Invest in fundamentals and growth to move forward
Scarcity mindset is toxic to you and companies. It is a result of something lacking in your life that causes you to do things for short term relief rather than taking actions that provide long term benefit.
I had several exchanges with colleagues recently and scarcity mindset came up in every exchange whether the topic was foreign investment or potential business partners taking information for their own gain. When people feel their job or survival is threatened they tend to protect their turf with short sited decisions.
It’s hard to make any meaningful progress in business when people are protecting their turf because it limits their ability to think creatively and resourcefully. People need a certain level of support to shift their mindset to growth. It’s why leading edge companies provide employees with continual learning opportunities and benefits that support health and wellbeing.
Processes will be automated and jobs will be eliminated. As leaders we need to be thinking ahead, making investments in people and supporting their transition in the workforce. There is always something better when people can imagine their role in a brighter future.
Reframing mistakes, screw ups and failure all have a seemingly negative impact but they are not all the same and shouldn’t be treated the same way.
Screw Ups are just simple mistakes that happen even though you normally get whatever it is right. Don’t beat yourself up over a screw up. Just make amends and move on.
Failure is a necessary part of growth. If you try something new and it doesn’t work as expected, don’t get caught up in negative self talk. Grow from the experience and achieve something even better.
Representation matters. You might not agree with what was done in the past but when you see opportunity, you can change the future.
A few years ago, colleagues questioned my decision to work with a certain client. Admittedly, that client operated with business practices that were definitely questionable in terms of ethics, but that were not illegal. I had even struggled with the decision at the time because the practices didn’t fit with my own moral code of conduct and later wondered if I made a mistake.
However, watching the interview with Bozoma Saint John, Chief Brand Officer for Uber her words confirmed for me that I made the right decision. Accepting the client didn’t mean that I condoned their past business practices. Rather I saw the opportunity at the time to move the client forward in a way that created a win for everyone.
Some health plans have been developing narrow networks that are economically credentialing some providers out of their networks for past behaviors. Unfortunately, no one really wins with that strategy because patients value choice and penalizing providers usually forces more consolidation which drives up the cost of healthcare.
No one can change the past. We have to look for the opportunities to correct past wrongs and move forward in a way that serves everyone’s best interests.
You don’t have to cheat to win. Healthcare is a tough business but investments in the fundamentals pay off over time and ready your organization for the future.
1. Market Assessment: Assess your value to the patient population you serve in terms of the 3 P’s of marketing: product [your service], place and price.
2. Invest in your People: Too often healthcare companies only provide required training to professionals. They forget that every single person within the organization affects the overall patient experience. Leading edge companies that routinely invest in their people perform 45% better than their competitors.
3. Automate all Routine Processing: Streamlining and automating processes increases accuracy, increases cash flow and enhances the experience for healthcare consumers [patients] by giving them more control. Training investments make it easier for people to transition up or out of the organization when the time comes.
4. Manage your Contracts: Use data from your market assessment to negotiate ‘fair value” rates with commercial payers and mange those contracts. 3–5% annual increases may not seem like much but when you compound it over time, it adds up.
Laying the foundation takes some upfront work and investment but the pay off is long term financial success.
More change ahead is likely as patients demand more transparency and become sophisticated healthcare consumers.
Reference pricing offers way to engage healthcare consumers that allows for more choice and full access to providers. What is it?
The allowed amount for a specific service is limited to a defined contribution or in other words, a flat amount for a specific service. If a more expensive provider is chosen, the employee/patient has to pay the difference. The employee receives the full benefit when treated by low cost providers.
A reference price gives employees/patients more control over the entire experience in terms of their providers [facility and physicians], setting, implants, drugs etc. which is what most people want. The challenge is the lack of pricing transparency.
The prices available to most patients now are estimates based on historical claims data. The data fails to reflect real time market changes resulting from consolidation, new contracts and new technology or services. The only way to get accurate prices is from the providers involved and the health plan contracts with those providers.
We have standard transaction sets for authorization and claims submission but for some reason we’re not using them to facilitate estimates. The question is why not? Current revenue cycle costs exceed $52 Billion annually and do little to serve the healthcare consumer.
Collection Risk is a real problem for healthcare providers especially when patients are underinsured. Who should pay for the collection risk?
Policy benefits are assigned to the provider when care is provided. Assignment of benefit was meant to protect the provider from patients who fail to remit insurance payments made for their care.
The problem now is that providers may or may not get paid even when they have been assigned the benefits. In many cases, the first dollars under many policies are now due from the patient not the commercial payer.
There are new solutions to help providers collect from patients but it’s adding more time and effort to the process. Many small retailers cringe at the thought of a credit card transaction fee which is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of collection in healthcare. Even with the new tools and increased effort, collection risk is increasing because patients don’t have the money to pay or just don’t pay.
Should insurers selling the policies and/or companies providing the policies be required to reinsure the underinsured? Technology being used to help people select policies can probably also predict the reinsurance need. So should premium dollars be set aside to cover the collection risk?
Gravity Problems: Watching “ObamaCare” twist in the political winds has not been easy especially for those directly impacted by the changes.
I have started reading a new book called Designing your Life. It breaks life down into 4 aspects: Work, Play, Love and Health and uses a metering like system to help you evaluate what areas are working and what areas need improvement. I like the simplicity of the framework.
One idea that has stuck with me is “gravity problems” and the fact that you can’t change gravity. You have to work with gravity or work around it to achieve whatever it is that you want. Gravity problems can be environmental, circumstance related or even political.
So tackle the problems that you can solve, change your tact on some and prepare for others that are likely in the future.
Innovation: Companies that want to innovate and perform better need to accept that failure is part of the process. The learnings are as valuable as the result if you allow people to harness the insights into doing or creating something better.
Not everyone is prepared or willing to take on the risk to chart a new path or create a new product. So people willing to take the risk should be rewarded not punished when they fail especially when they can explain and act on their learnings.
Innovation is about experiments. The very nature of experiment is about trial and error. The concept of innovation gets lost when people make huge bets that don’t pan out. Don’t make a huge bet until you know what works.
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About the Author: Shannon Smith is a healthcare strategist with over fifteen years of experience helping companies achieve greater success. She is also the founder and CEO of Hello Workout.
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