tucker’s business philosophy and wide range of advocacy for women’s issues.


Juli Briskman is Chief Marketing Officer for UPIC Health, LLC.  UPIC outsources patient contact center, revenue cycle management, and telebehavioral health services.  To learn more, visit the Who We Are page on our website. Follow us @UPICHealth.

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UPIC Employees Share Domestic Violence Stories

By Juli Briskman
Nov. 6, 2018


This is the first in a series of blogs about domestic violence experienced by UPIC employees and their families. #WeAreWhoWeServe


Something remarkable happened when UPIC encouraged employees to wear purple in honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness month.  The day set was Oct. 30 and as employees shared their photos from the offices and from home, many came with snippets and stories attached.

We learned that women throughout the organization had experienced domestic violence as direct victims or secondarily as they watched their mothers, sisters, or friends suffer at the hands of an abuser.  The stories cascaded throughout the day as others were inspired to share after feeling support from their UPIC sisters.  Eventually, eleven out of our 80 employees shared details, some of whom had not shared them previously.   We’ve always known that ‘we are who we serve.’  But Oct. 30th drove this point home more emphatically than any other time in our existence.

We know that 10 million people a year are physically abused by their partners. And 521 women have died this year from gun-related domestic violence.  More than 20,000 calls are made to domestic hotlines, every day, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. To learn more about domestic violence and all its forms, and to get help, visit the NCADV website.

And even though we know all of this, it becomes painfully real when we hear it from our own coworkers.  

UPIC is honored that these women felt empowered to share their stories at work and we know the #metoo movement has been a catalyst for feminism and equality.  But we also know that unless UPIC had made it our mission to support and empower women from all walks of life, these stories may never have been revealed.

During my marriage, I was beaten, held hostage, robbed of everything, driven off the road with my mom and baby in the car and tortured on different occasions.

This is UPIC’s social media post from Oct. 30, 2018, when employees wore purple to honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Here we share the brief summaries that came through on Oct. 30th and in the coming months, we will share some of these stories in more detail from the women who are brave enough to publicize their names and details.  For now understand that each, in their own way, overcame their own fears, self-doubts and social stigma just to be able to type these words:

  • This is hard for me to share with so many people at once especially since I can’t get the words “what happens in this house stays in this house” out of my head but I am a survivor of domestic violence. #WeAreWhoWeServe

 

  • I was 18 when he smashed my car windshield during an argument. When I took him back, he hit me. So thankful for the UPIC team and our ability to come together, not in spite of but because of our past experiences, and really be there for each other and those we serve.

 

  • Coming close to six years ago, I was a victim of domestic violence. A small argument at home that blew out of proportion to where I was stabbed three times by my own family member. The physical scars left behind do not even equate to the emotional and mental scars that any domestic violence survivor are left with, but we use it to pull through and empower those around us. Even though I am not in the office, I proudly wear purple with you all today.

 

  • I didn’t go through any violence but I did watch it first hand with my ex-stepfather and my mother it’s the worst thing in the world!  I want everyone to know that they’re not alone and I’m wearing purple today to show that we are not alone and it will get better.

 

  • I’ve never been in a domestically violent relationship but my mother and many of my cousins have been. The stories they’ve told about what it took to leave have stuck with me forever. Love isn’t supposed to hurt.  

 

  • I grew up in a domestic violence home where my mother would run away with us to other homes for weeks to protect us. This is for my mommy.

 

  • Like most, I was put through domestic violence when I was young and saw my mother have the strength to put a stop to it for her 4 kids and showed me how to stand up for myself.  LADIES IF YOU WERE PART OF DOMESTIC ABUSE ARE WERE ABLE TO SURVIVE, BE PROUD !! AND IF YOU HAD KIDS KNOW THEY ARE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR STRENGTH! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

 

  • I will share one story. During my marriage, I was beaten, held hostage, robbed of everything, driven off the road with my mom and baby in the car and tortured on different occasions. This amongst other things went on over a course of 5 years but I got away. It is always in your mind and never goes away but it makes you stronger. That is just one story but just wanted to say you are never alone and we all are family who is here for one another! We are who we serve.

