Page 1



issue no. 4

Mt. Baker Imaging/Northwest Radiologists employee newsletter

The Affordable Care Act and MBI/NWR by Wendy Wilkens-Russell

content 2 DEPARTMENT NEWS MBI celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness month with the 10th Annual

4-5 ANNOUNCEMENTS New babies and wedded bliss!

7 NEW EMPLOYEES Who’s new to MBI/ NWR? Find out here!

12 MBI Company Perks Fun Employee Discounts.

This upcoming New Year’s Day, January 1, 2014, will bring more than resolutions and bowl games. It is the day that the most controversial component of the Affordable Care Act (or Obama Care) becomes effective. Each American who is not insured under an affordable and adequate health plan through another means must purchase health care coverage that meets the Affordable Care Act (ACA) standards or face a $95 penalty that will be levied at tax time. Countless articles have been written on the ACA and are available for the reader’s pleasure. However, the vast majorities are not written about what the ACA looks like in Whatcom County nor do they focus on the impacts of the ACA on the physicians and staff at NWR/MBI. Thus, this article will focus solely on the local and personal effects of the Act. There are four health plans participating in Washington State’s Health Insurance Marketplace in Whatcom County. They are Group Health, Premera, LifeWise, and Community Health Plan of Washington. Residents of Whatcom County can purchase health insurance through avenues other than the State’s Health Insurance Marketplace, but the Marketplace (also known as the Exchange) is the only means to qualifying and receiving a subsidy towards their premiums. The premium costs vary by the purchaser’s age and smoking status as well as by the insurance plan they choose and the associated benefit levels offered.


Despite the word “Affordable” contained in the moniker of the ACA, the deductibles associated with the health plans offered in Whatcom County are high – they range from $500 to $6,350 per individual. The out-of-pocket maximums range from $4,100 to $6,350. There are HSA plan options available with deductibles ranging from $2,500 to $5,250 and out-of-pocket maximums from $4,100 to $5,250. For both traditional and HSA plans, the Primary Care copays range from $10 to $45 per encounter and the coinsurances for in-network care range from 10% to 50%. The changes the ACA will bring to NWR/MBI are largely administrative and not yet fully known. The health insurers offering the plans on the Exchange are still figuring out their internal processes and are finding that they have to be flexible as the federal government continues to clarify their requirements on an almost daily basis. This means that we too are going to be subject to updates and changes as the insurers provide information to us. We must also be flexible and prepared to implement revisions to our policies, processes, and procedures as the outcomes of the Exchange implementation become more apparent through practice. What is clear at this time is that determining eligibility for Exchange members is going to be more complex. For at least the first quarter of 2014, it is expected that the health insurers will have internal difficulties confirming patient eligibility and benefits, making it hard to impossible for our staff to perform eligibility and benefits verifications. Once the initial implementation difficulties subside, we will be faced with an ongoing eligibility challenge. Continued on page 7



department news

Mt Baker Imaging’s 10th Annual


Outreach Party! 134 86

total mammograms

walk-in mammograms (That’s 30 more than last year!)

150 Over $300 goodie bags

raised for Citrine Health to help women in Whatcom County afford their mammograms.


he Mammography Outreach Party is one of the most rewarding events hosted by MBI. Techs, receptionists, aides, radiologists, and administration work together to put forth an event that serves the community. This year was record-breaking with 134 mammograms performed (a normal day in mammo is about 85-90 patients). We were also able to host many returning vendors, as well as a few new ones! Thank you to everyone for your dedication!

3 department news

A message from Jessica Edwards, Relay for Life Team Captain


HUGE Thank You to everyone that helped out at Relay throughout the year and at the event.

This year we had 21 members registered on the team and have raised a little over $3,400.00 so far. The Relay event had 76 teams and 1,014 participants have raised $268,048.90. Many people stopped by our booth during the Relay to express their appreciation to Mt Baker Imaging that their cancer was caught in time to save their life.


here are many people to thank! •WDC - for selling books throughout the year. Also they continue to have lunch fundraisers and are always thinking of ways to raise money. They have really helped jump start our fundraising efforts each year. •SIC - support staff for selling candy bars at the front desk, putting together an ice cream sundae bar, root beer float day, and brownie sundae day. •Cordata - Lissa in xray organized our Menchies fundraiser weekend. •Lynden Xray - sold candy bars at their site. The following people donated baskets or items to go to the silent auction booth at Relay • Rae Ann (film librarian) - poker night basket • Melody (US reception) - coffee basket • Lynn (IR reception) - spa basket • Jaki ( former Xray aide) - doggie basket • Melissa (former IT help desk) - Ciao Thyme gift certificate • Northwest Radiologists - screening virtual colonoscopy and calcium heart score exams

Thank you, Jessica, for all of your hard work!!

Smith Babies!

Dr Smith and his family welcomed Emmet and Lauren into their hearts! Their first birthday was Sept 29th.

Baby Ole!

was welcomed by scheduler, Baylee York, in September.

Tan Twins! Grant Riaz Holmes is the

newest edition to Dr. Rabbani’s family!

