Barbara Viskochil, Director of Medicare and Medicaid Services for the University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics, was recently awarded the 2018 Distinguished Service to Healthcare Award by the Utah Hospital Association. The award, presented during the Association’s Fall Leadership Conference at Zermatt Resort in Midway, recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to improving healthcare in the state of Utah.
Viskochil has spent more than 40 years of her career dedicated to understanding the intricacies of government financing and its importance to the financial health of hospital operations. She has been with the University of Utah Hospital for 24 years and has served in her current position as Director of Medicare and Medicaid Services for 17. During her tenure the hospital system has expanded significantly, growing from one hospital to four and adding more than ten offsite clinics. Her attention to Medicare and Medicaid funding has helped fuel this growth.
Viskochil’s department is responsible for filing all government cost reports for the U and takes responsibility for accurately reporting and collecting Medicare funds. This funding is substantial--in excess of $175 million. Her department is also responsible for Medicaid supplemental payments of $115 million. While mainly focused on the “numbers” side of healthcare, she has also been an integral part of the University’s quality initiatives.
Viskochil’s deep understanding of government healthcare programs has made her an indispensable resource within the Utah healthcare community. She works closely with the Utah Department of Health, providing feedback on State Plan amendments, healthcare policy and reimbursement rates. Barb participates in the Department’s Utah Medicaid ACO Alliance as well as the Medical Care Advisory Committee. She also works with the state’s Medicare contractor on issues relating to Medicare regulations and the Medicare cost report.
She is a past president of the Utah chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and has donated many years of distinguished service to this organization. Viskochil serves on multiple committees across the state, including chairing the Medicaid Program Task Force for the Utah Hospital Association. In this role, she leads other hospital financial leaders in identifying issues and concerns related to government financing that affect all providers, facilitating conversations with state and federal programs to obtain clarification and change. She also offers her expertise to the Utah Medical Education Counsel, serving on its Finance Committee.
Internally at the U, she participates in the systems’ Oversight Committee and 340B Steering Committee as well as the School of Medicine’s GME Executive Committee. In addition to her contributions to University of Utah Health, Barb enjoys community involvement through various positions with philanthropic, religious and educational organizations.
“Barb’s behind-the-scene role in assuring the financial health of the University of Utah, and her willingness to share her knowledge with others, has made her a well-respected leader in her field,” commented Gordon Crabtree, University of Utah Hospital CEO. “Her dedication and expertise have improved the balance sheets for all hospitals in the state of Utah, supporting the great quality of care for which our state is known.”