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Quality Utilization Specialist, Full-Time, Days, Hybrid, Sign-On Bonus $4,000

Location Chicago, Illinois Business Unit Northwestern Memorial Hospital Job REQID 52717 Job Function Nursing Coordinator Shift Day Job (1st) Apply Now

At Northwestern Medicine, every patient interaction makes a difference in cultivating a positive workplace. This patient-first approach is what sets us apart as a leader in the healthcare industry. As an integral part of our team, you'll have the opportunity to join our quest for better healthcare, no matter where you work within the Northwestern Medicine system. At Northwestern Medicine, we pride ourselves on providing competitive benefits: from tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness to 401(k) matching and lifecycle benefits, we take care of our employees. Ready to join our quest for better?


The Quality Utilization Specialist reflects the mission, vision, and values of NM, adheres to the organization's Code of Ethics and Corporate Compliance Program, and complies with all relevant policies, procedures, guidelines and all other regulatory and accreditation standards.


  • Applies medical necessity screening criteria, level of care guidelines, and professional nursing knowledge to ensure that admissions and length of stay are appropriate.
  • Completes initial admission and thereafter continuing stay reviews for all hospitalized patients.
  • Facilitates utilization review concurrent with decisions on hospitalization and may perform duties in the Emergency Department, pre and post operative, labor and delivery, external transfer, bed assignment, and/or other access points for hospitalization.
  • Collaborates with the Payor Specialists and third party payors to effectively communicate all relevant clinical information based on clinical indicators and the plan of care.
  • Acts as a liaison with the clinical care team assuring compliance with managed care contracts and payor guidelines while maintaining quality of care.
  • Partners with operational and medical leadership to identify, develop and implement utilization processes that foster the right care at the right time in the right setting.
  • Monitors data elements inherently related to Utilization through data reporting tools.
  • Effectively resolves utilization dilemmas and as needed uses available escalation pathways (Quality Utilization Medical Director(s) or the Lead Quality Utilization Specialists) to secure further information or expertise to resolve identified issues.
  • Makes appropriate referrals to internal physician advisors and contracted third party review company per Department guidelines.
  • May participate in interdisciplinary discharge planning rounds to facilitate communication with the care team on documentation and orders necessary to assign accurate medical necessity, level of care, and communication with the payor.
  • Interfaces with patients as appropriate to provide education on level of care.
  • Actively Participates in Clinical Performance Improvement Initiatives related to Clinical Documentation and Quality Utilization.
  • Increases stakeholder understanding of best practices in utilization and internal performance against benchmarks, through a variety of educational forums.
  • Develops, coordinates, presents, and participates in service-line and clinician education programs.
  • Utilizes standardized reports (metrics/dashboard) and provides updates for physicians and the interdisciplinary team members on a regular basis.
  • Collaborates with the interdisciplinary team to promote the resolution of barriers related to utilization of services and institute changes that improve systems and promote optimal utilization practices.
  • May assist in the reporting of financial indicators including length of stay, resource utilization, denials and appeals.
  • Participates in the development, implementation, evaluation and revision of quality utilization tools in collaboration with the healthcare team.
  • Assists in Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) and other audit follow up and contributes to appeals on insurance denials as requested.
  • Maintains current knowledge of federal and state laws and regulations related to utilization.
  • Actively participates on departmental and hospital committees and taskforces as assigned.
  • Complies with Northwestern Memorial Hospital policies on patient confidentiality including HIPAA requirements and Personal Rules of Conduct.
  • Facilitates review of high risk cases by the Office of General Counsel, Corporate Compliance and Integrity, Risk Management and informs appropriate members of the healthcare team as to interventions.
  • Coordinates interventions in collaboration with the healthcare team.
  • AA/EOE



  • Bachelors Degree in Nursing.
  • 5 years of experience in acute inpatient hospital care.
  • Proven leadership and diplomacy skills to affect positive outcomes.
  • Organizational, team building, coaching, and conflict management to maximize the achievement of utilization outcomes.
  • Analytical skills necessary to independently collect, analyze, and interpret data, resolve problems requiring innovative solutions.
  • Computer skills including word processing and spreadsheets.
  • Licensed Registered Nurse (R.N.) in the State of Illinois.

Equal Opportunity

Northwestern Medicine is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation or any other protected status.

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