insurance Archives - Northwest Weight & Wellness Center
Staff Spotlight: Joelle Roehl

Staff Spotlight: Joelle Roehl

NWWC Staff Spotlight

Name: Joelle Roehl

Role: Insurance Coordinator

Joined NWWC:  January 2019

Personal Life: Joelle was born in Edmonds and has lived in Washington her entire life. Her parents and four siblings live in Washington as well. At home, she lives with roommates and several furry family members: dogs Luna and Nala, cat Salem, and rat Onyx. While working full-time, she is completing her Associate’s degree.

Life Before NWWC:  Joelle has had a variety of office roles prior to joining our team. She worked for commercial landscaping companies doing estimations and bidding for projects and was a benefits administrator for an actuarial firm with a large hospital as her client.

A Day in Her Job: Joelle joined NWWC as an insurance verification specialist and has been promoted to the insurance coordinator role. She calls insurance companies or visits their online portals to gather details about benefits, exclusions, deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, and all of the confusing insurance information needed to navigate coverage for surgery. You might have spoken with her over the phone about these exciting things! She also completes all of the submissions to get people approved for surgery, including appeals. This involves record gathering, completing insurance forms, writing letters of medical necessity, and lots of faxing. While her average submission is 30 pages, she is working on a complicated one right now that is nearly 200 pages. “I advocate for patients to their insurance company. I have to help someone in the insurance company, who has no idea what bariatric surgery is, understand that it is medically necessary for our patients.”

What Else to Know about Joelle:

  • In the last few months, Joelle started her own health journey. “I made a push to get healthier and get in better shape to spend time in nature and not be out of breath. I’ve found a lot of confidence in exercising and focusing on what I’m putting in my body.” Her greatest athletic accomplishment so far? Reaching a full hour on the stair climber for a whopping 161 flights!
  • In May 2020, Joelle is embarking upon her first international excursion with a trip to Ireland and Scotland. “I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland for as long as I can remember. The goal is to meet an attractive Irish man, fall in love, and get married.” 😉 She’ll be visiting Dublin, Cork, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. Her only reserve is being apart from her furry family. Since rescuing her dogs, she has never spent more than 24 hours away from them.
  • By the time you’re reading this, Joelle will have some new ink on her calf. She is planning a tattoo of a tall tree with crystals entwined in the roots in honor of the Washington state trees that develop quartz and amethyst gems in their root systems. 
Staff Spotlight: Leigh Swope-Johnson

Staff Spotlight: Leigh Swope-Johnson

Name: Leigh Swope-Johnson

Role: Administrative Operations Supervisor; Billing Manager

Joined NWWC: July 2008

Personal Life: Leigh lives with her husband (pictured with Leigh) and has 3 children. Her daughter is a high school sophomore, her son is studying music at Edmonds Community College and will transfer to UW in the Fall, and her step-daughter is studying communications at Grand Canyon University in Arizona. She also has several furry family members: 3 schnauzers and a boxer/lab/retriever mix. Leigh has been working her way up the pacific coast; she grew up in California, moved to Oregon in grade school, and moved to Washington with her first job.

Life Before NWWC: Leigh was a line assignment operator with GTE for 6 years and worked for Compass Health for 13 years. At Compass Health, she started at the front desk and was promoted to the office manager of 3 separate sites.

A Day in Her Job: Leigh manages billing for all NWWC services and oversees operations related to insurance and self-pay requirements for bariatric surgery preparation. Her days are filled with emails and phone calls with patients as well as insurance representatives. She handles billing inquiries, billing reconciliation, surgery scheduling, advocating for patients’ insurance benefits, and contract negotiation with payer organizations. The insurance and patient care coordinators report to her so she fills in when there’s a need and meets with her team regularly.

What Else to Know about Leigh:

  • Leigh has an obsession with schnauzers. Neishah, a 6-month-old schnauzer, was her first rescue dog before she had children. “Neishah was my everything, my first kid.” She loves their personalities and can’t turn down an opportunity to rescue one. She might be willing to show you a picture of one of her current loves: Snazzy, Pepper, or Sherlock.
  • Leigh channels her love for cooking into an opportunity to support the community. She donates self-catered 4-course-dinners as prizes for non-profit organization fundraisers. At home, she preps meals on the weekend for the whole week. “It’s family time. My kids love to cook. My husband loves to try.” 😉
  • Leigh was a patient at NWWC before she became an employee. She had a gastric band placed in 2007 with Dr. Montgomery. She lost 150 pounds during her first year and was recruited to join the team as the front office supervisor. In this role, she discovered that NWWC was outsourcing billing. She offered to bring it in-house and has been our billing guru ever since.
  • Leigh is thinking about her fast-approaching empty nest years. “My life is my kids. We’re thinking about what we want to do when our life doesn’t revolve around our kids.” She and her husband would like to do some traveling. Will there be room for schnauzers on those trips…?