You know how your parents taught you to “Be kind to others and they will be kind to you”? Do you still use this philosophy in your daily living? It was a good lesson to learn, and I believe that if you carry it into your working life, you will really cultivate meaningful relationships that can carry on for years.
One such relationship is with your billing department. Whether it is in-house billing or outsourced billing, it is imperative that you build a strong, trustworthy relationship with those who manage your money. If you are looking down your nose at your billing department, you are looking at it as an untrustworthy vendor. If you change your thinking and your view of this area in your practice, you might be surprised at the results.
Think about your billing department as a business partner, because that is what it is in your big picture operations. If you laughed, scoffed, snorted, or otherwise said, “Not a chance,” then you need to move past that billing company, or update your staff in the department. Having to trust other people with making decisions about your money should not cause you to lose sleep or feel stress.
The billing department should follow very specific guidelines, and it should be monitored weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. A business partner is someone that you have very open communication with, and someone who understands that being monitored and allowing transparency is a good thing for everyone.
If you find that your billing staff is defensive, angry, unwilling, and unreliable, remember the phrase: “Be kind to others and they will be kind to you.” If your billing department staff members are always scrutinized, yelled at by angry patients, and not trusted by others, then they are going to take on those characteristics.
Approach your billing department differently. For instance, identify all of the steps one single claim makes in your practice before it is sent over to your billing department. Ask the owner or manager of the billing department to do the same. Now sit down together and make sure that all of your steps are compatible. Be friendly about it, and approach it with the attitude, “I think we can help each other.” If you approach the billing department head with this type of attitude, you will get a much better response.
It’s all about respect in the end, anyway, isn’t it? Everyone has a role in the clock. In order for all of the pieces to work, they all have to work together. Forcing one area to over-perform because of lack in another area, just wears the clock out. Really think about the business relationship concept.
Remember Einstein’s saying: The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
How does your billing department perform for you?
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