Wow how time flies! Hard to believe 2018 is over!
It has been yet another wild ride in the healthcare industry, but that is nothing new. Our industry has always ebbed and flowed, changed and changed back and evolved at a break neck pace. This past year was no exception and I am proud to say that our nimbleness, willingness to adapt, and ability to innovate has kept us growing and reaching new heights. Something I've noticed the past twelve to eighteen months is the main items that drive our industry's erratic behavior (shrinking reimbursement, consumer demands, employee stress, etc) are causing a severe lack of planning and thus knee jerk decision making; in turn, perpetuating changes in operational work flows, systems, people and philosophies. Without proper planning, you could be changing a good thing. This reminds me of a quote from the legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.
"Have a plan. Follow the plan, and you'll be surprised how successful you can be."
Obviously, having a well thought out plan is pertinent in being successful. However, it does not matter how well it was prepared if it is not followed. As of late, many in the healthcare industry abandon their plan or do not hold themselves accountable to follow a plan and inevitably go backwards. If you decide on how to solve a problem or handle a portion of your business and you take the time to implement a thorough plan of attack you must follow your plan. There could be industry changes or peaks and valleys that will require tweaking your plan; however, you still follow the fundamentals of your plan.
In our LEAN environment, we are continually tweaking our operations to better suit the industry needs, sign of the times, or take advantage of emerging technology. In 2018 our Early Out service added our "Go Green" functionality to allow patients to receive their billing electronically. Additionally, our software development team added a user friendly text bill delivery and payment option. In our Pre-Services division we implemented text notifications to prompt patients that information is needed prior to their visit and they will be receiving a telephone call from us soon. This tremendously spiked our "answer rate". These are just a few tweaks that we felt necessary to keep up with industry changes and consumer demands. However, we did not change our plan. We’re still the same.
In 2019 we plan to continue to tweak, improve and expand the services we provide. We are so excited to be working on things like simultaneous EOMB/Patient Statement delivery, a Cadillac class program for Zero Balance review and contract modeling and many more technological advances that allows us to bring innovation, people-development, and problem-solving to those we serve. Through it all, we will continue to follow the fundamentals of our plan by developing trust and loyalty and enhancing the lives of others.
We have been in business for over 24 years and there have certainly been peaks and valleys along the way, but along with that there has been tremendous excitement and perseverance. I can tell you with zero hesitation that I have never been more excited about an upcoming year. We have been blessed to assemble a top notch team that works as one unit towards our goal by following our plan. 2019, our 25th year, will be our greatest year yet and all because we continue to stick to the plan.
Happy New Year!