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Medical Billing Companies: We Are Not a Commodity by DAVE JAKIELO
Have you ever wondered why sometimes it seems that the relationship between medical practices and their billing companies are not on a level playing field? I have and it leaves me confused as to why relationships deteriorate even when the billing company is producing excellent results.
The Robots are Coming, The Robots are Coming by DAVE JAKIELO
Our industry has never been on the cutting edge when it comes to adopting and implementing new technologies. Medical billing companies' mantra for decades was, "Because we have always done it that way."
Bye, Bye to Another Decade by DAVE JAKIELO
As we embark on another decade, it is a great time to step back, catch our breath, and take a hard look at our businesses. It may be a cliché to say that the older we get, the faster time seems to speed by -- when I was a child, a day seemed an eternity -- but now that I have matured
(such a nicer term than "getting old"), even an entire year seems to fly by so quickly.
The Importance of Growth by DAVE JAKIELO
For the first time ever, even Medical Billing companies who are experts at turning charges into cash and are providing excellent client service are losing clients due to various factors, many of which are beyond their control.
Data Is Not Enough; Clients Need Information by DAVE JAKIELO
There are still some dinosaurs in this wonderful world of Medical Billing (as an example, me!). My career has spanned over five decades, starting in Hospital Patient Accounting -- what it was called before the current term of Revenue Cycle Management. I think the title was changed to help bolster salaries.
Developing your Team Members by DAVE JAKIELO
I realize that it is getting a bit harder to maintain the same profit margins today, in a Medical Billing Company, than we enjoyed just a decade ago. And where you spend your discretionary income takes more thought.
It's About Profits Too by DAVE JAKIELO
I know there are various reasons why you may like the Medical Billing Industry. Some are on a mission to ensure providers can remain economically viable, others find swimming through the oceans of rules and regulations challenging and rewarding, and I’m sure many like providing a living for your employees
You Can't Do It All Yourself: An Essential Skill for Your Success by DAVE JAKIELO
Over the past decades, due to overly burdensome government regulations, we have witnessed firsthand how an agency can turn a process that was once simple and straightforward into something that is now extremely complex.
Best Practices from Around the Country by DAVE JAKIELO
What I like most about my vocation of helping billing companies improve their operations and grow their businesses is that I get to meet so many great people who work in this industry from all around the country.
What Type of "Active" are You? by DAVE JAKIELO
In today's medical billing arena, you will find two types of companies. Those that are growing and taking their business to the next level have embraced a "proactive" approach. Others that continue to shrink may decide to remain in a "reactive" mode.
Lead, Follow or Turn Out the Lights by DAVE JAKIELO
I was re-reading the booklet written in 1988 by Pritchett and Pound, Business as Unusual. Its premise is how to survive in an ever-changing environment similar to our current medical billing marketplace. It is hard to believe it was published over a quarter century ago but it couldn't be more relevant based on what we are facing today.
Ten Questions That Will Shape Your Future by DAVE JAKIELO
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.
The Medical Billing Industry is Changing. Are You? by DAVE JAKIELO
We have all heard the saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Well, that saying just does not hold water any more. The medical billing industry is changing more today than I have seen in my five decades in this business.
How to Market Your Medical Billing Services, Part 3 by DAVE JAKIELO
In the last issue of Billing, I shared with you 15 more sales and marketing strategies that will help grow your company. Here are the last of the 45 proven ideas.
How to Market Your Medical Billing Services, Part 2 by DAVE JAKIELO
Last month, I shared 15 sales and marketing strategies that will help you grow your company. Here are 15 more proven ideas. Why is marketing necessary? Because today's medical billing marketplace is more competitive than ever, and if you are not proactively marketing your services, you may find your clients slowly slipping away. For the first time in the billing industry, companies are losing clients even when they are doing a stellar job.
How to Market Your Medical Billing Services, Part 1 by DAVE JAKIELO
Today, the medical billing marketplace is more competitive than ever, and if you are not proactively marketing your services, you may find your clients slowly slipping away. For the first time in the billing industry, companies are losing clients even when they are doing a stellar job.
