I don’t know what else to call it really, but I believe every company has a soul. And that soul is as vital to a company’s success as any financial or operational metric.
I hope that no matter who you are or where you are, that you have meaningful and active understanding of what MedData’s soul is. I know that our team members who work in our far-flung offices may at times feel like they’re on an island – separated by space and time, connected through occasional intranet posts, emails, or profile pictures.
I also know that people who work in our larger service centers like Utah, Texas, Ohio, and Michigan also can feel isolated even as they are surrounded by hundreds of their co-workers. I don’t know a lot of you, but I’ve been thinking about you and this subject for some time – whether you’ve been here for a matter of days, months, or years.
First, I want to present a “unifying theory of MedData.” MedData does a lot – and I mean a LOT. And we do it really, really well. Here’s a short, non-inclusive list of what we do:
- code claims
- bill those claims and a lot of other claims that we don’t code
- help patients qualify for Medicaid and disability programs
- help patients qualify for charity programs
- enroll providers (physicians and hospitals) with every payer you can imagine
- appeal erroneous denials from insurance payers
- work all kinds of accident claims and class action claims
- consult to help operating rooms at hospitals run more efficiently
- connect patients with doctors, and doctors to other doctors through groundbreaking technology
We do this all for tens of thousands of physicians, and hundreds of hospitals and hospital systems from Alaska to Florida, from Maine to Hawaii. And we work tirelessly to get it right. If we do get it wrong, then we learn, we make corrections, and we move forward.
So what connects us all? How can so many people working in so many areas all over the country with so much specialized expertise have anything in common? The answer is simple – the patient. The patient and their financial care is the heart of who we are. They are the key to our soul.
It’s a rare thing to be a part of a company that so directly influences the lives of Americans everywhere – real people with real challenges. We deal with people who may be going through the most traumatic or euphoric moments of their lives; life-threatening injuries or a life-altering procedure. Or it could be end-of-life care, or welcoming the first grandbaby into the family.
The serious nature and gravity of our work can be felt in every account we touch. But at times, the repetitive nature of pounding account numbers into a 10 key might numb us to the noble work we’re engaged in. Don’t let it!
MedData is singularly focused on our clients’ patients to ensure the satisfaction they enjoy during care isn’t compromised by robotic, machine-driven processes after care. We are all patients, and we absolutely do care about how each individual is treated throughout the billing process.
At an HFMA conference a few years ago Steve Bateman, then CFO for St. Mark’s Hospital, said something to the effect of, “As silly as it sounds, I look at my job as a calling.” That struck a chord with me, because obviously, no one had “called” him to do it, he was hired to do it. He was an employee and it was “just a job.” But he took the opportunity and actively chose to look at it as more than a job, and in the choosing is the doing.
And so, I’ve come to believe that as silly as it may sound, if you choose to look at your coding, or your enrolling, or your billing, or your appealing, or your lien filing, or your consulting as a calling – as a genuine opportunity to help those in need and effect real change in this world for complete strangers who will likely never know your name – I promise you will find more joy and more fulfillment in your work. You will find more camaraderie with your co-workers – wherever they may be and however far you may be from them.
It will be life-changing – and not because your life suddenly changes, although the course of it certainly will, but because your perception does. And like so many other things in life, the consistent and tireless commitment to doing things the right way end up making the biggest, longest lasting difference. Choose your analogy: Edmund Hillary climbed Everest one step at a time; the Panama Canal was painstakingly dug out one steam shovel scoop at a time.
A friend of mine says, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent,” and what a wonderful opportunity we have to permanently alter the course of our lives and all those we touch. Literally hundreds of thousands of lives are changed for the better (including our own) every year because we as a team choose to be better. Think of that.
So that’s my challenge for all of us. Take the extra step. Make a special effort. Don’t let the LED screens we stare at lull us into the complacency of thinking we’re somehow disconnected. That connection is a choice, an hourly and daily choice. Let’s connect with each other, our clients, and the patients we serve to doing something better. Our very soul is at stake. (Cue the dramatic chipmunk meme.)