In outpatient healthcare, revenue cycle management is only as good as the people working toward a strong revenue cycle. From the time you enter a claim to the minute it’s paid, a human chain springs into action. Collaboration is vital, and weak links can mean the difference between a paid claim, an aging account, and cash left on the table.
So, how do you build the best team for the job? A great deal of success lies in the characters – and characteristics – you hire for each position. One way to think about who’s right for your lineup is to evaluate their animal personality type. It’s a lighter survey than a full Meyers-Briggs profile, but still very effective.
According to the theory, people possess a mix of characteristics that align them with one or more animal personas. The range includes the goal-oriented leader Lion, the open-minded and social Otter, the loyal and calm Golden Retriever, and the organized, order-centric Beaver. Each position in the revenue cycle that touches a claim is well suited to one or more of these animal personalities. Choose wisely, and you can go a long way to creating a well balanced, high-performing team of revenue cycle experts.
The revenue cycle management animal kingdom consists of the following:
Call it Insurance Verification, Coding Assistance, or something else – this is the team member at the front of the line who receives the raw data of a claim and turns it into a packet that can be billed. This person needs to be detail-oriented, quality focused, and tuned to follow procedures and guidelines. They’re more doers than creative thinkers and must collaborate with others, as they may have to go back to clients to get more information. The Gatekeeper should be a beaver/otter hybrid: industrious and logical, but also able to work well with others toward a common goal.
As the person who takes the Gatekeeper’s data and turns it into the codes that get bills paid, the Coder needs to be certified, credentialed, and utterly detail obsessed. This takes a special kind of person – one with the ability to maintain focus and translate data into what amounts to a foreign language. The Coder is 100% beaver: accurate, precise, and analytical to a fault.
The Charge Poster
Also known as the Biller, this person’s purpose is to enter all charges into the system and bill, bill, bill. While this job is mostly about all-day data entry, it does require some critical thinking. Data doesn’t always come over in perfect order. As such, the Change Poster can really be any personality, but a golden retriever could be a great fit. Diligent and keen on routine, this personality type has the can-do attitude and doggedness to get the job done.
The Payment Poster
When cash comes back after billing, the Payment Poster completes what for a clean claim is the end of the process. It’s another data-entry position, and another job that benefits from a golden retriever’s energetic optimism and tireless acceptance of routine.
Because not every claim is accepted on the first try, all revenue management teams need a Collector – someone with their eye on claims that are slow to pay or have been denied or rejected. This position is best filled by a problem-solver, one with a mostly lion personality and otter tendencies: take-charge, competitive, and able to be aggressive when necessary but collaborative when confrontation isn’t the answer.
Healthcare revenue cycle management is a team effort. It requires multiple people with different personality types executing separate tasks and working toward a common goal. Alone, they’re just individuals figuring out their part of the puzzle. But choose the right "animals" for your office – the right personalities to work together – and you’ll create a diligent, aggressive, detail-oriented, and collaborative menagerie suited for success.