Fabian Stone is a transformational, highly experienced executive with more than sixteen years of leadership within healthcare, specializing in clinical and revenue cycle management. He builds and leads high-performance revenue cycle teams to deliver impactful, mission-driven results by prioritizing the patient experience.
As a forward-thinking leader with a demonstrated ability to manage finances and business operations, Stone specializes in optimizing revenue cycles.
In early September 2022, Stone embarked on another phase of his professional journey: the newly created vice president of revenue cycle role at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Charged with leading and centralizing CHOP’s hospital and physician-owned revenue cycle structure, he quickly realized the leadership, technology, process, data infrastructure, and educational opportunities to establish a strong culture of impactful innovativeness to enhance the hospital’s balance sheet.
Stone expresses his unwavering commitment to CHOP’s mission: “to strive to be the world leader in advancing healthcare for children by integrating excellent patient care, innovative research, and quality professional education into all of its programs.”
From day one, his leadership embodied an understanding that transparency and intentional inclusivity throughout the CHOP enterprise are crucial for achieving success in the transformation of the revenue cycle. He believes that the definition of a revenue cycle is not a single group responsible for maximizing revenue but rather a series of interconnected activities involving every organization member.
When he began his leadership role at CHOP, Stone prioritized meeting with individuals and understanding their perspectives to manage change effectively.
“Communicating actions and behaviors that do not align with best practices should not reflect disrespecting the value of employee skills,” he explains. “It involves establishing rapport, stating what is expected to modify actions and behaviors.”
He explains that the revenue cycle team’s work is vital for infusing automation and enhancing patients’ digital portals. Half of the work focuses on activities, such as billings, coding, collections, preauthorization, and charge capture. The aim is to develop a seamless digital platform for patients to access all necessary resources, including clinical ones, in one convenient location.
“We enlisted the services of an entrusted consulting firm to confirm some of our assumptions and to assist in developing potential solutions to improve our balance sheet and overall financial performance,” Stone explains. “Although there were some ambitious projections, they aligned with the anticipated gaps.”
He also utilized the consulting firm’s insights and dedicated his initial three months to understanding his colleagues’ positions in the current revenue cycle process and their dedication to it. These talks were in anticipation of the necessary modifications.
Stone believes adopting a transparent approach benefits the hospital’s future growth and innovation. This approach indicates effective measures to support physicians’ authorization protocols while balancing their fiduciary and clinical responsibilities and duties.
Additionally, it has led to improving revenue cycle processes and creating more specialized job titles in various departments. The approach has also helped to emphasize the significance of analytics and technology throughout the hospital. Currently, the hospital is undergoing a reimplementation of EPIC.
The VP realizes this work is incomplete but remains confident that the result will successfully establish a solid foundation for CHOP’s revenue cycle for today and the future. Stone intends to focus on automation, implementing new technology and workflows, and creating a robust data infrastructure.
“Fabian’s innovative approach to centralizing revenue cycle elevates the hospital to surpass its highest standards in delivering world-class healthcare,” says Desiree Charpentier, managing member at Healthcare Legal Solutions. “In partnering with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which is globally recognized for its research and pediatric care, we maximize the recovery of denied claims.”
Stone credits his professional growth and successes as a leader in the healthcare profession to his preparedness, beginning with his undergraduate studies. He obtained a medical technology degree from Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina, a Historical Black Colleges and University. He worked as a clinical provider for the initial nine years of his career.
After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, Dr. Betty Alexander, one of his mentors at his alma mater, invited him to join a healthcare leadership training program sponsored by the American Hospital Association in collaboration with the Institute for Diversity and Health Management to boost African American representation in healthcare leadership. The program provided him the opportunity to explore various hospital environments and gain insights into leadership.
He obtained his master’s degrees in business administration and health administration after completing the program and assumed diverse positions in the health industry, such as a financial care counselor and manager at the University of North Carolina Hospital. These experiences enabled him to gain knowledge of reimbursement, coding, and compliance.
In 1998, he got an opportunity to utilize his skills at the Duke University Health System (Duke Health), where he held various positions of escalating seniority, and he was associate vice president of revenue cycle and health information management prior to joining CHOP.
Stone believes that having both a strong cadre of professional friends, mentors, and sponsors and his prior professional experience at Duke Health are invaluable in molding him to become the leader he is today at CHOP.
He urges young people not to fear stepping outside their comfort zone.
“As a young leader, I stayed in my comfort zone way too long,” Stone admits. “Get into a space, do your homework, do it well, but most importantly, think about your result. I’m all about the journey. Don’t be afraid to move. Take a calculated risk and ensure it’s part of your road map.”