This industry is such a balancing act in many respects. When we are first starting our businesses we can’t find enough providers who hire us. As we grow, we find we have more work than we can get done and we need to hire and train someone. Once you start hiring and training people it can be difficult to know when you need to hire the next person. Is there enough work to justify another person? Is there enough income to cover the additional costs of hiring another person? Who will train the next person and how will that affect their work load? We find we are often questioning if we are ready to hire another person. Is this just a busy time frame due to a few projects or do we need another full time person?
Last month we tried something new. We hired a person to fill a position we had never hired for previously. We found that as we grew we found new needs. We bill for over 50 offices. We assign certain accounts to each worker. We also cross train all accounts so if someone is out or they leave someone else can take over that account. Then we also have one person who continuously works aging reports so each provider’s aging is completed every 4 – 6 weeks.
Over the years as we added accounts and insurance carriers offered ERAs or electronic remittance advice we found that it was taking a lot of time just to download all these ERAs and take care of the denials on the reports. We tried having one person do the reports on Monday and Wednesday and another on Tuesday and Thursday and a third person on Friday. This worked, but it entailed problems too. We found we had to keep rearranging who could do which accounts because so much time was being spent on the ERA downloads.
Last month we had someone approach us asking if we were hiring. We were not looking for someone, but thought what if this person could learn just the ERA downloads. She wanted to work only part time as she has a special needs child. The downloads took a little less than 4 hours most days. It was a difficult job for her to learn, but now 4 weeks later it is working great. It has freed up three other workers to spend more time on their own accounts and take on a little more work. We filled a position that we were not aware was a need. Keep your eyes open to such possibilities. Sometimes we are so used to doing things one way we are unable to see a better way.