It takes a lot of planning and coordination to support the variety of operations at the Thompson Center. Our Business Team is one of the behind-the-scenes groups that makes it all possible! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting the members of this team and looking into how they keep the Thompson Center running. First up is Jackie Jiordano, our Prior Authorization Specialist.
How long have you been with the Thompson Center?
I started at the Thompson Center as an intern in 2015, moved to a student position, then was hired on full-time at the front desk five years ago. I became the Prior Authorization Specialist as part of our business team about three years ago.
What are your main job duties?
As the Prior Authorization Specialist, I make sure that authorizations are complete with insurance companies before all psychological evaluations and ABA therapy appointments. I also run estimates for families and do my best to answer insurance questions that come up. I am also always happy to jump in wherever is needed, so you might see me up at the front desk occasionally as well!
Where did you grow up / where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Columbia where I am now married and raising my family!
What is your educational background?
I have a bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in psychology/sociology, social work, and infant and toddler development. I also have a minor in multicultural studies. I like to say that I studied “families.”
Where did you work before you came to the Thompson Center? What did you do there?
This is my first full time position! Before this I just worked in a church nursery and did occasional babysitting, pet-sitting, or house-sitting gigs.
What is your favorite thing about working at the Thompson Center?
The family-friendly work environment and my coworkers! It is so nice knowing my coworkers are there to support me through any situation–whether it is work-related or family-related.
What got you interested in working with people with autism?
I knew nothing about autism when I interviewed to be an intern here. Over the years I have met some of the most amazing families. I love hearing success stories of how our services have helped families while they navigate so many different systems. Now that I have learned more about autism, I can’t imagine not working in this field. As the Prior Authorization Specialist, I advocate for insurance coverage for services needed by our patients, as well as make sure families know what is going to be covered by their insurance so they can plan accordingly.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned in your time working at the Thompson Center?
Being flexible in everyday life is a must. Between working with families of special needs kiddos and the chaos that is insurance, I have learned that you have to be willing and able to be flexible with how your day is going to go. There are some days where I am able to call insurance companies and get information within 20 minutes and others where it can take 2 hours of being on hold before someone is able to answer my questions. We also do our best to fill any last-minute cancellation spots for evaluations, so I have to be able to stop what I am doing and prioritize those patients so insurance will cover them.
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
Reading, cross-stitching, playing games and watching movies with my family, and spending time with my many animals (a dog, four cats, a snake, and a lizard)!
I hear you have some exciting changes coming your way?
Baby Girl Jiordano will be arriving in February! While I am spending time with my family on maternity leave, the rest of our business team will be working on prior authorizations and helping to answer any insurance questions you may have.