When it comes to keeping morale up, administrators and physicians must work in harmony. The billing and revenue cycle stops working without consistent and clear communication between the two sides. Distrust is common, and public opinion is divided. Most institutions trust the physicians under their employment, but to foster a good relationship with payers, patients, and clients, the physicians must feel as though they are highly valued. What can good administrators do?
Feedback is the cornerstone of any good business no matter what industry it participates in. Many different rules, regulations and guidelines are developed at the top levels by leaders who are often out of touch with the physicians, nurses, doctors and surgeons—who are closer to the ground and interact with patients on a more regular basis. Improving how healthcare is provided and how revenue is collected and reapplied is all worth it, but there need to be clear channels for communication to facilitate constant feedback. There cannot be a singular approach from either end.
Put Clinical Physicians in Leadership Roles
One way to solve this dilemma is to put physicians into leadership roles. From these positions, those physicians who are still actively involved in the daily treatment and care of the patients, who will later be billed for services, can provide a fresh perspective on the bylaws and conventional thinking long established in the healthcare field. The way that things have always been done does not need to be the same for decades on end without change. Acknowledging the change in how to deal with disease and perform surgeries and other vital procedures, up to and including the best way to guarantee wellness must evolve. Unfortunately, that will not happen without constant communication—without fear of criticism, ridicule or stubborn negativity. In short, any breakdowns in communication slow productivity to a crawl and interfere with timely billing cycles.
Maintain Open Communications
This is commonly known as a so-called “open door policy,” and it is one of the best ways for hospital administrators to maintain good relationships with their physicians. Look to other institutions that have put this into practice and learn what you can from them. While revenue is important for keeping hospitals and other facilities operational, it cannot come at the expense of all the other stakeholders who may not be in a position to gain from receiving any of that revenue. Listening goes both ways, especially when it comes to top-tier patient care.
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