Whether you are a medical billing service, an employee in a doctor’s office, a provider or doctor, or some other worker in the medical billing field, it is so much better if you are proactive instead of reactive. We find that most offices operate in a reactive mode, including ours at one time. If you or your office is reactive, most of the day is spent putting out fires and dealing with what comes up. The day cannot be planned out and regular work usually falls behind. Something or things that needed to get done – didn’t. Basically your business or office is operating out of your control.
Not only are you operating out of control but your clients (if you are a billing service) are not as happy or satisfied as they should be. And if they are not happy there is a risk that they will stop using your service. If you are in a providers office your accounts receivable is probably not in control because the jobs required to keep them in control cannot be done because you are too busy putting out fires. You barely have time to get the billing done, let alone run and work aging reports (work being the operative word), file appeals, handle denials, and all the other things needed to keep the accounts receivable under control.
It is so much better to be handling the issues or jobs that if not handled will cause fires before they even get a chance to start to smolder. So how do you make the switch from fire fighter to fire prevention? It’s actually not as difficult of a switch as one might think. You must be determined that you are going to change things and then get the systems in place to prevent the fires. Instead of being reactive you need to learn to be proactive. Once you have switched your mindset, you need to get your actions to line up with your new mindset.
This is done by identifying what is causing the fires in your office. Is it providers calling because their receivables are down or because they are wondering why a certain claim or claims were not paid? This is a preventable fire. Think about it. If you were not so busy putting out fires the electronic reports and the follow up reports would be being worked regularly keeping the accounts receivable in check. Any unpaid claims would be resubmitted, appealed or acted upon in some appropriate way. This will eliminate many of the provider calls for these reasons. Some will still call, but you will have answers for them on the first call not even allowing a spark, let alone a fire. Everyone remains calm and the provider is reassured that you are in control and on top of their account. This method is so much better than “FIRE!”
Sometimes it is actually a person in your office that is causing the fires. An employee that just enjoys drama or cannot operate unless there is total chaos. It seems unreal, but it is actually quite common. Personally I hate drama and chaos and cannot understand how anyone would want to create them. Unfortunately I have seen it first hand so I know these people exist. If you have someone in your office like this most likely they will have to go in order for you to turn things around. It is very unlikely that you can get them to change.
What else is causing fires in your office? If you take a step back and determine how the fires are starting there is almost always a way that they could have been prevented. Take immediate action and you will see big changes very quickly. It will be well worth the effort it will take you to make the changes.