ORI’s Lunch & Learn was on a popular topic around the office: planning a medical billing work-flow strategy to meet and exceed ORI guarantees. The goal of the discussion was not about how to work harder and faster, rather how to work smarter and more efficiently.  Recognizing when your internal work-flow is corrupting your productivity and quality is the first step for getting it on track. ORI’s continual work-flow innovation and proprietary technology is what differentiates Outsource Receivables from other medical billing outsourcing companies.

While learning technology was at the core of the discussion, getting the concept framed around planning was the intent. Planning, technology and a strong work-flow cannot be separated. One of the benefits of planning are reduced stress and peace of mind. There is nothing worse than having a lot of work to do but not really knowing what you have to get done. Having goals and prioritizing a plan of action helps you know if your goals are obtainable. If you can recognize early that you need help you can ask for it, or know that extra time is needed and communicate to those you report to. Having a plan also enables you to evaluate your progress and  know if you are staying on schedule.

Perhaps the easiest way to improve your planning strategy is to identify the work-flow champions in your office. In most cases, there is not one person who has it all. Every person has an areas they excel in. These can be identified by reviewing the habits of high performers. For example, if someone is always prepared to support their point of view with data at the staff meetings, ask them how they do it. Most people will be glad to share their strategy in the areas they thrive.

Once you have identified an area of your work you would like to improve its time to develop a plan. Begin with build a goal. Using SMART goals will increase your chances of being successful.

Specific – A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Ask yourself who, what, where, when, why and how. Who are the staff that are assigned to this particular area of work-flow, what are the skills and tools they need? Which specific types of accounts does this dynamic apply to? Why is this denial occurring and is it with a specific group of payers? How can the denial be tracked, reported on and when will you know if the change has created improvement.

Measurable – Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as how much, how many and how will I know when it is accomplished? Medical billing outsourcing companies may say they can improve your billing, but based on what benchmarks and metrics?

Attainable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.

Realistic– To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.

Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency.

Once you have your SMART goal, identify the daily, weekly, monthly and annual steps to implement the change, monitor and measure your progress, and achieve your goal. When your goal is SMART you have a better chance of making it attainable.

There are many benefits of planning out your work-flow. For example, the ability to be responsive to the needs of patients and customers may increase. There are personal benefits too like having the satisfaction of getting your work done on time and budgeting your day to meet client needs. You can also address issues before its too late and keep valuable staff time focused on optimal production.

Work-flow and setting and achieving production goals is what drives innovation and quality at ORI. ORI’s proprietary work-flow is one thing that differentiates ORI from other medical billing outsourcing companies.

Joe Kubisiak, ORI Director of Operations

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