A new initiative to strengthen Keck Medicine of USC’s pledge to provide exceptional customer service has been launched.

A new customer service division for patient financial services will be based at the Health Sciences Campus, bringing crucial services that were once performed 3,000 miles away back to Los Angeles.

Previously, customer service had been outsourced to a call center in New Jersey. A total of 12 Keck Medicine customer service representatives and management employees have been hired and trained. The new Keck Medicine customer service employees began their role Aug. 1.

“Our goal is to partner with our patients and help them navigate the billing and payment process,” said Randy Ray, associate administrator of revenue cycle services.

Having a customer service division at Keck Medicine solely dedicated to billing inquiries will allow representatives to have ample time with patients on the phone.

“Patients will see more complete, compassionate customer care,” Ray said. “We have instilled in our new staff the importance of providing patients with uncompromising customer service.”

Representatives also will be in a better position to help identify patients with financial needs and aid them to most generous financial assistance program provided by Keck Medicine, Ray added. Last year, Keck Medicine provided $57 million to patients in financial assistance.

While the primary goal of the customer service initiative is to provide patients with accurate information regarding their billing inquiries, the long-term goal is to broaden the scope of customer service to include all of Keck Medicine.

“This will allow us to provide an exceptional, personal experience for each of our patients far into the future,” Ray said. “Through this initiative, we are strengthening our commitment to providing world-class care.”

— Douglas Morino