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BBT Ep. 7: The Road From Seven To Eight

May 24, 202313 min read

In this episode we discuss what it takes to bring your medical practice 10 percent closer to being a 10/10 for your patients and your staff.

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Welcome to episode seven of the Better Billing Today podcast. I'm your host, Adam Welchel, founder of Spark Billing Services. On this podcast, we're talking to owners and operators of medical clinics and practices and their staff, because on this show we're talking about improving the patient financial experience, streamlining your operations, and improving your cash flow.

Now I wanna tell you a short story that happened over this weekend. I was listening to the first six episodes of this podcast, and you know what I was thinking? I would never listen to my podcast! I really just didn't like it. I've been listening to all six episodes with the exception of episode three,

there were some things that I just didn't like about the podcast. The way you start a project and the things you think you have to be doing and the way that you think it's gonna work out are sometimes not exactly going to happen that way. And I wonder how many of our listeners are starting their small business, their small practice, hiring people, trying to offer support to their patients, and they're just not getting the result they wanted.

What is it that's different between what's happening now in your practice and what you wanted to happen when you had this idea of a practice that you owned? So this podcast, while it is intended to help you and your staff improve the patient financial experience, streamline your operations, increase cash flow there's something more happening beyond those measurable qualitative things. There's something happening in the practice that is not making it the 10 that we thought it was gonna be. When I started this podcast I genuinely thought this was gonna be the best thing I've ever done. But the truth is it when you're going from zero to a seven, that's really easy.

You can get an average result very easily, but going from a seven to an eight, from a, from an eight to a nine, from a nine to a 10, the work to go from zero to seven and then going from seven to eight is 10 times. Like it takes 10 times the effort to go from a seven to an eight than it does from a zero to a seven in terms of quality and deliverable value.

And when I was thinking about this podcast, I thought, this is an average podcast, and I don't want average. I wonder how many of our listeners that we don't have that we should have want more than an average practice, more than an average clinic because our owner operators are doing something very Herculean, right?

You are in charge of marketing, sales, finance, bookkeeping, billing, hiring, HR facilities. Maybe that's why most of our providers work three or four days a week because they have so much to do outside of seeing patients, helping them with the problem, they intended to help with that, they need three or four days a week just to think about the business itself and the decisions you have to make behind the scenes. Being an administrator, being an HR coach, and you're thinking, I'm a business owner. I'm a practitioner, I'm a service provider, I'm a medical professional, but what are the 50 other hats I have to wear?

That's a lot to take on. And the best thing that I've seen our providers do is take on partners that help them handle staff, handle marketing. Sometimes it's revenue management because we bring on people that help us get to the seven, right? We're getting to the seven out of 10 quality of our practice and the people around us that help us get there are not always the same people that are gonna get us from a seven to an eight. And here's an example that I've had to live personally. It's the person that got me here isn't gonna get me there. And so we often hire people in our office that are not greeting our patients the way we want them to. They're not filing the papers the way we want them to, they're not presenting our message to the public either through marketing and branding the way we want them to.

So if you're listening to this podcast and you're like, I've got a seven out of a 10 practice I hope that what we're delivering on this podcast is helping you get from a seven to an eight. If that's all we can do for you, then that's I feel like I've done my job in, in helping you get to the next level.

Now, maybe you're gonna find new resources that get you from an eight to a nine, from a nine to a 10, and I hope I continue to bring resources that help you become the 10 or the beyond what you ever thought it was gonna be. Here's an example of what it takes to go from a seven to an eight. You've got somebody taking your phone calls and setting appointments on your calendar for your clinic and your other providers that are maybe in your office.

How are they greeting that patient? How are they handling the software? Are they putting good notes in there? Are they looking for cancellations and trying to fill that spot again? Are they. Are they giving that patient the warmest greeting possible? Or is it like, take this clipboard and here you go, sit down, fill this out, and then we'll see you in a few minutes.

Like, how is the patient experience, not just on the financial side and bill pay options and communication about the bill and terms on getting this paid off? Like those are things that a medical billing company could do and should do, but before you even see the patient, what's their experience?

And I can imagine, again, with all of the hats you have to wear, being an owner operator, I can imagine that sometimes you just don't want to get into that because you've gotten so far with what you have it's almost, you feel like it may not be worth it to go from a seven to an eight because you have to disrupt the system.

You've gotta challenge those preconceived ideas, those false notions. Again, when I was listening to my podcast in the first six episodes, I thought, I'm doing all of the things that I was told to do. I'm doing the things that I thought podcasters do. I'm reading my script before the show. I'm checking out some news articles.

But you know what? I'm not doing. I'm not engaging my listener. I don't really think about what they're thinking about. And I, in order for me to take this show from a seven to an eight, A lot is gonna have to change, but I'm on that journey with you because you're gonna take your practice from a seven to an eight.

We're gonna bring some tools that I think are gonna help you and here is just one of those. We have been surveying the medical scheduler position for our providers. In fact in this podcast I had this whole spiel about, I was gonna introduce to you the medical scheduler download and this is a hiring guide on how to find and attract the best medical scheduler.