 

  • Domestic Violence can be so traumatizing & many of us are too scared, embarrassed, and ashamed to say anything or even leave, sometimes even “brainwashed.” I grew up in a household of domestic violence for 14 years (my mom & brother’s dad). Then I found myself in that same horrible cycle when I moved out for the first time at (the age of) 19 with my then boyfriend. I would be made to sleep without a blanket or pillow. He would throw things at my head, push me down, take my bank cards or phone.  He would self-harm so I would feel guilty. He would fly down the interstate going 100+ mph with no care in the world because he was angry and ready to just take our lives. He once forced me out of the car onto the interstate and several times forced me out the car at random places and leave. While I was at work he would threaten to let my dog loose outside knowing I could do absolutely nothing. He pushed away my best friend of eight-plus years out my life (lucky she forgave me after two years of no contact).

 

  • He would force himself on me when I was not wanting it at all. When he got angry the look in his eyes, his Hulk-like demeanor, the sweat coming down his face….it was terrifying! Even after I kicked him out, changed the locks & got him off the lease and many months later he would stalk me.  My brothers even tell me that from time to time he still tries reaching out to them asking about me, I spotted his sister in Walmart not too long ago and was hoping she did not see me because I did not want him finding out where I live. I just hope anyone in a domestic violence situation is able to one day break free and tell their story just like we all have.

 

  • I remember growing up my grandmother would tell me that a man will beat my butt if I didn’t control my mouth. I used to think she was crazy for saying something like that. I later found out she experienced domestic violence as well. The crazy part was I used to use my smart mouth as an excuse to justify their behavior. Domestic violence is sometimes a generational curse and is hard to break away from. So be proud and stay brave!

Juli Briskman is Chief Marketing Officer for UPIC Health, LLC.  UPIC outsources patient contact center, revenue cycle management, and telebehavioral health services.  To learn more, visit the Who We Are page on our website. Follow us @UPICHealth.

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UPIC Hires Veteran Healthcare Operations Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Juli Briskman
Phone: 703 772-1148
Email: juli@UPICHealth.com
Twitter: @UPICHealth

Rick Stetten

Rick Sletten joins UPIC Health as Operations Director in Norfolk, Va.

NORFOLK, VA (Sept. 26, 2018) —  UPIC Health, LLC recently hired Rick Sletten as Operations Director to lead the growing organization’s ongoing effort to improve and centralize healthcare delivery by aligning technology and resources to better serve UPIC clients and their patients.

“I chose to join UPIC because the organization’s pioneering strategy is the way forward in healthcare to maximize revenue and increase access,” Sletten said.

Sletten has more than 10 years of experience leading large health care operations most recently with Optum, a wellness company that serves more than 74 million customers as part of the UnitedHealth Group family of companies.

While at Optum, Sletten honed his revenue cycle management skills and created industry-leading processes governing front-end revenue operations including patient access and registration, charge entry & coding, service authorizations, time-of-service collections, scheduling.  He is looking forward to advancing and modernizing these processes for UPIC clients.

“Rick’s experience has given him a national view into the intricacies of the revenue cycle process. He can identify the bottlenecks that hinder timely payments and remove them permanently,” said UPIC Health CEO, Mary Tucker.  “We are thrilled to have Rick on board to shape the future of UPIC’s model for meaningful engagement in care. He will build on an already great foundation of service delivery as we continue to grow our services in the United States and globally.”  

Sletten is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.  He lives in Norfolk, Va. with his wife and toddler.  To learn more about his experience in healthcare, visit his LinkedIn profile.

About UPIC
UPIC Health is a mid-size, privately-held company with operations in Chantilly and Norfolk, Va.  A business process outsourcer, UPIC offers patient contact center, revenue cycle management, and telebehavioral health services to clients across the country, all practicing under the value-based reimbursement concept.  UPIC is a 2018 Velocity Growth Award Winner and Growth Story of the Year. To learn more, visit our website at www.upichealth.com or email Chief Marketing Officer, Juli Briskman at juli@upichealth.com. Follow us @UPICHealth.

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UPIC Defends Title X

By Juli Briskman
Aug. 20,  2018


UPIC Health filed comments last month with the U.S. Health and Human Services Department Office of Population Affairs to defend Title X and demand that proposed domestic gag rules be abandoned.

We fear these rules would set the women’s reproductive health agenda back years, if not decades.  Honoring our mantra #WeAreWhoWeServe, we think it is imperative that organizations like UPIC and others that serve the healthcare industry speak out against the administrative agenda that discriminates against women and other disenfranchised populations that depend on Title X for healthcare.