Medical Billing is a Numbers Game by DAVE JAKIELO
Have you noticed that the medical billing industry is facing a few CHALLENGES in today's marketplace? Trying to speculate what the billing environment will look like in a few years is anybody's guess.
Managing Multiple Generations by DAVE JAKIELO
For the first time in history there are four generations working together in the workplace and this leads to new challenges for today's managers. If you have been in management over 10 years the leadership style that helped you get to where you are today may no longer be effective.
Predications for 2012 and Beyond by DAVE JAKIELO
My business of speaking and consulting usually has me on an airplane at least every other week. The downside is the unpredictability of airline schedules; it seems that a flights posted departure time is just a suggestion not a commitment from the airlines.
It's the Best Time to be in the Medical Billing Industry if... by DAVE JAKIELO
In times of uncertainty you are always faced with two choices. The first is to be passive and reactive to what is happening around you or as they say, "Roll with the Punches," or you can be proactive and forward thinking which will allow you to shape your own destiny.
Is Exhibiting at Trade Shows Right for You? by DAVE JAKIELO
Even though it seems like Summer has just begun, Autumn isn’t far off and that means there will be a ton of conventions, association and trade show meetings taking place. I often get ask the question, “Should I be an exhibitor at a specific trade show?”
The New Challenge in the Workplace - Managing Multiple Generations by DAVE JAKIELO
For the first time in history we have four generations working together in today’s businesses. As a result, leaders must adjust their management style to fit the individual needs of employees from each generation.
How to Accomplish More Everyday by DAVE JAKIELO
Have you ever wished that there were more hours in the day? Do you find that you never seem to be caught up? Well join the crowd, frequently I hear people saying, "I run out of day before I run out of things to do."
Let's Review 2010 and Prepare for 2011
by DAVE JAKIELO
This has been a roller coaster year in the wild and wacky world of Healthcare. Let's examine the highlights and low points of 2010.
Your Leadership Abilities are Directly Tied to Your Success by DAVE JAKIELO
There are many variables that contribute to the success of a company but one of the most important is the leadership of the management team. People at the top of any organization must realize that management’s key responsibility is the accomplishment of the company’s goals.
Are you an Entrepreneur or an Intrapreneur? by DAVE JAKIELO
Before we delve into this month’s article, a few definitions are in order relating to your leadership style. Entrepreneurs work on their businesses while Intrapreneurs work in their businesses. In the past, you could run a successful company regardless of your style, but this won’t work in the future.
Create Effective Leadership - Investing in Your Most Important Asset by DAVE JAKIELO
My career spans over 40 years in the healthcare arena andnI feel that today is the most exciting time to be involved in the Medical Billing industry. There isn't a day that goes by without a news report or a discussion on talk radionabout the "Healthcare Crisis."
Strategies to Remain Positive In Today’s Healthcare Economy by DAVE JAKIELO
Welcome to a brand new year. It looks like it is stacking up to be very interesting— and possibly one of the most challenging for the medical billing industry. There is an overabundance of issues facing us in 2010 and beyond and we need to develop a strategy to ensure we continue on the pathway of success.
Key Elements to Monitor or Adjust in the Economic Climate Change by DAVE JAKIELO
Global warming isn’t the only climate change we’re living through. Many of us have never lived through an economic downturn of the magnitude that we are currently experiencing. We have seen our 401Ks drop so low that they are now going to be renamed 200.5Ks. The Blue Chip stocks of 2007 may become a penny-stock listing in 2010. Your neighborhood block party maybe minus a few families if you don’t hold it before foreclosure season kicks in.
What's in Store for Healthcare? by DAVE JAKIELO
Now that over half the year has past and we have a new administration in place, hardly a day goes by without a headline about healthcare reform in some newspaper, magazine, or blog. Although the media mentions healthcare daily, no concrete plans have surfaced. That means it’s anyone’s guess as to what's going on in the various committees that are searching for viable solutions.
