Optimize the skills of each employee by putting them in the right place for your company. “Pay attention to each employee’s personality,” says Ms. Rock. “Place the employee based on their personality so they can be successful.”
For example, if someone is introverted and quiet, placing them in the coding department would be best. On the other hand, if the person is more extroverted and likes talking to people, put them in the accounts receivable department. Of course, make sure these placements are within the company’s needs as well.
Each member of the team should be an expert in their subject matter and continue following the market throughout their careers. “My payment people read EOBs all day long and figure out cash flow,” says Ms. Rock. “My collectors spend all day working on collections. If you focus on one thing all day, you become really good at it. I think that is the foundation for a great billing company.”
In billing and coding, you can subdivide the experts down to really focus on their individual part of the entire process. “In medicine, you can subdivide the specialties down because some people are good at coding orthopedics while others are better with general surgery,” says Ms. Rock. “The more you divide down, the better you become.”
Specialization becomes especially important when considering today’s healthcare market. “Healthcare reimbursement is a highly complex area with significant regulatory considerations, so everything should be geared toward specialization,” says Mr. Samii. “Specialization is really key to success.”
People in the revenue cycle department must communicate with one another to bring everyone on the same page. “You have to have intercommunication within the department,” says Ms. Rock. “Utilize a central style to talk about events in each department so everyone knows when something is going on. This will strengthen the communication between different parts of the revenue cycle department.”
It’s important to have a strong leader overseeing the department who can make sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently. “You need to have supervisors and upper management in the departments to keep all of the wheels turning,” says Ms. Rock. “Those who are most experienced will be the best leaders.”
For example, a hospital CEO couldn’t easily transition into the ASC administrator role and vice versa. Leaders must have experience in the revenue cycle setting before taking on their role. “If you are going to manage billing and coding, you need the proper training and communication skills to provide that oversight,” says Ms. Rock. “When all of those things are accomplished, you will have a good foundation for growth.”
It’s important to properly report and track key operational metrics of your business. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” says Mr. Samii. “In our business, we track these metrics so we can tell whether there are people who are behind and find a solution for the problem. It’s critical for people to live by their metrics.”
Ref. Becker’s Healthcare
This post was first published July 10, 2012 and was updated July 29, 2020.