Read the full text of our comments here.  #UPICares


Juli Briskman is Chief Marketing Officer for UPIC Health, LLC.  UPIC outsources patient contact center, revenue cycle management, and telebehavioral health services, mainly to the women’s reproductive health industry.  To learn more, visit the Who We Are page on our website. Follow us @UPICHealth.

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Kennedy & Co Says Bring Your BRAWS to Our Home

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Madeline Middlebrook
Phone: (703) 772-1136
Email: mmiddlebrook@kennedynco.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 10, 2018) – Kennedy & Co., a woman owned and operated, boutique real estate agency based in Georgetown, D.C. is partnering with UPIC Health in a “Sip & Support” happy hour event to support a local organization that collects and distributes supplies to D.C. metro-area women in need.

The Aug. 24 event is the first non-profit night of this kind hosted by Kennedy & Co. at its 1231 Potomac St. NW location. The Sip and Support happy hour aims to collect donations in the form of cash, boxes of unopened feminine hygiene products, and new bras and underwear with tags that will be distributed by BRAWS, which “believes all women and girls should have access to tampons and pads in public restrooms, schools, shelters and jails.”

“This happy hour event is a way for our company to show support for women looking to rebuild their lives.  We are so proud to be working hand-in-hand with UPIC and BRAWS, as both are as committed to serving our local community’s needs as we are,” says Kennedy & Co. Realtor Madeline Middlebrook.

Kennedy & Co and UPIC Health will provide drinks and light food, as well as information on BRAWS and continued opportunities to support women in need. Cocktail attire is advised and a method for cash donations will be provided.

Co-host, UPIC Health is 100% female owned and operated, serving the women’s reproductive health community for the last four years and partnering closely with non-profits, such as BRAWS, N Street Village in D.C. and H.E.R. Shelter in Hampton Roads, Va.

“Our organization is based on empathy and we cannot see a better way to live out that value than to support our partners,” said UPIC CEO, Mary Tucker. “We are thrilled that Kennedy & Co. has offered their space for this exciting event.”

BRAWS is a local non-profit whose mission is to bring dignity and empowerment to women and girls living in shelters by providing new personally fitted undergarments and menstrual products.

ABOUT KENNEDY & CO
Kennedy&Co is a woman-owned, luxury boutique, small business located in Georgetown, D.C. that handles residential, commercial and land transactions.  If you would like more information on this event and its hosts, please call real estate sales agent Madeline Middlebrook at (703) 772-1136 or email mmiddlebrook@kenendynco.com

ABOUT UPIC HEALTH, LLC
UPIC Health is a mid-size, women-owned and operated, private organization with operations in Chantilly and Norfolk, Va.  A business process outsourcer, UPIC offers patient contact center, revenue cycle management, and telebehavioral health services to clients across the country, all practicing under the value-based reimbursement concept.  UPIC is a 2018 Velocity Growth Award Winner and Growth Story of the Year recipient.  To learn more, visit http://www.upichealth.com or email Chief Marketing Officer, Juli Briskman at juli@upichealth.com. Follow us @UPICHealth.

Madeline Middlebrook
Real Estate Agent
Licensed in VA
703.772.1136
mmiddlebrook@kennedynco.com
kennedynco.com

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UPIC CEO Recognized As Healthcare Expert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Juli Briskman
Phone: 703 772-1148
Email: juli@UPICHealth.com
Twitter: @UPICHealth

UPIC CEO Recognized As Healthcare Expert

[Chantilly, Va.]  July 31, 2018  —  UPIC Health CEO, Mary Tucker, has been designated as a SheSource expert by the Women’ Media Center (WMC). 

SheSource is a media equity initiative created by the WMC.  The database of media-savvy experts offers alternative voices for producers, editors, reporters, and bookers looking for perspective on the top news issues of the day.

This designation confirms that Tucker is a recognized expert in the healthcare industry, specifically in the areas of patient contact centers, revenue cycle management, and telebehavioral health.   

“I am thrilled to be a part of SheSource and affiliated with the Women’s Media Center,” said Tucker who also is a 2015 BRAVA award winner.  “UPIC is 100 percent woman-owned and we encourage our mostly-female workforce to stay engaged in current events and women’s issues.  So we are perfectly aligned with the WMC mission.”

