Author Topic: Growing Pains  (Read 488 times)

williamportor

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Growing Pains
« on: April 05, 2017, 01:57:25 AM »
Hello - After a rather depressing 2016 which saw 60% of my client base retire, or leave their practice, 2017 has been a just the opposite. I've added 5 new providers in just 3 months, for a total of 12 (5 full time) this is good news of course, but since I'm a one man show, I'm struggling to play catch up, and will soon need help. I work from home now, but I'll be looking to rent a small office, and add an employee at the end of this year (right now I'm building up cash reserves) So...

* Once I make the jump to office space, how do I go about finding a good employee?

* What part of the workload do I delegate, and what should I do myself?

* How should I evaluate my employees performance? 

* What type of agreement should I have to protect my business from employee lawsuits (It seems one can be sued for almost anything)

* Should I have a separate bank account for payroll, or would my business account be sufficient?

Any suggestions would be helpful.  :) 
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 02:15:46 AM by williamportor »

Michele

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Re: Growing Pains
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2017, 07:48:39 AM »
Hello - After a rather depressing 2016 which saw 60% of my client base retire, or leave their practice, 2017 has been a just the opposite. I've added 5 new providers in just 3 months, for a total of 12 (5 full time) this is good news of course, but since I'm a one man show, I'm struggling to play catch up, and will soon need help. I work from home now, but I'll be looking to rent a small office, and add an employee at the end of this year (right now I'm building up cash reserves) So...

CONGRATULATIONS!  So happy to hear that things have turned around!   ;D

* Once I make the jump to office space, how do I go about finding a good employee?
Finding a good employee is crucial.  One bad employee can really wreak havoc in your business.  However finding the right employee is not always easy.  You should make a list of questions for your interview.  The questions themselves are not always the important thing, but that you are getting the person talking in general.  Our interviews usually last close to an hour.  The decision you are making is huge so you need to spend some time with the person.  We watch a lot of things from what time they showed up to the interview, their appearance, their body language, etc.  We also listen closely to all answers for any clues as to the personality.  Another good thing to do is to ask them if they have any questions.  Good questions from an interviewee is a good sign.  We don't go by experience.  Experience is nice but work ethic and personality are a little more important in our eyes.  You can teach medical billing, but you can't teach work ethic and personality.  You also can't teach common sense which is important in this business. 


* What part of the workload do I delegate, and what should I do myself?

I would start with the more simple tasks such as data entry.  We start with entering patient demographics.  Depending on the person's experience, we may start with claim entry.  But we check everything they do prior to submitting any claims.  We also start with working aging reports because that gets them accustomed to the PMS and the whole process without giving them a job that could be "messed up".  Again we go over everything.  We don't usually have them enter anything into the PMS until we look at it with them.  We have them do claim status checks on the web, automated systems, or by phone calls, then we go over what to do with each answer.  It's a bit of extra work in the beginning but you must know what they are doing and if they are doing it right.


* How should I evaluate my employees performance? 

In the beginning we evaluate by how they are picking up what we are teaching.  Are they taking notes?  Do they ask good questions?  Are they open to learning (or do they already know everything!)?  You will get a feel for it as you are training.  As they go on, do they remember what they were taught?  Are they making less errors (while you are checking their work) as time goes on?  Are they starting to get faster?  Balancing speed & quality are key.


* What type of agreement should I have to protect my business from employee lawsuits (It seems one can be sued for almost anything)

In 23 years we have not had any issue with this.  Just do things right (fair) and you shouldn't either.


* Should I have a separate bank account for payroll, or would my business account be sufficient?

We pay our payroll from our business account.  We only have the one.

Any suggestions would be helpful.  :) 

So excited for you! 
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kristin

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Re: Growing Pains
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2017, 07:45:02 PM »
This is such great news! If anyone is deserving of this, it is you!

Michele said much of what I was going to say, so I will just add a few things:

1. Finding a good employee- I have hired a lot of people in my time, and with the exception of one or two, they have all been great, or beyond great. Almost every single one has been found via reference from someone who knows them and knew me, either personally or professionally. There were some rare occasions where I had to place an ad in the paper (back in the day), but now sites like Indeed, CareerBuilder and even Craigslist are where a lot of people find help.

I tend to like people who have none or very limited experience with billing, because you aren't wasting time breaking them of any bad habits/training they may have from another job. But they also have to be quick learners/multi-taskers/common sense type people, if they have no/limited experience.

