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Press Release

Release Date: September 09, 2022
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Governor Bill Anoatubby has appointed Lisa Garrett director of the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health Business Office.

“Mrs. Garrett understands the important role her team plays in supporting efficient, cost effective care for all of our patients,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “Her education, experience and commitment to serving the Chickasaw Nation make her well prepared to serve in this new role.”

Mrs. Garrett joined the Chickasaw Nation in 2012 and was soon promoted to business office manager where she has served the past ten years. Many of the duties she performed while in that position will carry over into her new title with additional responsibilities.

Her promotion is part of a departmental reorganization. Mrs. Garrett supports 63 employees within the business office.

Her primary duty is to capture revenue through third-party billing for Chickasaw Nation health facilities. Her department verifies insurance eligibility, obtains prior authorizations and also assists patients in acquiring health insurance.

Mrs. Garrett’s office then bills Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance plans for reimbursement for medical office visits and procedures.

“With that revenue, it makes it possible for the Chickasaw Nation to bring new services to its health department,” she said. “We are always looking for opportunities to expand our services and to offer our patients and citizens additional services within Chickasaw Nation Department of Health rather than having to refer them to other facilities for services other than the most specialized.”

One example of a service made possible through third-party billing is the Chickasaw Nation’s Dermatology Clinic.

“Before its creation, we would have been forced to refer patients to a different facility if they needed those services,” Mrs. Garrett said. “Now, we can provide the service here, which benefits patients and the tribe with savings and convenience.”

Another critical component to Mrs. Garrett’s team is assisting patients who are uninsured. If a patient is uninsured, a patient benefit assistant team member will help screen the person to determine the best possible financial assistance for their medical care. This could be programs such as Sooner Care, Insure Oklahoma, Affordable Health Care and other patient support programs.

Her staff may also help Medicare recipients enroll in Medicare, particularly Medicare Part B.

“We explain the importance of getting Part B coverage as soon as they are eligible,” she said. “A penalty fee is usually charged for late enrollees. A lot of patients we help are unaware of that penalty.

“It is very rewarding for me to see how what we do has a profound positive affect on the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people. Taking advantage of every revenue opportunity so we can expand our services and hire additional staff is another way we are fulfilling the mission of the Chickasaw Nation,” she said.

“Our goal is to eventually provide health services to patients for any need that may arise.”

Mrs. Garrett is a 1993 graduate of Stonewall High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from East Central University (ECU) in Ada, through assistance from the Chickasaw Nation employee continuing education program.

She is a member of the Southwest Church of Christ in Ada.

Her husband, Tommy, is employed with the State of Oklahoma Department of Transportation. The couple has two children: daughter, Shelby, 22, a student at Oklahoma Christian pursuing a nursing degree while working at the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in the Surgery Department and son, Lane, 20, a student at ECU pursuing a Kinesiology Degree and working at Vision Bank.

“I am proud to be a part of the Chickasaw Nation and the vision of Governor Anoatubby to give back to employees, the community, the state of Oklahoma and the Chickasaw people,” Mrs. Garrett said.