Debbie O’Neil started her career in healthcare with Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging founder Dr. Leon Steinberg at Sunrise Hospital in 1969. Initially hired to work in the file room, Debbie quickly found her skills could be used throughout the office and learning the ins and outs found her recognition from Dr. Steinberg who in 1971 asked her to leave Sunrise and work at his private practice. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s Debbie worked as a front desk employee where she handled everything from billing & coding to check in, patient processing and everything in-between.
As the office continued to grow so did Debbie’s responsibilities and knowledge and in 1988 when SDMI opened their first out-patient facility, Debbie was put in charge of billing and the front office. Fast forward to the late 90’s, SDMI as a practice was large enough that billing could be segmented in to its own department, Debbie left the front office and took on the role she still has today, Billing Director.
We asked Debbie to look back over the last 40+ years and she said the biggest shift has been working directly with the insurances and educating them on the nuances of radiology. In the beginning very few insurances existed, many patients were cash pay and there was no such thing as managed care. Other big changes include the technology advances in Radiology, Debbie used to be fully cross trained including loading images and developing in a dark room, but now every machine is digital and has its own learning curve
As one of the first employees of SDMI and even after seeing all of the changes throughout the years, Debbie still loves changes and challenges and is excited to see where things are going, especially as healthcare continues to work towards going completely paperless. And, although she has no retirement plans in the foreseeable future we did ask her what she would like to see happen in her lifetime, her answer: Universal EOB’s & Insurance Contracting.
In her free time, Debbie can be found taking care of her 89-year-old mom, loving on her grandbabies and volunteering at her church. She has plans to take her first official foreign missions trip to South Africa, though if you ask her Debbie will tell you every trip she takes is a mission trip.