If You're Not Moving Forward, You're Definitely Falling Behind by DAVE JAKIELO
One thing is apparent: healthcare is about to undergo some of the biggest changes we have seen in decades. The new administration in Washington is making healthcare one of its top priorities and it’s more than just lip service.
Spring Office Cleaning...Clearing out the Dead Wood by DAVE JAKIELO
First the Bad News: The economy is tanking and unemployment is rising. Now the Good News (for some): Unemployment is on the rise and that is good for our industry and your company. There is an abundance of extremely talented people looking for new jobs and or careers.
It May Not Be The Economy "You Just May Need To Sharpen Your Saw" by DAVE JAKIELO
Well, in case you haven't noticed, the economy has been in the news lately. If you have had enough nerve to open your recent 401K statement, I'll bet you've found your retirement target date has just been pushed back. I know, based on the past few quarters, I now plan to retire five years after I'm dead.
Where, Oh Where, Have My Clients Gone? You've Got That Lonesome Feeling by DAVE JAKIELO
The billing industry is more volatile today than I have seen in many years. Good companies that have been providing excellent service to long-time customers are losing some of those customers. And if a company hasn’t been growing and has not positioned itself so that no one customer makes up more than ten percent of the firms total revenue, a loss of a large customer can have a devastating impact.
24 Hours are Plenty...Tips for Accomplishing More Everyday by DAVE JAKIELO
You hear it all over corporate America: "Do More with Less." It’s the 21st century buzz term for downsizing and reducing costs. It’s also a recipe for stressing out the folks who are remaining and expected to absorb the additional work load.
It's a Small, Small World by DAVE JAKIELO
I have just returned from my fourth trip to India where I was conducting Leadership and Customer Service seminars for managers and associates in various companies. Even though I was half way around the world the issues facing businesses in India are similar to the challenges we face here at home in the United States.
It's Turkey Time Again by DAVE JAKIELO
Many of you may know that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is an opportunity to count our blessings with family and friends. It’s a day where first we stuff the turkey and then we stuff ourselves.
What All CEO's Must Know by DAVE JAKIELO
Years ago we all had a Boss. The Boss was in charge because he or she had a title and we automatically acknowledged that authority because of the position. We may not have respected our bosses, but we feared them because they held our fates in their hands.
Effective Planning: Four Steps To Success by DAVE JAKIELO
Do you ever feel like your life or your career is spiraling out of control? Are you busier than ever but falling further and further behind? You are not alone many find that given the pressures of today’s new instant communication environment stress levels are rising.
Don't Try This At Home: Why Doctors Should Outsource Their Billing by DAVE JAKIELO
The practice of medicine is comprised of many different specialties. Doctors train for over a decade to obtain the skills necessary to successfully practice medicine in one particular area. Plus they must continually stay abreast of the technological advances and ever-changing protocols in their chosen specialty to ensure they are providing the best possible patient care.
Time Flies When You Are Having Fun by DAVE JAKIELO
As we embark on another year it is a great time to step back, catch our breath, and take a hard look at our businesses. It may be a cliché to say that the older we get the faster time seems to speed by—but when I was a child, a day stretched to eternity. Now that I have matured (such a nicer term than “getting old!” ), even an entire year seems to fly by quickly.
Head-of-The-Pack Mentality: The More You Know The More You Grow by DAVE JAKIELO
It's hard to believe another year is almost over. As we take a moment to reflect back, I wonder how many of us have made a dent in our resolutions. Remember those high hopes last January of what we intended to achieve in the months of 2006? I’m assuming that we didn’t completely miss our targets.
Honey, I Shrunk he Company! by DAVE JAKIELO
This year I have visited or heard from numerous companies who have had the unfortunate experience of receiving the dreaded "cancellation" letter from a long time loyal and very profitable customer.
Profitability Leaks: Three Suggestions for Putting in the Plug by DAVE JAKIELO
As the late Senator Everett Dirksen once said, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money." Change the word billion to a hundred and the premise applies to our business and personal lives.
