Features

Stephanie Papoulis – US Eye  

Using the law to help elevate patient care standards 

Stephanie Papoulis, US Eye, LLC’s general counsel and chief compliance officer, guides the organization’s legal and compliance endeavors as it delivers top-tier ophthalmology and optometry services across the Southeast. With a focus on utilizing cutting-edge technology and techniques backed by robust clinical research and education, US Eye stands out in its commitment to providing optimal patient outcomes. 

Stephanie Papoulis | General Counsel & Compliance Officer | US Eye  

Stephanie Papoulis | General Counsel & Compliance Officer | US Eye

Papoulis’s role encompasses a multifaceted approach, primarily focusing on physician-client outreach. By fostering strong relationships and trust with physicians, she creates an open and collaborative environment, allowing for proactive risk management and effective handling of challenges. 

Papoulis prioritizes data security, access, and governance, implementing industry-standard practices to safeguard patient data. Recent initiatives include implementing a document management system to streamline contract tracking and ensure compliance with signing authority protocols. 

“I am dedicated to steering our legal and compliance efforts to ensure top-tier eye care services across the Southeast. By prioritizing strong relationships with physicians and implementing cutting-edge technology, we uphold our commitment to optimal patient outcomes,” Papoulis says.  

She adds that through initiatives like enhanced data security measures and streamlined contract tracking, US Eye ensures compliance while delivering excellence in patient care.  

Legal solutions and challenges 

Another area of emphasis is scaling a billing and coding compliance program, which involves increasing compliance resources to provide comprehensive education and training to physicians and staff. This proactive approach reduces errors and promotes the adoption of best practices, allowing physicians to focus on delivering exceptional medical care. 

Stephanie Papoulis | General Counsel & Compliance Officer | US Eye  

Papoulis is crucial in managing acquisitions, ensuring a seamless transition from negotiation to post-transaction integration. With a focus on standardizing processes and leveraging the executive team’s expertise, she aims to facilitate smoother growth and expansion for US Eye. 

“Maintaining strong relationships with physician clients and recognizing their need to feel supported in their medical practice while navigating legal and compliance complexities is a part of my job that I take very seriously,” Papoulis says.  

Looking ahead, Papoulis acknowledges the legal challenges facing US Eye, particularly in navigating evolving regulations, Medicare reimbursement reductions and cybersecurity threats. Despite these challenges, she remains optimistic about the potential of AI to enhance efficiency within the legal team and streamline compliance training and dissemination of information across the organization. 

“Despite these and other challenges, I remain dedicated to upholding our standards and fostering a culture of integrity,” Papoulis says. 

Driving compliance initiatives 

Papoulis navigates the multifaceted demands of her role with strategic foresight and hands-on leadership. Ensuring the hiring and retention of top talent within the organization is a priority for Papoulis, who believes in providing clear job responsibilities, empowering staff to excel, and recognizing their successes while offering support in overcoming challenges. 

Papoulis wears many hats, managing various responsibilities ranging from producing work products to managing risk and contributing to strategic initiatives. The dynamic nature of the healthcare industry presents ongoing challenges, requiring Papoulis to strike a balance between legal considerations and business objectives. 

Despite the complexities of her role, Papoulis finds fulfillment in the diversity of tasks she encounters daily. Her role encompasses a broad spectrum of legal matters, from negotiating commercial leases to staying ahead of legislative changes. 

Staying ahead of regulatory changes and ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations are central challenges for Papoulis. She maintains a robust internal legal network to address these challenges and collaborates closely with colleagues, particularly the Chief Information Officer, to uphold data security standards and governance protocols. 

Papoulis remains committed to driving excellence in legal and compliance operations at US Eye, leveraging her expertise to navigate regulatory complexities and support the organization’s mission of delivering exceptional eye care services to patients across the Southeast. 

“I find fulfillment in staying compliant and navigating regulatory challenges, and I’m committed to doing all I can to support US Eye’s mission,” Papoulis says. 

Family influence & career path 

Papoulis’s journey into law and healthcare was sparked by her family’s deep involvement in the medical field, particularly her brother’s experience with Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect. Inspired by her upbringing, Papoulis’ academic pursuits laid the groundwork for a career focused on improving patient care. 

After earning a degree in political science and a master’s in public administration from the University of South Florida, Papoulis spent three years as a corporate paralegal while attending law school at the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, where she earned a J.D.  

Papoulis honed her skills as a lawyer at organizations like Cross Country Healthcare and Senior Care Group, Inc., where she navigated complex legal landscapes and spearheaded compliance initiatives. Her expertise grew with positions at e-TeleQuote Insurance, WellCare Health Plans and Anthem. 

In April 2022, driven by her passion for healthcare, Papoulis joined US Eye as its general counsel and compliance officer, bringing her dedication to legal compliance and patient-centered care. Beyond her professional endeavors, Papoulis is a board member for Easter Seals and enjoys gardening, reading, and spending time with her family. 

“As someone deeply rooted in law and healthcare, I’ve learned that our greatest impact is in the lives of those we serve. Through dedication, compassion, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, we can transform patient care and improve outcomes for all,” Papoulis says. 

Published on: May 8, 2024

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