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    Motivation: Don’t give in, don’t give out, don’t give up

    Posted by Carl Mays on Wed, Jul 01, 2009 @ 12:41 AM

    Today's Blog Entry is from a Guest Blogger - Carl Mays - the father of ClaimCare's President - Carl Mays II 


       Some great lessons emerged from the 2009 NCAA College World Series. Eight deserving baseball teams made the trip to Omaha to participate in what, to me, is one of the most entertaining and purest events in all of sports. And the lessons come like clockwork in this annual competition. In my mind, the lesson that perennially takes the spotlight can be summarized by one of my favorite quotes, Winston Churchill's: "Never, never, never, never, never give up!" Or, as my wife Jean likes to say, "Don't give in, don't give out, don't give up!" 

       This mantra was highlighted by Texas and LSU, two outstanding teams that survived to battle in the best two-out-of-three championship series. Especially did LSU freshman Mikie Mahtook step up and epitomize Churchill's long-ago encouragement and challenge. In game one, Texas hit five home runs and took a one-run lead into the ninth inning, but LSU came back to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Then in the eleventh inning, with two outs, Mahtook singled in the winning run - after he had struggled mightily his first four times at bat - and after he had been given intravenous fluids to treat cramps in the sixth inning.

       In previous at-bats, Mahtook struck out three times and hit into a double play. Interviewed after the game, Mahtook said, "My first three at-bats, it wasn't like I just struck out. It was three terrible at-bats. I was chasing balls in the dirt. Then I stayed back on a change-up and bounced into a double play." Next, very importantly (and another great lesson), he said, "When I got into the dugout, guys were telling me to make sure I keep my head straight. Jared Mitchell told me I was going to come back up again with a big at-bat and told me, ‘You're going to come through for us.' That helped me out a lot."

       After the heart-breaking loss in game one, Texas came back to win game two convincingly by a score of 5-1. That set the stage for a tremendous championship playoff game - and continued with the "never give up" mantra. LSU jumped off to a quick lead in the first inning as result of a three-run home run by Jared Mitchell (the encourager of Mikie Mahtook in game one.)  Then after LSU took a four-run lead, Texas battled back to tie the game in the fifth inning. That set the stage for more heroics from LSU freshman Mahtook in the sixth. With Mitchell on base, Mahtook hit a double that scored the leading run - and opened the door to a five-run inning that eventually developed into an 11-4 LSU victory and national championship.

       Mahtook's double that scored Mitchell, put LSU back in the lead and paved the way for more runs was voted the "Pontiac Game-Changing Performance." Mitchell was voted the "College World Series Most Outstanding Player." Interestingly, the one who was encouraged in game one (Mahtook) and the one who was the specific encourager (Mitchell) earned recognition they will treasure for a lifetime. When Mitchell was asked to comment on the championship win in a post-game interview he said, "It's everybody pulling together..."

       Players, coaches, teachers, students, employers, employees, spouses, parents, children... everyone needs to encourage and to be encouraged. Have you ever failed at anything? I have. Have you ever gotten down on yourself? I have. Have you ever needed encouragement? I have. Have you ever been encouraged by someone? I have. Have you ever been an encourager? I have. As Mitchell said, "It's everybody pulling together..." and never giving up.  


    © Carl Mays is an author and speaker at over 3,500 events.  Contact carlmays@carlmays.com or 865-436-7478.  His motivational speaking and book information can be found on http://www.carlmays.com/.  The Student Mentoring MyMerlin.Net for students and others is based on his book and program, "A Strategy For Winning."  

    Tags: motivation

    The Best New Year Resolution To Improve Your Medical Billing

    Posted by Carl Mays on Sun, Jan 18, 2009 @ 03:08 AM

    medical billing resolutions

    We are fast approaching the end of January and the point in the New Year when the majority of people's New Year's resolutions have already failed. This is, however, the time for renewed efforts to focus one's resources on achieving the desired goal. There are two keys to reaching your goals:

    1. Treat your set backs as temporary failures and not total defeat (i.e., just because you broke down and smoked a cigarette does not mean you should just say I failed on my goal to quit smoking); and
    2. Break your goal down into manageable pieces (i.e., I will lose 2 pounds in January; 2 lbs in February versus I will lose 25 pounds this year).

    These ideas do not only apply to personal goals, but to business goals as well. If you are trying to improve your medical collections in 2009, you should build upon these concepts. So, given these two points what is the best way to achieve a New Year's resolution of improving your medical billing? The best place to start is with the goal of getting your claims out the door clean.  This is a great starting point because it does many wonderful things:

    • It focuses you on the most critical aspect of billing. If the claims go out the door clean you will find that all of the rest of the challenges start to become much more manageable;
    • It allows you to focus on achievable, smaller goals (85% of claims go out clean in January, 87% go out clean in February, etc);
    • Set backs position you for better performance tomorrow. How? You look at the claims that did not go out the door clean and learn what went wrong. Do you have a problem at the front desk with gathering demographics? Do you have a problem with training your data entry people? Do you have one physician that consistently codes incorrectly? Do you have one payer that really dislikes one of your common procedures?
    • It lends itself to technology aids. Invest in a scrubber that will help you find coding problems before you submit the claims (see our blog entry on claim scrubbers). Invest in insurance verification tools that will make it easier to have clean demographics. Invest in coding tools that will help improve your data entry performance.

    So, as we approach the end of January this is the time to double down:

    • Measure your current performance level;
    • Set your medical billing goals high (96% of all claims will be paid on first submission);
    • Break them down into bite size pieces (I will improve clean claim submissions by 2% each month), and
    • Adopt the mentality that you will learn from your mistakes.

    With this approach you can make 2009 your best medical billing year ever.

    Copyright 2009 by Carl Mays II, President, ClaimCare Inc

    Tags: motivation, improving medical billing, scrubbing, 2009 billing changes

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