Q: What Are Your Most Valuable Assets? A: Your Team Members by DAVE JAKIELO
In past articles I have talked about the importance of customer satisfaction-after all, our customers are an important piece of the success puzzle. However, even more important than happy customers are happy and competent employees. We have all heard the mantra, "The customer is always right." But we need to keep in mind that there are no happy customers without the right (and happy) employees.
Leadership: One of The Most Important Attributes of Success by DAVE JAKIELO
Upon meeting a manager, one of my favorite questions to ask is, "What is the greatest challenge facing you on a daily basis?" By far the most popular response I receive is, "trying to keep my employees motivated."
It's Resolution Time Again by DAVE JAKIELO
Here we are on the threshold of a brand new year and it's time once again for our annual ritual of crafting our New Year resolutions. How about if we try something different; let's decide on some resolutions we may actually have a shot at keeping beyond January 2nd!
Planning For Your Future - Take Charge and Determine Your Destiny by DAVE JAKIELO
In life I have found that there are three types of people in the world:
Have You Counted Your Blessings Today? by DAVE JAKIELO
It is beyond my ability to comprehend what the thousands and thousands of people of the Gulf Coast region are facing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I guess I shouldn't complain about having to cut the grass this weekend.
Who Did You Mentor Today? by DAVE JAKIELO
"Do More with Less." That's the mantra of many businesses today. We have seen leadership philosophy shift over the past few decades from the popular Theory X or Theory Y to Theory BLM, which stands for Bottom-Line Mentality.
When You Hear The Door Slam:
Why Good Companies Lose Good Clients by DAVE JAKIELO
Most companies with any longevity have, at some time, experienced the loss of a long-time client whom they thought was pleased with their services. The companies come away from the experience scratching their heads wondering what went wrong. It's one thing to lose a client when we have stumbled and not provide them with quality service, but it hurts more when we know we are doing a good job, but the client leaves us anyway.
Tips to Organize Your Time by DAVE JAKIELO
You hear it all over corporate America: "Do More with Less." It's the 21st century mantra for downsizing and reducing costs. It's also a recipe for stress for the few who are left to do the doing.
The Challenge of Today's Workforce by DAVE JAKIELO
This past year I have had the opportunity to visit and speak with many business owners and managers. During the course of our discussions, I always ask the same question: "What is the biggest problem you're facing today?"
You're the Boss: Defining Success and Creating Profit by DAVE JAKIELO
Whether your company is a corporation, a partnership, an LLC, or a sole proprietorship, if you’re the owner, you are responsible for its success or lack thereof. When you're at the top, you can't point fingers. You're Number One. Remember, point a finger at someone else, and four fingers point back at you.
Three Steps to Success for Billing Companies in the 21st Century by DAVE JAKIELO
One of the greatest things about running your own company is that you have control. You determine what you do and how you do it. However, when "The Buck Stops Here" is the sign on your desk, you can be faced with one of your greatest challenges. The price we pay for this freedom of entrepreneurship is that the decisions we must make never end. I'm not referring to the easy stuff, like what brand of coffee do you order for the lunchroom or at what temperature you set the thermostat. I'm referring to the tough choices you need to make in order to stay in business.
Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo: Are You Hiring the Right People? by DAVE JAKIELO
Have you ever made a bad-hiring decision? Are you spending more and more time on employee issues? When you give a staff member direction, do they think it's only a suggestion?
Redefining What's Important by DAVE JAKIELO
It is hard to believe that another year is rushing toward us. The older I get, the faster time seems to whiz by me. I once heard someone explain why time creeps for a ten year old, yet has the thrust of a jet engine for a fifty year old like me. When we are ten, one year represents ten percent of our entire life, whereas at 50, one year is only two percent of our life.
Thoughts, Questions, and Ideas by DAVE JAKIELO
This past September I celebrated my 32nd anniversary of working in the healthcare field. I got my start as a cashier in a hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Little did I know that I would spend my entire working life (and my entire life working) in the wonderful world of healthcare reimbursement.
