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O’Malley named to key Outpatient Referral Assistance role

Aug. 5, 2021, 9:19 AM


by Jill Clendening

Mathew O’Malley, MD, assistant professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, has been named associate medical director for Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Office of Outpatient Referral Assistance (OORA).

Mathew O’Malley, MD

O’Malley, who begins his new role immediately, will work with VMG Associate Chief Medical Officer Rob Hood, MD, who is the medical director of OORA. A six-member selection committee chose O’Malley from a pool of candidates from throughout the adult enterprise.

OORA is an outpatient internal resource established in 2011 to assist physicians or providers, upon request, in facilitating appropriate access and care for uninsured, underinsured, and out of network patients by providing information and assistance on either scheduling the patient with a Vanderbilt Medical Group (VMG) provider or referring the patient to a non-VUMC resource.

“I am very excited to have Dr. O’Malley join the OORA team as associate medical director,” said Tom Nantais, MBA, executive vice president of Adult Ambulatory Operations.

“His experience and knowledge base in the contracting milieu are outstanding. OORA is such an important vehicle to assist our patients as we help them navigate the very complex billing and insurance world. Dr. O’Malley will be instrumental in continuing the OORA mission.”

O’Malley joined the VUMC faculty in 2017 after serving as assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Florida. Before that he worked at the Midwest Ear Institute, a private Otology practice in Indianapolis, Indiana. He completed his Otolaryngology residency and Neurotology fellowship at Vanderbilt. He earned his medical degree from the University of Florida.

“Matthew O’Malley trained with us both as a resident and fellow and was successfully recruited back to the faculty,” said David Haynes, MD, MMHC, interim chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

“He has unique experiences in both private practice and academic settings, as well as a large, referral practice that spans the Southeast, that give him insight into the importance of referrals to our clinical enterprise.”

OORA has seen steady growth of patient and guidance referrals by Vanderbilt Health providers, increasing from 403 in 2012, to more than 10,000 per year, presently. Hood has served as medical director since shortly after OORA’s founding.

“We are delighted Dr. O’Malley has accepted this role with OORA,” said VMG Chief Medical Officer Paul Sternberg Jr., MD. “He has a strong background in billing and contracting, and I look forward to his successes as he works alongside the OORA team to overcome obstacles and find solutions that best meet patients’ unique health care needs.”

OORA is staffed by manager Susan Roy, LMSW, MMH, Kelsey Garner, LCSW, Olivia Sells, RN, and Kailan Kehoe. Their commitment to ensuring individuals receive the appropriate access to outpatient care earned the group an Elevate Team Award in early 2020.

The search committee chaired by Sternberg included Hood, Roy, VUMC Revenue Cycle Medical Director Brian Rothman, MD, Vice President of Revenue Cycle Services for Vanderbilt Health Heather Dunn, MBA, and Revenue Cycle Director of Patient Financial Services Brent Spencer II, MHA.

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