Tucker’s expertise in women’s reproductive health also boosted her credibility with WMC. 

She launched UPIC Health four years ago after identifying a need for patient contact center outsourcing in the women’s reproductive health market.  UPIC’s core service allows providers to focus on patients, while UPIC handles scheduling, financial qualification, resource identification and even counseling for patients.  The company has grown six-fold since its inception and received 2018 Velocity Growth Awards from CEO Report in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

About UPIC
UPIC Health is a mid-size, privately-held company with operations in Chantilly and Norfolk, Va.  A business process outsourcer, UPIC offers patient communications services, revenue cycle management, and telebehavioral health services to clients across the country, all practicing under the value-based reimbursement concept.  UPIC is a 2018 Velocity Growth Award Winner and Growth Story of the Year recipient.  To learn more, visit our website at www.upichealth.com or email Chief Marketing Officer, Juli Briskman at juli@upichealth.com. Follow us @UPICHealth.

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UPIC’s Telebehavioral Health Service to Aid Older Adults

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When it comes to the need for mental health services, our older adult population will suffer at the same pace, if not outpace teens and women.

The CDC estimates up to 20% of the nation’s 39 million adults aged 65 and older are affected by depression or persistent feelings of sadness, anxiousness hopelessness, or emptiness.  And for those 55 and older, 20% have some form of mental disorder.

Not only is the aging of the Baby Boomer population stressing the need for geriatric health services, but extended life expectancies and severe lack of providers will exaggerate the pending crisis.

In response to this need, UPIC Health has developed a groundbreaking video service that can help combat this gap in mental health. The scalable video social work (VSW) platform connects patients with counselors, licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs), and other providers through a pioneering automated video distribution. This ensures that patients in crisis will not have to wait when they are most in need of counseling.

“ Against the backdrop of a mental health crisis in this country, from teen suicide to mass shootings to new revelations of abuse against women, it’s clear that women and teens, and even the elderly, are especially vulnerable when it comes to access.”   -UPIC Health CEO Mary Tucker.

Longterm Care Poll

The video service offers initial screenings, regular appointments, and accepts emergency calls when patients are in crisis.  It’s vitally important to have follow through when dealing with these patient issues, Tucker added.

For the elderly population, insufficient care stems from the stigma surrounding mental health and lack of symptom awareness.

“I didn’t know anything about depression, so I didn’t know I was depressed. The questionnaire was essential to getting me in for treatment. It was sent to me three times before I sent it back. I took medication and went to a class that helped me learn skills to work on the depression. I now have two friends getting treatment for depression since I told them about my situation.” – Participant in a depression care management program (CDC, 2009a)

Technology is the Future of Care
The market is ready for video and telephonic applications and providers are responding.

Longterm Care Poll

More than 90 percent of the country’s youth want full electronic two-way communication with their providers, a recent study by Jefferson Health reports.  Also, nearly nine out of 10 adults ages 40 and older said they would be comfortable using at least one type of telemedicine for themselves or an aging loved one, another recent study found.

The market is responding. Worldwide revenue for telehealth devices and services is expected to swell to $4.5 billion in 2018, up from $440.6 million in 2013, based on data from an IHS report.

UPIC’s video service will provide helpful resources to aid older adults suffering from mental illness, but also could reduce caregiver stress and burnout by bringing more efficiency to care. Caregivers (75% of which are women) often have to juggle work and taking care of their own families. Many also struggle with the negative financial impact caused by being a primary caregiver.  On top of that, caregiver burnout rates are increased when coupled with mental illness.

UPIC believes reducing commute times and appointment wait times with video access to providers will reduce the economic stressors on many levels.

Hurdles Remain
Evidence has shown that caregivers support the notion of telemedicine, with 87 percent of current caregivers responding that they would be comfortable using at least one form of telemedicine for their older loved one.

Despite the obvious interests in telemedicine, several barriers remain.

“I think the parents would be happier at home instead of being in the doctor’s office waiting an hour to see a doctor for 15 minutes,” said Don Withey of Courtland, New York, who helps his 92-year-old father and 89-year-old mother get to their appointments. But, he said in an Insurance Journal article“we don’t know much more about it other than the fact you can talk to a doctor over the computer or smartphone.”

Two main concerns about health technology include Medicare coverage, and sufficient cybersecurity. While there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome, there is no doubt about the importance telemedicine will hold in our future.