Crazy as it may sound, there is a simple test you can give to a potential hire that may seem basic but a lot of people fail it, and it reflects their attention to detail, which is key in this business:
Write out fake first and last names of people on note cards, and ask the potential employee to alphabetize the note cards correctly by last name in a set amount of time.


2. How to evaluate performance- What I look for here is someone who wants to learn more, wants more responsibility, as opposed to someone who is willing to just do what you have assigned them to do, and once they have that down, are content to just keep doing that, and nothing more. I want to see a desire to learn more, and take on more tasks. And if I think they are ready, then I give them new responsibilities. The last two people I trained, who had zero billing experience, and had never worked with billing software before(but were very computer proficient in general) had the basics down of demos and claim entry within a week, maybe two. And both of them were asking what more they could learn/do after that. That is what I want to see.

3. Lawsuits-Like Michele, have never seen this be an issue. That said, you should have Worker's Comp insurance, should the employee injure themselves while working at your office. Also, there is what happens if you have to fire an employee, and they try to claim unemployment benefits, and how it affects your tax rate, if they are successful. Make sure you have a knowledgeable accountant and attorney at your ready, to advise you. 

4. Suggestion- Once you decide who to hire, have the employee sign forms which you can create or probably find on-line within your state laws, if applicable, concerning certain things. Such as internet and cell phone usage while at work. It never ceases to amaze me how employees think it is perfectly acceptable to have their cell phone on their person while working, and are returning text messages/calls during work hours. Uh, no! While on a break, sure. If there is an extenuating circumstance, sure. Otherwise, that phone should not be on their person. Same for jumping on the internet to check FB/Twitter.

Best of luck as you move forward in 2017!

williamportor

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Re: Growing Pains
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 11:18:13 AM »
Hello - After a rather depressing 2016 which saw 60% of my client base retire, or leave their practice, 2017 has been a just the opposite. I've added 5 new providers in just 3 months, for a total of 12 (5 full time) this is good news of course, but since I'm a one man show, I'm struggling to play catch up, and will soon need help. I work from home now, but I'll be looking to rent a small office, and add an employee at the end of this year (right now I'm building up cash reserves) So...

CONGRATULATIONS!  So happy to hear that things have turned around!   ;D

* Once I make the jump to office space, how do I go about finding a good employee?
Finding a good employee is crucial.  One bad employee can really wreak havoc in your business.  However finding the right employee is not always easy.  You should make a list of questions for your interview.  The questions themselves are not always the important thing, but that you are getting the person talking in general.  Our interviews usually last close to an hour.  The decision you are making is huge so you need to spend some time with the person.  We watch a lot of things from what time they showed up to the interview, their appearance, their body language, etc.  We also listen closely to all answers for any clues as to the personality.  Another good thing to do is to ask them if they have any questions.  Good questions from an interviewee is a good sign.  We don't go by experience.  Experience is nice but work ethic and personality are a little more important in our eyes.  You can teach medical billing, but you can't teach work ethic and personality.  You also can't teach common sense which is important in this business. 


* What part of the workload do I delegate, and what should I do myself?

I would start with the more simple tasks such as data entry.  We start with entering patient demographics.  Depending on the person's experience, we may start with claim entry.  But we check everything they do prior to submitting any claims.  We also start with working aging reports because that gets them accustomed to the PMS and the whole process without giving them a job that could be "messed up".  Again we go over everything.  We don't usually have them enter anything into the PMS until we look at it with them.  We have them do claim status checks on the web, automated systems, or by phone calls, then we go over what to do with each answer.  It's a bit of extra work in the beginning but you must know what they are doing and if they are doing it right.


* How should I evaluate my employees performance? 

In the beginning we evaluate by how they are picking up what we are teaching.  Are they taking notes?  Do they ask good questions?  Are they open to learning (or do they already know everything!)?  You will get a feel for it as you are training.  As they go on, do they remember what they were taught?  Are they making less errors (while you are checking their work) as time goes on?  Are they starting to get faster?  Balancing speed & quality are key.


* What type of agreement should I have to protect my business from employee lawsuits (It seems one can be sued for almost anything)

In 23 years we have not had any issue with this.  Just do things right (fair) and you shouldn't either.


* Should I have a separate bank account for payroll, or would my business account be sufficient?

We pay our payroll from our business account.  We only have the one.

Any suggestions would be helpful.  :) 

So excited for you!


Thank You folks. This was very helpful.  :)