To successfully perform medical invoicing or medical billing there has to be a focus on the task.
But what is the required outcome of such a task?
The total focus must be applied to this at the expense of other items. Making sure the private consultant surgeon is paid is the task. The complete focus must be on that.
The problem arises when the total focus is not possible.
For example, the telephone rings whilst you are raising invoices for 12 consultations and 4 surgical episodes.
MHM once had a client who one morning called 8 times within 35 minutes. He then complained his medical billing wasn’t being done speedily enough. It didn’t take long to work out that the 8 phone calls themselves were the distraction from raising his invoices.
It doesn’t really matter what the distraction is.
With modern technology advancing over the years, the likelihood of distractions has, however, increased ten-fold. For example, I may be in the middle of a task and my mobile pings to say an email has arrived. It may also ping because a text has arrived. The opportunity for distraction is enormous.
Yet these distractions can remove focus. They can stop the processing of an invoice correctly. The disruption can stop resolution of an issue that is preventing an invoice getting paid. Such an interruption can even stop an invoice being raised completely.
Modern technology enables MHM to communicate with its clients speedily. It enables clients to provide data to MHM equally efficiently. It also enables MHM to raise invoices electronically and deliver them at the push of a button. But it can also be a hindrance if MHM were to let it distract from focusing on the job. Thus it is worth repeating that the planned outcome is to get paid. That is what MHM is there for.
If the technology stops that, then remove the technology for a while.
This may sound revolutionary but in the real world, ignoring technology when it prevents achievement of the planned outcome is not as silly as it sounds.
For example: when I’m raising medical invoices for a client I switch my email off. Thus there are no distractions caused by emails. Before anyone raises the question of an email being important, may I suggest that in reality whilst emails may indeed be important seldom are they time critical?
They are normal requests for data, asking a question or the arrival of a remittance from an insurance company. All three are important but they are not, despite what people may claim, time critical.
My favourite example of this is the person who was tasked with locating new premises for MHM and emailed me one morning last year. When I didn’t immediately respond he called after 15 minutes to confirm I had received his email.
This despite the instruction to email details to me and being advised I would respond later that week. As he couldn’t even follow that instruction, he immediately lost the opportunity of finding new offices for MHM!
The world will not end and a private medical practice won’t immediately collapse if an email, a phone call or even a text are not immediately responded to.
That is not to say a patient inquiry should not be immediately answered. In the case of a patient calling then they should. Have someone designated to answer the phone. It looks awful if a patient calls and the phone isn’t answered.
But don’t have the same person responsible for medical billing AT THE SAME TIME. If you do the phone calls and/emails will provide the distraction causing the outcome to be missed.
Medical billing is not the easiest thing to do in the world. It requires concentration and an attention to detail. If the outcome is expected to be prompt and complete payment of an invoice for medical services, then focus should be directed to just that.
You know what happens if I switch my email off during the morning or I have the text alert set to silent? Nothing.
Except I raise numerous invoices for clients, resolve issues with insurance companies and make sure MHM clients are paid.