Congratulations to Wendy Tan on the birth of her twins, Jacob and Isabelle!

ANNOUNCEMENTS! Lissa Robertson

Congratulations to Mt Baker Imaging and Northwest Radiologists employees who have exciting news to share!

(formerly Grey) in x-ray was married on August 10th.

Rindi Germanoff

x-ray technologist, also got married over the summer! Congratulations, Rindi!

Bobby Sterling

from the Pre-Auth department got married in August to his best friend, Heidi!


Popcorn and Peril

employee news

By Daniel Robison

Now that the weather has once again driven us indoors, a lot of people turn to the big screen for entertainment. Let CT pod member, Daniel Robison and his blog, Popcorn and Peril, help you with your viewing choices!


avoided. More than anything it's become a blog where I analytically look at the movies that I personally enjoyed and explain both why I enjoyed them and why I think others might as well. With film being the preferred mass medium of the last 100 years, we've got a lot of material to sort through in order to find something to watch. I love recommendations and discussions in the comments on the posts as well.

here are more ways to access huge film libraries than at any previous point in the medium’s history. With Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and similar services, it's like we've been ushered into a candy store with complete free reign to pick what we want. This created one very big question for us: what do we watch? I began writing my movie review blog as a way to prompt myself to watch a wider variety of films and aid in my ambition to write more. I use Popcorn and Peril as a place to both give and receive recommendations for my Netflix queue or talk about movies that should potentially be

Check out Daniel’s review of the movie, Gravity, at

Congratulations, Lauren!


auren Frank passed her MR registry and has accepted a full-time position as a MR Technologist. Lauren has been with MBI for three years and was the 6th MR apprentice to successfully complete our training and pass the national boards. Lauren was the first Mammography apprentice also, passing her Mammo registry last year. The apprenticeships are a valuable part of Mt Baker Imaging. It is a privilege to have such a successful program and apprentices. Congratulations on all of your success, Lauren!

Stephanie Cash Anber Nolan Bobby Sterling Jonna Oleniacz Zhanna Kim Receptionist Hire Date: 7/1/13

Receptionist Pre Auth Specialist Hire Date: 7/9/13 Hire Date: 7/1/13

Physicians Assistant Receptionist Hire Date: 7/22/13 Hire Date: 8/27/13

Welcome to the Company! Article continued from page 1: Unlike individuals who directly purchased health insurance from their health plan in the past and had to pay their premiums in 30 days or lose their coverage, Exchange members will have 90 days to pay their premiums. The health insurers will make payment for services only for the first 30 days of the 90 day period. Between days 31 and 60, the health insurers will provide us notice of members who have not made premium payments and are now in arrears. The health insurers will then proceed to suspend any claims for these members through the day 90 mark. If a member does not pay their premiums by day 90, their health insurer will deny all of the suspended claims and take back any payments they made within the first 30 days. This 90 days premium payment policy means that it is going to be more important than ever to identify the patient financial responsibility and collect it at time of service. It also means that payer payment is going to be slower and the timely claims payment laws that the State of Washington enacted to protect providers will lose most of their relevance. NWR/MBI staff whose duties involve patient eligibility and benefits status will be provided with specific training prior to December 31, 2013, on how to handle the Exchange related issues. Charity Care (or Bridge Assistance) is also an administrative process that will undergo change. Given the high deductibles offered in the Exchange, most Exchange members will never meet their deductible and will be financially re-

sponsible to pay for the balance left after their health plan applies the contractual adjustment to their claim. Some Exchange members will not be able to afford the balance they owe. There is a high likelihood that requests for charity care will increase. However, there is provider industry reasoning that Charity Care should not be needed in an environment where every patient is legally required to have health insurance. In fact, the elimination of provider charity care has been one of the talking points used in the selling of the ACA. PeaceHealth is presently considering the charity care implications of the ACA, so there will be more to come for NWR/MBI employees regarding this issue. In the meantime, the goal of eliminating the uninsured population in Whatcom County marches forward. It is likely that NWR/MBI staff will continue to encounter patients who are unaware of the ACA or who simply do not understand the requirements. It is important to know that the Open Enrollment period for Calendar Year 2014 started on October 1, 2013 and goes through March 31, 2014. The website for the Washington State Health Insurance Marketplace has not been plagued by the well publicized problems experienced at the national level as well as in many other states. Other than some difficulties in the first 48 hours of its implementation, it has mostly been available to enrollees. You may refer patients with questions to the Washington Health Plan Finder at 1-855-923-4633 or For your own questions, you may contact Wendy Wilkins-Russell at We live in interesting times.

Employee Appreciation Day Coming to a breakroom near you! Menu:

Assorted Sandwiches: -Garden Deluxe -Ham and Swiss -Turkey and Havarti -Turkey Pesto -Roast Beef and Cheddar Chips Cookies Bottled Water

Lunch will be provided on Wednesday, November 6th. Delivery starts at 10:45am.