“We are very excited to work together with UPIC Health to take down the geographic and income barriers to reaching a behavioral health provider. The video telebehavioral mobile app allows convenience, access and engagement.” – One Touch Video Chat’s COO, Carrie Chitsey Wells in UPIC’s press release announcing the new services.  

The VSW service is also expected to serve women, teens in school, and people that use opioid medications.

Depression in older adults is not a ‘fact of life’. It can be treated, and adults of any age can enjoy life with great mental health and well-being. If you or anyone you know is experiencing persistent feelings of anxiety and depression, please reach out to a health professional for confidential services. Visit the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation for a list of local resources.


Author Jessica Lay is UPIC’s Program Lead for UPICares, the organization’s philanthropic initiative.  She spends half of her time assisting patients through UPIC’s contact center and recently completed a degree in Aging Services Management. Follow us on Twitter @UPICHealth.

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UPIC Health Offers Video Telebehavioral Health Service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Juli Briskman
Phone: 703 772-1148
Email: juli@UPICHealth.com
Twitter: @UPICHealth

UPIC Health Offers Video Telebehavioral Health Service

[Chantilly, Va.]  June 19, 2018  —  In response to the country’s mental health crisis and what we have learned from more than 1 million patient interactions annually, UPIC Health is adding telebehavioral health service that can serve the most at-risk patients and set them on the path to wellness.

The scalable video social work (VSW) platform connects patients with counselors, licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs), and other providers through a pioneering automated video distribution system. This ensures that patients in crisis will not have to wait when they are most in need of counseling.

“Not only will our team be available during scheduled visits,” said UPIC Health CEO Mary Tucker. “But if a patient is in immediate crisis and their counselor is unavailable, a secondary counselor is only seconds away as they will be seamlessly routed to support through this service.”

Against the backdrop of a mental health crisis in this country, from teen suicide to mass shootings to new revelations of abuse against women, it’s clear that women and teens are especially vulnerable when it comes to access, Tucker added.  

“In addition to this, we have a serious gap in available providers from internists to primary care doctors to psychiatrists. The UPIC VSW will help fill the gap in care while also bringing more efficiency to the process” Tucker said. “We also know that youth and seniors alike are ready and willing to take advantage of this technology as long as it’s offered in an efficient accessible mode.”

More than 90 percent of the country’s youth want full electronic two-way communication with their provider, a recent study by Jefferson Health reports.  Also, nearly nine out of 10 adults ages 40 and older said they would be comfortable using at least one type of telemedicine for themselves or an aging loved one, another recent study found.

The service will initially serve women and teens but UPIC expects to serve additional populations including those in the grip of addiction and the elderly.

UPIC has partnered with One Touch Video Chat to build the UPIC Video Connect mobile service and licensed their video telehealth platform.

“We very excited to work together with UPIC Health to take down the geographic and income barriers to reaching a behavioral health provider.  The video telebehavioral mobile app allows convenience, access, and engagement,” notes One Touch Video Chat’s COO, Carrie Chitsey Wells.  

This is a natural progression of UPIC’s Meaningful Engagement in Care model where patients can access services without leaving the home or office, a business model UPIC has pioneered since its inception in 2014.  Already UPIC serves patients in 15 states and this new remote access application will aid in expanding the organization’s reach.

Pilot programs are in the works and the service soon will be widely available in Apple and Google app stores.

About One Touch Video Chat
One Touch Video Chat provides everything you need throughout the video chat journey to connect to today’s digital patients. One Touch Video Chat’s SaaS video telehealth platform allows healthcare providers to engage at patient’s convenience through your website and/or mobile apps. For more information, visit www.otvideochat.com or media contact, Carrie Chitsey Wells, at 512-717-9820 or carrie@otvideochat.com.

About UPIC
UPIC Health is a mid-size, privately-held company with operations in Chantilly and Norfolk, Virginia.  UPIC is a business process outsourcer offering patient communications services, revenue cycle management, and telebehavioral health services to clients across the country, all practicing under the value-based reimbursement concept.  UPIC is a 2018 Velocity Growth Award Winner and Growth Story of the Year. To learn more, visit our website at www.upichealth.com or email Chief Marketing Officer, Juli Briskman at juli@upichealth.com. Follow us @UPICHealth.

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