StarChapter of November: AAHAM Massachusetts

Providing what members need and want is at most important to the board of Massachusetts Association of Patient Account Management, and that has allowed their board to form a strategy and activities that support its membership. “Great things happen for the organization when you focus on your membership” says Patrick McDonough, the Treasurer of MAPAM.

Becoming affiliated with the national AAHAM and collaborating with local chapters within and outside of the national association have both made a huge impact on delivering membership value. And with a member friendly software like StarChapter, they have been able to quickly respond to changing member needs. Read their story.


1. What was MAPAM’s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?

MAPAM’s strategy for engaging new members is relatively consistent: we strive to provide practical education to our members in a timely and relevant manner while also fostering a great networking environment that encourages members to tap into our collective expertise. This includes monthly seminars, an annual two-day conference, and our popular Member Appreciation Day.

The biggest new change we have made over the past couple of years has been our affiliation with AAHAM, a national organization with an outstanding certification program. We found the industry has been changing so rapidly that it was nearly impossible for our chapter to keep up with our previous certification program. An affiliation with AAHAM offered access to a national organization with a fantastic certification program and a similarly collaborative tone among its membership, while allowing us the freedom to operate MAPAM according to the wishes of our local membership and Board of Directors. It was a natural fit from both sides.


2. Tell us about a successful event/meeting you organized last year.

Our Fall Conference was incredibly successful. We had over 80 attendees who were given a day and a half of great education, a fun night of dinner and dancing at our annual President’s Dinner, and a lot of easy networking opportunities. We even managed to raise over $1,000 for ALS research in our inaugural Polar Plunge, which turned out to not be all that “polar,” as we experienced 80-degree weather in the middle of October.


3. Does the board get ideas on how to improve membership value from other associations?

MAPAM is very fortunate in that we have several strong organizations locally which we can use as complements to our educational and networking events. The Massachusetts-Rhode Island Chapter of HFMA does a fantastic job offering well-organized and presented educational opportunities to C-suite professionals and Directors throughout healthcare finance, so MAPAM fits in well offering most of our educational focus to staff level through directors focusing on Revenue Cycle, Patient Access, and Compliance. We also consult with the Maine and Twin States (New Hampshire and Vermont) chapters of AAHAM to keep a pulse on the needs of our membership and the direction of our industry. In fact, we first got the idea to use StarChapter to design our new web site and for our chapter management software from the Maine Chapter.


4. Do you have any tips/advice to share with other board volunteers?

The biggest piece of advice we would offer to board members of other organizations is to remember that everything you are doing is for the good of the membership. This gets mentioned at least once at every one of our board meetings and has led us to improve the education at our annual conference; to implement a discounted Member Appreciation Day, which allows managers to reward their staff with a fun and educational day; and to affiliate with AAHAM, which has allowed us to bolster our certification opportunities. Great things happen for the organization when you focus on your membership.


5. What is in store for the members of MAPAM next year?

One of our big points of emphasis this year is going to be our certification program. While we don’t expect every one of our members to get certified, we do want to make sure every member is aware of the diverse offerings and understands the benefits of the various certifications offered. We will also be focusing on directing our monthly educational seminars toward the specific needs of our membership; whether our membership wants more specific training, more industry overviews, or more discussions of the next regulatory changes coming at us, MAPAM wants to make sure we are providing what our members need.


6. How did StarChapter help you run MAPAM and reach its goals?  

StarChapter has given us several tools in easing the transition from our old website and in operating post-implementation. First, the transition was very easy. We simply provided our member lists for import and told StarChapter what pages we wanted. They set everything up quickly, we made a few minor tweaks, and we were up and running. It has proven very easy to create new meetings with multiple registration types, easy for new members to register, and easy to approve memberships and meeting registrations. The system also works seamlessly with PayPal, which makes it easier for our members to pay for their memberships and meeting registrations. Finally, StarChapter works well with us on any changes we may need implemented. That allows us to respond quickly to the changing needs of our membership.


Want to implement a successful strategy that generates membership value like MAPAM? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get tips and ideas on how to improve your association chapter.  

Return to list