I expect that if one of your employees’ paychecks were delayed or underpaid, they would be resolute about getting the problem resolved right away. When inquiring about the problem, they probably would not be accepting of “it is in process” or “we did not get your time report” or how about “please leave a message and we will get back to you within 48 hours.” On the contrary, they would be more likely to drop everything and demand immediate action. This is understandable. They have worked hard and they are entitled to be paid every two weeks like clockwork. After all, they have bills to pay.
Here’s the thing: the hospital provides excellent patient care and like the hypothetical employee, the hospital is entitled to be paid correctly and on time. The hospital cannot deposit delays and promises any more than the employee can.
It is important here to recognize that the complexities associated with capturing hospital revenue and converting hospital revenue into cash are enormous compared to managing payroll – I get that. But, conceptually, the analogy I have offered is relevant to the kind of ownership thinking and culture that can make a big difference in Revenue Optimization performance.
If your team does not connect every Patient Account and Revenue Cycle related activity with the hospital’s paycheck and behave with the same tenacity as if it were their own, find out why. You might hear responses that lead to high impact educational opportunities and/or learn more about the culture of your organization and the individuals in it.
In 2007, my company, Nearterm Corporation embraced the importance of ownership mentality at every level in our organization. We introduced more advanced training programs, upgraded technology and reorganized. We formed an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that allowed employees to vest as shareholders – they could actually become owners. Our associates began to function like owners, not just employees. They understand that client service excellence drives not only the company paycheck but theirs as well: they connect the dots!
The result for us is marked by excellent service to our clients, greater attention to detail, enhanced teamwork, creative thinking and steady profitability since inception. But maybe one of the strongest indicators of our success is that our hospital clients have recognized the ability of our consultants to quickly assimilate their business challenges and approach them as their own. Our people own their paychecks, the company’s paychecks and treat client engagements as if they own that client’s success as well. It really is a mentality, a way of thinking that works universally.
Every organization is different but a strategy that promotes ownership thinking is, in my opinion, critical regardless of tactics that are driven by those differences.
Principal, Nearterm Corporation