April 2023 Member Spotlight

Cris Waters, RHIA, CCS

Professional Shares

Where do you work and what is your job title?
Guidehouse, VP Operations, Coding, UM & Clinical Denials

How long have you been a member of ArHIMA?
Since 1996

What certification types have you received or are seeking to receive?
I currently have an RHIA & CCS and studying to get CDIP.

Which college/university did you attend?
Arkansas Tech University

What made you decide to pursue a career in HIM?
I knew I wanted a career in the medical field but with less hands-on patient care.  I started out as a nursing major but switched to HIM and it was the best decision I ever made.  I love the combination of business, science and information technology and the HIM field provides a greater area of career opportunities.

What other jobs and/or titles have you held prior to the present one?
Director of Coding Cymetrix, HIM Consulting Cymetrix, Director Case Management NW Health, Coding Manager NW Health, Certified Medical Coder

What are some of your responsibilities at your current position?
I provide direct oversight and management of Coding Operations, Clinical Appeals and Utilization Management for over 250+ remote coders and RN’s across the US and offshore for hospital acute care.

What is a typical day like for you?
Daily I manage the overall operational deliverables between Guidehouse and client to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction and mutual success, by understanding client issues, concerns, priorities and ensure it is supported and implemented through a collaborative & immersive internal governance process

What do you enjoy most about your job?
My favorite thing about my job is the opportunity to work alongside some of the best colleagues in the field and the feeling of satisfaction I get when successfully helping to improve a hospital’s revenue stream.

Any other professional tidbit(s) you want to include?
The past 25 years in HIM have been so rewarding.  I have had the opportunity to learn and manage all aspects of the HIM department and it has extended into all of the mid revenue cycle.  I gained valuable experience serving as an onsite interim director and consultant for HIM departments throughout the United States.  I have directed and been responsible for hospital-wide quality improvement functions, including Peer Review, Performance Improvement Teams, Case Management and Coding and Quality Operations.

Personal Shares

What is your favorite food?
Love anything Mexican!

What’s something about you (a fun fact) not many people know?
I love to travel, fish, hike and go SxS riding.  I have caught several large sand bar and black tip sharks in the gulf, hiked Glacier National Park, and last year I was able to visit London, Paris and Spain and see the Neolithic wonder of the work Stonehenge!

What’s your favorite family tradition?
Christmas time!  Putting up the Christmas Tree & baking cookies.

Who had the most influence on you growing up?
My Grandma Smith, her love, faith, and commitment to family has inspired me to be a better person every day!

What was the first concert you ever attended?
Hank Williams Jr at Harper Stadium in Fort Smith

What’s something you want to do that you’ve never done before?
Shark Cage Diving

What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Nelson Mandela

Do you like to cook? If so, what is your favorite thing to cook?
Don’t like to cook LOL

If you could get on a plane tonight and travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Where is one place in Arkansas you would suggest people to visit?
Arkansas has some of the best recreational parks to hike and love Mount Magazine and you can’t beat seeing the historical “Hanging Judge” Parker Museum in Fort Smith that landed Arkansas in movies such as Lonesome Dove and True Grit.