Like most professionals in my lifetime I have participated in or led many small-scale and a few large-scale projects. Why does every organization have “project teams” or strategic projects going on? The answer is simple, for an organization strategic growth and continuous improvement is what keeps an organization healthy. Technology ages by the day, your competitor down the street ads a new line of service that adds value to their customers, reviewing processes to determine vulnerabilities within your company or those of your clients.

FinanSynergy has been engaged with a client to evaluate effectiveness and value of their third party medical billing service.  After months of meetings, analysis, conversation, and review, it was determined to engage a new billing service for the client. In healthcare, this is not a small project. This was a ten-physician practice with constant cash flow needs. Interruption in cash flow was not an option. Planning for the switch-over started in January and went live on May first of this year. Weekly meetings starting in January and continuing on for the next couple months has made the start of this project a “win.”

Donuts were brought in by my clients to make the patients more “patient” during the transition time. Staff were treated to lunch and a celebration after work on evening. Management within my client’s office has their ears to the ground listening for potential on-going issues. Two leadership teams with the new third party billing company, our firm, and my client meet weekly to discuss open items and concerns. That makes the current situation smoother, but how did we get there?

Introductory meetings between the new third party company, my firm and my client were able to set expectations of each other up front. Mutual accountability while dealing with a major project is critical. Communication with all parties with a major role is crucial to success. Health care legislation has numerous requirements around transmission and receipt of electronic health records and claims. Agreements needed to be revised between my client, insurance and government payers, the new third party billing company and software vendors in order for information to flow properly on the switch-over day.

Checklists included software, hardware, user requests, contracts, staff training, and many other details. Each person in the weekly meetings had a critical role. Each person needed to hear the same message at those meetings and stay on the same target to go live. Although there was a lot of skepticism at the start of the project about the implementation date being realistic – we kept our focus and worked towards that date. We kept our meetings on topic each week – not necessarily with a set agenda, but with updates on current status of steps and any new issues that may have been revealed.

I am proud to say – the current weekly meetings are addressing extremely specific items that are not systemic issues, but smaller scale problems that have been identified and isolated. Measuring success of the project has started and will continue as we gather financial and statistical data and comparing to previous data. Change is stressful for all parties involved. I am proud to be on a team who value accuracy/timeliness, excellence (we were going to do it right or not at all), integrity – no short cuts taken or ethical dilemmas, and finally empathy to all affected stakeholders – from the staff at the clinic, to those who lost their jobs at the former billing company, to the leadership team themselves. I am proud to be the owner of FinanSynergy®. Contact Katie Fergus, to see how FinanSynergy can help your business with your needs. Katie@FinanSynergy.com or 515.635.5531.