4 Charlesview Road, Suite 4, Hopedale, MA 01747
(508) 422-0231 Consulting Services
(508) 422-0233 Account Matters
It's Time to Up the Ante
Keep Your Employees at the Top of Their Game
Where’s my money? Why didn’t we get paid on that? And so on…. Sound familiar?
Everyday practice owners face issues of inaccuracies and inefficiencies: data entry errors, dealing with things that have “fallen through the cracks”, lack of follow-up, compliance and other equally important issues. They all have something in common; they all contribute to cash flow problems that affect the bottom line due to poor performance. With compliance regulations continually stipulating new requirements, insurance companies implementing new policies and procedures and patient responsibilities increasing, it is more important than ever to hold your staff to the highest of standards.
As a business management consultant and process specialist I see owners paying employees to do the same work twice and sometimes three or four times before they get it right. The amounts they pay are considerable and eat deep into the company profits. With new federal and state regulations always nipping at your heels, owners are struggling with how to best deal with these challenges and find themselves relying heavily on their staff to help them.
Many owners are looking at new software that will help them meet compliance guidelines and are hoping that their billing practices will improve and payments will be maximized also. Not so fast. While most software or web based systems boast that by choosing them you can’t go wrong the truth is you can. There is no stand alone or integrated system out there that can guarantee improved productivity and patient outcomes or 99% clean claims and faster payments by using their product.
Let me put it this way – “what goes in good will come out good” – “what goes in bad will come out bad”. The information entered into your system is only good if it is accurate and many times we don’t know how inaccurate it is until we start getting denials, or worse, letters informing us that an audit is imminent. In the meantime the cycle is continuing and you’re still paying your employees over and over again to do a job that should have and could have been done right the first time.
What is your goal? To get paid correctly for the services provided the first time they are submitted. Every error is cause for concern because it will result in a delayed payment and when you do get paid remember you have to take a bit more of the profit out to pay your employee to do the same job twice or more.
There are basic responsibilities for your whole team – regardless of the position they hold. The coordination of everyone including management, therapists, front desk patient care coordinators and billers must work together as a seamless team to bring your business to a new level.
Working together as a team means forgetting the “me” factor and implementing the “we” factor. The vision must embrace a unified culture that strives for cooperation, accurateness and getting it right the first time. The result is an exceedingly effective team whose focus is on providing the utmost level of customer service and care to your patients.
If you look at what the future holds, you inherently know that if you don’t get your house in order you will not be able to keep up with your principal expense – payroll. It is time to streamline operations without compromising your commitment to your patients. If our billing company, “Account Matters” did not live up to our clients expectations, we would not have that client. So we have to make sure our staff is knowledgeable, well trained and highly efficient. Those are our expectations because they are our client’s expectations.
How do you as practice owners change your culture, motivate staff and raise the bar to new levels? You can begin by implementing new orientation strategies for all new hires. For current staff you can start changing the culture by working with them to better understand their jobs and the standards and expectations they will be held to. The result will enhance their overall performance.
Employees need to know how their job impacts all other jobs within the organization so they can see that a seamless operation benefits the whole company. You are looking for their assistance in building an orientation program for new and newly promoted staff that includes job descriptions, standards of performance, performance reviews and a well developed training program.
An orientation program should include goals and objectives associated with the position and how those things relate to the standards you set for each position. Opening up lines of communication and holding staff accountable for their actions is critical to your success. If you enable poor performance you will continue to experience poor performance and your cycle will revert back to those questions: Where’s my money? Why didn’t we get paid on that? and so on….
Diane McCutcheon, President
DM Business Management Consulting Services, Inc.
Account Matters – Billing & Collection Services
4 Charlesview Road, Suite 4
Hopedale, MA 01747
P: 508-422-0231 F: 508-422-0234