Being a medical collections specialist doesn’t sound like a job with a lot of perks, but it depends on where you work. At Parallon, there are too many perks to count: Great comprehensive insurance, a healthy paycheck, and monthly bonuses are just the start. The company shows it values its employees in a number of ways, and helping them find a path to greater professional success is one.

LaTonya Chatman has been with Parallon for just two years, but she’s on her way to getting her bachelor’s degree with the company’s tuition reimbursement program.

LaTonya Chatman has been a collections specialist with Parallon for just two years. Before joining the company, she was a record retentions supervisor in a law office. She had no call center or collections experience, but wanted something different for herself.

Now, she’s poised to enter her third semester at Simmons College of Kentucky as a business management major. She is using Parallon’s tuition reimbursement program to fund her studies.

Personal tragedy struck Chatman in her youth. Her mother died the day she graduated high school, and she was unprepared to take advantage of the full scholarship she’d earned from UK. She started a family and moved on with her life, but when she learned about the tuition reimbursement at Parallon, she decided to go for it.

“I think I needed that time for me to grow as a person. I’m more focused now,” she said of starting higher education a little later in life.

“Now my kids are older. I have a daughter who’s entering high school. She’s so self-sufficient and I’m like, ‘Okay. I want to do this for myself, my family (to help my husband grow our businesses), and also for my mom.’”

The tuition reimbursement benefit assists employees in professional development. Members of upper management, like the company’s senior director of operations, Tim Steadmon, have used tuition reimbursement at Parallon, along with a lot of hard work, to attain their current positions.

Once an employee has been with Parallon for six months, he or she is eligible to receive tuition reimbursement, whether full time or part time.  By the time they’re with the company for two years, employees may receive up to $5250, based upon eligibility and GPA.

“I’ve been blessed to get the 100%. The two semesters I’ve been utilizing tuition reimbursement, I’ve had a 4.0,” said Chatman.

Zero debt

David Newman is a security analyst who’s been with Parallon for two and a half years. He said the tuition reimbursement program is allowing him to pursue his bachelor’s degree in network administration with zero debt. He plans to go for his master’s degree once he graduates next summer.

Newman said he understands the stress of trying to keep up with tuition bills. Before, when he was going for his associate’s degree at a community college, he worried about keeping up with his payments. Now, he doesn’t worry about it at all.

In addition to tuition reimbursement, HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) has partnerships in place with certain colleges to provide tuition discounts to employees.  Some of the discounts are more or less than the 10% stated depending on the college and the particular agreement we have with them.

“At the end of the day, I only had to pay 200, maybe 250 dollars out of pocket,” he said of his first semester, which he started once he was with the company for a year and a half.

Professional Development Program

Chatman has been able to receive special training as well, beyond her university degree. She was approved to participate in part of the Professional Development Program, which trains employees to act in supervisory roles. They shadow and take direct training from supervisors who coach employees through the ways and challenges of call center work.

Parallon takes a human approach to success. Supervisors work closely with employees to help them reach goals and learn to score monthly bonuses that can be $1,000 a month or more. They check in with their people, and show them stronger methods that are proven to work.

Only two or three employees receive this supervisory training at any given time. They must meet certain requirements and apply in order to be eligible. Since Parallon promotes from within, every supervisor has done call center work. Those who participate in the Professional Development Program are better prepared than most to interview for those positions.

The program consists of one-on-one training with a mentor, and classroom training. Chatman appreciated the opportunity to see what goes into being a supervisor and said she was surprised at how much there was to the job. “The highlight for me was doing the coaching, like sitting in on those trainings and being able to learn from the supervisor while I was actually teaching or coaching.”

What’s next?

Parallon is hiring. Are you interested in learning more about career opportunities at Parallon? Email the company’s Human Resources team at [email protected] for more information.

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