Warm Clothing Drive Baby, it’s Cold Outside! Please consider donating new or gently used warm clothing to the Northwest Youth Services, which serves at-risk and homeless teens and young adults. Pajamas, long underwear, socks, socks, socks, and more socks, boots, gloves, hats, mittens, coats, and rain gear are much appreciated. Gift cards are awesome, also! There will be a box in each employee lounge for drop-off. For more information, please contact Belinda Botzong.



Jag Singh,

Xray Tech

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A mechanic

Where did you attend elementary school?

Chak Atter Singh Wala in Punjab, India What was your first job?

A raspberry picker

Fun fact: Jag had a pet monkey growing up!

Michael Curtis, What did you want to be when you grew up?

A professional football player

Where did you attend elementary school?

Wapato, Basin City, and Royal City What was your first job?

Digging ditches at an apple orchard for $4 an hour.

MR tech

Art with Emi

Sonographer, Emi Onozawa, participated in an exclusive, private showing of art on October 5th. Along with Emi, other fellow artists shared their work using mediums such as charcoal, pastels, watercolors, and more. In the following article, she describes her experiences and journey as an artist.


or the past two years, I have been part of a group of art explorers. Only one of us has a minor degree in art, but all of us are enthusiasts. We have been getting together about once a week to draw and paint together for the fun challenge of learning something new. In our group we have a physical therapist, a wildlife educator, a grandmother, a physician, a builder, a chemist, and me, the Sonographer.


his year, I learned about a type of paint called Gouache. It is like a watercolor paint, but opaque and more forgiving than watercolor. One Art night, Amy let me use some of her paint, and we all worked on a photo that Clare took in Australia. The result was my first Gouache painting consisting of Kangaroos in the Outback. The painting was OK, as I had always been better at drawing and sketching. But I took notice, and bought myself my own set of Gouache paint. I found a photo of a baby elephant and used it to practice my second piece using Gouache. I liked that one quite a lot, and used the same techniques to paint "Luna" the wading dog during the following Art night. The "drawer" in me could not help but use a little ink after the paint had dried.


n our Autumn Art Show that happened the first week of October, our friends and family were able to see how each of us Artists put "Luna" on paper. It's always amazing to see how differently we create art, while using the same starting point. Some of us use pastels, some prefer acrylics, and others prefer charcoal or sumi ink. I was very happy to be part of this show that celebrated and supported our growth as Artists. It's been a great space for nurturing creativity.


Fun at the...


It’s not too late to get discounted tickets for the zoo! The deal lasts until April 2014. HOW IT WORKS: •Visit •Hover over ‘Visit the Zoo’ and click on ‘Tickets and Hours’ •Click on ‘Buy Tickets’ to go to the ticket purchase site •Enter Promo: nwrads13 - prices of tickets will adjust to discounted rates •Purchase tickets and print!

It’s a 22% discount!

Starting Nov. 1st, this discount is also applicable to Wildlights: The Zoo’s wild winter lights festival! Just visit and enter the same promo information above!

Autumn Chili Cook Off Uncle Don's Chili

by Emi Onozawa

Enjoy some of MBI’s favorite chili recipes!

1 tsp vegetable oil 1 pound each of Italian sausage and ground beef 1 large onion, chopped 1 green pepper, chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 jalapeno peppers, minced 1 tbsp chili powder 1 tbsp cumin seed 3/4 tsp salt, or more to taste 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans Potato Chili Cheese 1 can (15 oz) great norther beans, or your A snapshot taken on Belinda’s back-stage Soup favorite Disneyworld tour inside Epcot Center. 1 can (28 oz) chopped tomatoes By Justin Cook 1 can (16 oz) chicken broth 4 tablespoons butter 1 can (6oz) tomato paste 1 medium onion, chopped 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (or use the whole 1 garlic clove, minced bunch, it's very good and OK!) 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch 1/4 c parsley, chopped cubes 1/3 cup flour Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. 2 cups chicken broth Add sausage and beef and cook until browned. 2 cups milk Add onion, green pepper, garlic, jalapeno, chili 27 ounces whole green chilies powder, cumin and salt. Cook, stirring until 1/2 teaspoon salt softened, around 4 minutes. 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese Add beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese paste, cilantro, parsley and stir to combine. pepper Cook partially covered until flavors have blended, around 3 hours. Heat butter in large dutch oven or other large soup pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender. Stir in potatoes and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in flour until smooth and continue cooking 1 minute. Slowly add broth stirring well. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in milk, chiles and salt. Heat until simmering. Add cheeses; cook and stir just until cheeses melt. Do not boil. Add pepper to taste. Serve in individual bowls. Garnish as desired.

Andrea, Dorothy’s daughter was married on August 31st

Carrie’s daughter, Georgia, was married on July 13th

Mothers of the Brides Carrie Bailey, Dorothy Pope, and Melody Casteneda celebrated each of their daughters’ weddings this summer! Dorothy said it was quite the bonding experience for all of them!

Melody’s daughter, Leah, was married on June 22nd

Ideas wanted! If you have ideas, announcements, suggestions or news-worthy stories, we want to hear them! Please email Davielle at with ideas!

MBI NWR Newsletter Issue 4  
MBI NWR Newsletter Issue 4