Plan Now or Pay Later by DAVE JAKIELO
During the month of June it is hard to drive through two consecutive intersections without seeing a sign posted on a pole announcing a graduation party. Graduation festivities are a great way to celebrate the accomplishments of the past, but graduates barely get time to rest on their laurels. No sooner do they remove their cap and gown than ten people are in their faces saying, "What are you going to do next?"
Beyond the Price Tag: Seven Steps to Selling Your Services by DAVE JAKIELO
I have said it many times: A company is either moving forward or moving backward, there is not such thing as standing still. I bring this up again because the best way to continue to move forward is to grow your business by offering new services or gaining new clients.
Relief from those Bad Hiring and Promotion Decisions by DAVE JAKIELO
Have you ever hired a person who didn't work out? Or maybe you've rewarded a good employee with a juicy promotion, only to discover that he or she turned out to be a terrible boss.
To Lead or Not to Lead by DAVE JAKIELO
One question that I hear over and over again is, "How can I be a more effective manager?" Before I can answer that question, we need to clarify something so we are all on the same page. You can manage projects or situations but you cannot manage people. People must be led, not managed. So let's rephrase the above question to, "How can I be a more effective leader?"
Q & A by DAVE JAKIELO
The HBMA Fall Conference in Washington D.C. this past September was a great success. It was good to see so many HBMA'ers enjoy each other's company as well as benefit from the excellent educational content. We had fun, as usual, at the annual auction, too.
A "Win-Win" Negotiation is a Big Win For Your Side by DAVE JAKIELO
You may have heard the term, "win-win" battered around in conversation. It's most often used in reference to the negotiation process. I don't just mean the "formal" process of negotiating a client contract but all types of negotiating.
It's All Marketing by DAVE JAKIELO
Recently I was asked to share some ideas on marketing. So I asked the requestor the following, "What do you mean by Marketing." They replied, "You know, how do I get more clients?"
Success Strategies For The 21st Century by DAVE JAKIELO
Welcome to January 2002. How many of you made a few New Year's resolutions? How many of you have already broken all of them?
Realities of 2001 and Trends for 2002 by DAVE JAKIELO
It is hard to believe that another year has gone by, it sure rings true that the older one gets the quicker time passes. This year is like no other known to us in the United States. The events of September forever changed the way we look at everything. The past, present and the future have been altered forever. However, time marches on in our industry as well as others and we must carry on.
Perception is Reality, People Just Don't Get It by DAVE JAKIELO
Today, as I was having a telephone conversation with an investment banker who monitors the billing industry, he called to ask me the question, "What has changed in the Billing Industry over the past few years?"
It Ain't Over 'til It's Over by DAVE JAKIELO
Yogi Berra had many famous quotes or as some considered misquotes throughout his Major League baseball career. A quote that rings true to me is the one I've include in this months sub title, "It ain't over 'till it's over."
Some Things I Think, Because It's Spring by DAVE JAKIELO
It's Spring again and time for renewal. We should look to renew the various aspects of our lives, not just from a business perspective, but on a personal note as well.
The Most Important "Listening" by DAVE JAKIELO
Wow, isn't it amazing how rapidly modes of communication are changing in our fast paced world. Many of us now have email, voice mail, pagers, and cellular phones, to name a few of the modern communication tools. However, even with all of these ingenious inventions we still find that miscommunication is rampant.
Thoughts for the New Year by DAVE JAKIELO
Happy New Year everyone. This is the time of year when I like to sit back reflected on the last few years, also I think it is a worthwhile exercise to put on our thinking caps and try to project what may occur in the next few years.
So You Say You Want To Grow by DAVE JAKIELO
The other day a business owner asked me if he was successful. He stated that his business was growing at a rate of 25% per year for the past five years. Before I could answer his question I had to ask a question. My question was, "What would you like your annual growth rate to be?"
How to Have a Successful Company by DAVE JAKIELO
Sam Walton the founder of the Wal-Mart empire once said, "You can take all my buildings, trucks and inventory, but leave my people and I'll have it all back in less than three years."