And while I think it's full of great information it's gonna give you some tools to find the right person and put them in place, probably the scariest thing to do is to get your existing medical scheduler to step it up, to go from a seven to an eight, because this requires your leadership. This requires you to break out of your traditional seven out of 10 average way of doing things because we have a lot of pressure not to push it too hard.

Hey, you've got your practice, it's going well, it's going smooth. Why disrupt things? Why are you trying to push this to the next level? But every time you do, you learn something about yourself. About a leadership skill that you don't have about a communication skill that you have not practiced in a long time about a dream that you might have given up on.

And you could go from a practitioner to self-employed, to business owner, to practice manager. You could run an entire team of professionals that do what you do, but it does require that you step outta your comfort zone, that you challenge the traditional conventions of what you've been told in this industry.

But you're not alone because every single person who is owning and operating their business, their practice, who set out as a goal to help people, has to challenge their lid. And if you've met your lid, there's no better time to break out of this conventional wisdom and ways of doing things than right now and to look for resources that help you go from a seven to an eight, and one of those I hope are gonna be the downloads that we provide you that help you identify key people in your company that can help you do that.

Because if you surround yourself with staff that believe that you have a mission to help 10,000 patients over the next five years, go through an experience that any provider would just give them a seven outta 10 experience. But you are committed to giving your patient a 10 out of 10 experience.

And it's gonna take time and it's gonna take way more effort than you ever thought possible. It's gonna take way more energy, creativity, it's gonna take way more guts to take your practice from a seven to an eight, from an eight to a nine, and it starts with who you have on your team. It starts with your belief level and your willingness to do the job every day that you've been doing, and then do a little bit more and do a little bit better and make a better decision when you have to fire that person or make a better decision when you have to change the way the firm is operating, the way the practice is running and the message that you have when you walk in the door every day.

How do you greet your staff? How do you greet your patients? You're probably overwhelmed with a lot of the stuff that a provider, a medical professional has to deal with. That's compliance and technical. Step out of that for a moment and greet your staff with enthusiasm and they will in turn treat your patients with enthusiasm and care.

See, it's all trickled down from you to your staff to the patients, and then the patients will tell others. Their experience at your clinic, the very first touchpoint they have is the medical scheduler. And that is one of the reasons why we invested in our time and money in putting in a a guide for you and your staff to find the best medical schedulers.

What I love about this this document here, is that it's gonna help you find transferrable skills, transferrable knowledge, this role that you have. That's gonna be a first representation of you when somebody calls your office. Let's just take one example here. So one chapter here is the first day of the medical scheduler.

Here are seven or eight things that you should do on the first day that a medical scheduler is assigned to work for you. But before you get to them, let's see if we can identify those those things that are transferrable. If they've never worked in a medical office, somebody with strong customer service background, somebody who's handled, confused customers, upset customers, thankfully you probably don't have a lot of them, but when you have them, it's important they know what to do.

Administrative and scheduling experience if they know how to use software usually that's a transferrable skill. If they have strong CRM, understanding project management software, sometimes that can be very transferrable to practice management, appointment setting. And you can tell they have some skill that they can sit down and figures they can figure something out.

But then you have to teach that customer service. You have to teach HIPAA compliance, how to leave HIPAA compliant voicemails, for example. And that's a PDF that we're putting together right now, is after you figured out how to get that person in the door, what makes them successful? Because this podcast, we've never set it before this way, but this podcast truly at its core, is about getting you from a seven to an eight.

And one of those is gonna be the tools that you bring to the practice, the clinic that are gonna help your staff improve from being a seven to an eight and holding them accountable, challenging them, being an encouraging person, being a coach, saying, I know we can treat our patients better. I know we can give them a better experience.

And when we don't have to do any more marketing than we already are because they will tell their friends and family, you've gotta go see and hopefully that's you. And the staff that you have, if you're lacking staff, that's a problem you want to get rid of. You want to have a practice that is in a clinic that is so good that people want to come work for you.

And if we can deliver some of those resources for you as a partner in your journey of creating an amazing practice, then that's what we're gonna do for you. And that is the Better Billing Today podcast in a nutshell. Check out the links in this in this podcast, in this description

I'd love to hear from you what are some of the challenges that you have in your practice that's making your practice a seven. And how do we get it to attend? And let's do it together. Let's collaborate. Let's talk on this show about what makes an amazing clinic. I told my producer Chris, that I'm gonna get all of my staff to start visiting different chiropractors and dermatologists in their area because there's only a few types of clinics you can just walk into and get a patient experience just as a consultation and figure out what are they doing.

Better than any other practice that even our clients what can we bring to our existing clients, even though we're doing medical billing, how can we help raise the lid of that clinic so that our clients are winning? And if you're not hiring us for medical billing, that's okay. We're still gonna help you win by joining us on this podcast.

So that's better. Billing today. I'm your host, Adam Welchel. Check out the resources and the show notes. Share this. Give us some feedback on our email and I hope you make it a 10 out of 10 day!

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