If you’re ever driving around west Phoenix on a Sunday afternoon—and you’ve got a hankering for home-cooked Mexican food—just stop by Fabiola Munoz’s place. “All of my family lives within a four-mile radius, and we just pop into each other’s houses whenever,” she said. “I like to cook a big meal every weekend, and people just come over when they want. They don’t ever announce themselves.”
And while some cooks might stress about spontaneous dinner guests, Fabiola enjoys hosting her friends and family members—by invitation or not. After all, if there’s anyone who can stay calm in the midst of chaos, it’s Fabiola. As the mother of two very active boys—José and Julian—her schedule is jam-packed with school activities and sporting events. “I think being a single mom is probably my biggest accomplishment,” she said. “Just managing all of the practices and games and parent-teacher conferences—it’s a lot.”
Throw in 4:00 AM gym sessions and healthy meal prep time—the main components of what Fabiola calls her “new health streak”—and you’d be hard-pressed to find a moment of free time on her calendar. “One of my coworkers and I started working out together in January, and I think that has kept me going,” she said. “It’s easier to get up and do it when you have someone to go with.” To keep things fun—and to avoid burning out—Fabiola and her workout buddy try to switch up their exercise routine every now and then. One of their latest endeavors: aerial yoga, which—as the name suggests—requires participants to perform yoga poses while suspended in the air. “It’s an amazing workout,” she said. “Talk about using muscles you never knew you had!”
Although she might need to attend a few more classes before she achieves expert aerial yogi status, when it comes to physical therapy billing, Fabiola is a tried-and-true champion. She’s been interested in the financial side of business ever since she landed her very first job in retail as a teenager. She went on to sharpen her money skills as a bank teller and in a county finance position. “I kept hearing about medical billing and thought it sounded like something I might like,” she said. So, she enrolled in a program at Everest College and became certified in medical billing and coding. After graduation, she spent three years working for, in her words, “the dark side”—an insurance company. She then put in a two-year stint at a plastic surgery clinic before scoring a temporary gig as a payment poster at a growing Phoenix software startup called WebPT. “I walked into the office my first day, and I didn’t know if it was a real job. I just kept thinking, ‘Look at this building!’” she said, referring to WebPT’s hip, renovated warehouse digs.
Almost three years later, Fabiola has worked her way up to a billing success manager position. In that role, she serves as the primary contact for all WebPT Billing customers in the Northeast region, handling everything from cash-posting and accounts receivable to training and support. And she does it all with a huge smile on her face. “I love talking to our Members,” she said, noting that she particularly enjoys listening to their east-coast accents. More importantly, though, she loves “hearing how appreciative they are of us and how we’ve made an impact in their clinics.”
In fact, Members from two of Fabiola’s clinics have come out and visited WebPT’s office. “The fact that they actually want to see you—and not kill you—is pretty awesome,” she said. Plus, it makes the day-to-day battle with insurance companies all the more worthwhile. “It can be hard dealing with payers,” she said. “That’s probably the biggest barrier.” Luckily, Fabiola’s experience in the insurance industry gives her a leg-up when it comes to chasing down payments. “I have insider info,” she said with a laugh. “I know what can be done and what can’t be done. I know the games they play, because I’ve played them, too.”
Plus, Fabiola is not one to back down from a challenge—or an opportunity to go the extra mile for her Members. “My dad has always taught me to work for things,” she said. “Nothing comes easy. I know I am who I am today because of him and how he pushed me. I think he knows me better than I know myself.” Another lesson Fabiola’s father passed on to his daughter: live in the moment and take the time to enjoy life.
To that end, Fabiola tries to make it back to Guadalajara, Mexico—where she was born—at least once a year. “It’s beautiful there,” she said. “There’s so much culture and so many places to see.” She actually grew up just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the town of Tequila—the namesake for the quintessential margarita ingredient. “They have tequila tastings there,” she said. “You can go sample as many different kinds as you want.” (How’s that for a spring vacation idea?)
But while she loves spending time south of the border, Fabiola will always think of Phoenix as home. And she hopes to call WebPT home for a long time, too. “I want to stay in this market,” she said. “It’s such a good industry, and there’s still so much work to be done. PTs have something very unique, very different, very special. They’re so humble and appreciative, and they make such a big impact.”
Fave Five with Fabiola
- Favorite food: Burritos
- Favorite movie: Step Brothers
- Favorite sports team: Arizona Cardinals
- Favorite band: Maná
- Favorite place: Home