You Need Them More Than They Need You by DAVE JAKIELO
Now that we have all survived Y2K and realize that life will continue our attention should be focusing in on our firms operations. As we pause to look back on 1999's results you may discover a few of the following issues have effected you:
Why Billing Companies Need Collection Agencies by DAVE JAKIELO
I remember many years ago when I used to look at collection agencies as a necessary evil to be utilized only for serious deadbeats who kept running up bills at a particular medical practice. Another time that I involved an agency, was when a patient would tell us that we could, "stick the statement where the sun don't shine."
It's Spring Time to Clean by DAVE JAKIELO
Spring is finally here. It's been a wet, cool April here in Pittsburgh.
The trees, flowers and ducks have been happy. Another way to know its
spring is that my wife says it is time to clean out the garage.
Change is Inevitable - Except From A Vending Machine by DAVE JAKIELO
Change a word that that Webster defines as: to make different; to make a
shift from one to another. There are many more meanings but these are the
two I want to focus on for this month's article.
Back To The Future by DAVE JAKIELO
I received a surprising letter in the mail recently. Health America, a Coventry HealthPlan with a prominent subscriber base here in Western Pennsylvania notified us that they are abandoning capitation, as a form of payment, for Primary Care Physicians.
PSA Profile by Emily Schultheiss
Like the computer consulting businesses that work to solve the so-called Y2K problems, David Jakielo is also focused on helping businesses to be successful as they move into the 21st century. Unlike the computer consultants, however, Dave's interest is in preparing the people in his client organizations for the next millennium. His business motto is, "Success Strategies for the 21st Century."
Developing a Team or It's Time To Empower by DAVE JAKIELO
Happy New Year everyone I hope you had a great holiday season. I don't know if you had some time to sit back and reflect on 1998 and think about your game plan for 1999, I did. Part of my reflective moments includes pondering over the following question. If I can only do a limited number of things this year what should be first on my list?
Challenges, Challenges and More Challenges by DAVE JAKIELO
Some of you may know that I recently took on a project as Manager of a Medical Services Organization (MSO). This organization provides various billing and practice management services to 300 + physicians in various specialties.
How Do I Charge for my Services? Or Is Percentage Billing Doomed! by DAVE JAKIELO
I don't think a month goes by without Gwen Gampel, of Congressional Consultants, getting a panicked caller relaying that an intermediary somewhere in this great land of ours is refusing to grant a provider number. Because many billing service contracts contain verbiage stating that reimbursement for services is obtained by charging a percent of collections.
To Bill or Not To Bill by DAVE JAKIELO
This month I want to spend some time talking about MSO's, more commonly know as Medical Service Organizations.
More Strategies for the 21st Century by DAVE JAKIELO
WOW!!! What a great conference in Las Vegas. It was great to see so many friends again. Topics were great and the networking was fantastic. Thanks to Jackie Davis and the education committee. For those who couldn’t attend make sure you block out your calendar for September in New Orleans.
Communications: Skills to Inspire Confidence by DAVE JAKIELO
Wow, isn't it amazing how rapidly modes of communication are changing in our fast paced world. Many of us now have email, voice mail, pagers, cellular phones, to name a few of the modern communication tools. However, even with all of these ingenious inventions we still find miscommunication rampant.
Be The Best Leave Mediocrity to The Rest by DAVE JAKIELO
One of the great things about living in America is that we have free choice. You can decide to have one of the best companies in the country or you can be just like everyone else mediocre. It has been said that it’s easy to go the extra mile because the road is not crowded.
Your Most Valuable Asset by DAVE JAKIELO
One of the reasons I love being involved in health care today is because it is always changing. We are always in pursuit of a moving target. Just when we think we understand a particular area they change the rules.
Exceptional Client Service - "What Separates The Best From The Rest" by DAVE JAKIELO
If we were to make a list of our client’s wants and needs, we would find client services in fourth place right after -- 1) CASH, 2) CASH, 3) CASH. The interaction that your clients’ have with you and your staff is vitally important to the success of your firm. Any interaction with your client can portray a positive or negative image that translates into your firms’ competence. The professionalism or lack of it in your company has an enormous impact on what your clients’ think of you and your organization.