Published - March 2013

FROM THE ROAD
By Dave Jakielo

Ten Questions That Will Shape Your Future

In today's world, you must be cognizant of and constantly monitor the multitude of changes that are looming on the horizon in order to effectively develop and revise your strategic plan. Just following your day-to-day routine without preparing for the future is a fatal mistake.

Today, tracking and learning about issues of relevance to you, your clients and your firm is easy and free. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your established queries. It makes sense to track your clients, prospects, specialty news, etc. You can learn more about what Google alerts are and how to utilize them for your benefit at www.google.com/alerts.

So, what are some of the questions you need to be contemplating and reflecting upon in order to continue on the road to success?

  1. The growing complexity doctors are facing trying to handle their billing in house should mean additional opportunities for billing companies as they consider outsourcing. Do you know who the practices are that are still billing for themselves and do they know who you are and how to find you?

  2. How will you prepare your company and your clients for ICD-10? Clue: your answer can't be, “I don't do coding.” You'll need to address coding needs internally as well as externally.

  3. Have you protected your company, via language in your current contract, so that your current software vendor is prohibited from offering billing services directly to your clients? Yes, this is already happening in various parts of the country. Software vendors are offering lower rates that may peak the interest of your current clients and cause them to switch vendors.

  4. Does everyone in your company have a “Continuous Improvement” mentality? Management fees are dropping and your costs need to be dropping, too. Consider implementing a cost sharing program with your employees if they come up with a great idea. Pay them a one-time bonus or give them a percentage of the savings.

  5. Is your prospect base declining due to practice mergers, acquisitions and physicians deciding to become employees? How will you locate new opportunities to ensure you are not shrinking?

  6. Are you dedicating at least 20 to 40 percent of your time to sales and marketing efforts? This should be an ongoing effort because if you wait until you need to grow before you dedicate time to S&M, you'll find it will take many months to gain any traction. Additionally, you will need to budget for marketing efforts.

  7. Do you know the “C” level employees, CEO, COO, CIO, etc. at all the hospitals in the areas you want to service? This is vital because they will be the customers of billing companies starting today and into the future.

  8. As patient deductibles continue to rise, can your expertise include collecting from patients in addition to billing third parties efficiently and effectively?

  9. Will the establishment and implementation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO's) lead to less Part B billing opportunities? Regardless of what the billing/payment arrangements may be, there will always be reporting requirements. You may have to modify how you charge for these services.

  10. Are the hospitals in your area financially solvent? Poorly run hospitals will seek out merger partners that will enable them to survive or they may end up just closing their doors. If your current clients work at these facilities they may need to find alternative places to practice and maybe you won't go with them.

In conclusion, you will need to allocate time for reading, researching and reflecting on the relevant issues that will be facing the medical billing industry today, tomorrow and into the future. The above ten statements only scratch the surface of our complex industry. It's more important now than ever to work ON your business not just IN your business.

This can be the best of times, but if you do not continually modify your strategies it could be the worst of times. The good news is that the choice is 100 percent yours.

Dave Jakielo, CHBME, is an International Speaker, Consultant, Executive Coach, and Author, and is President of Seminars & Consulting. Dave has been helping Companies grow and improve their profitability for over four decades. Sign up for his FREE weekly Success Tips at www.Davespeaks.com. Dave can be reached via email Dave@Davespeaks.com; phone 412-921-0976.


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