As a consultant, every once in a while I’m asked to come in and assume the position of interim director of patient financial services. There’s a difference between going into a position where you know you’ll only be there for so many weeks as opposed to knowing that you’re coming in as a permanent employee.


When you go in as an interim director, you don’t have the time to worry about long term relationships. You’re coming in to either rock the boat or continue the status quo. No matter what, the people who bring you in are hoping you’ll be able to affect some positive changes while you’re there. One might as well, because it’s no fun just to sit around doing nothing.
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Here’s a common scenario played out in business offices across the country. The words are different but the issue is the same; this one is health care related.

phone compassion
Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

A phone call comes in and your staff person picks it up.

“Hello, this is Mary. How may I help you?”

“My name is Sue Johnson and I just got a bill in the mail for my husband Donald. It’s from almost two years ago, and he died during this hospital visit. Why am I getting a bill now? How could you people be so heartless?”
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Let’s cut to the chase; smoking is one of the nastiest habits in the world today. It’s the one habit that not only impacts the smoker, but impacts everyone else around the smoker.

stop smoking

First, the nasty part. Smoke stinks, whether it’s cigarettes, pipes, cigars, marijuana,… you name it, it smells. Smoke wafts everywhere; if there’s one smoker in the room, everyone knows it, whether that person is smoking or not. It gets on people’s clothes; it gets in their hair. It burns people’s eyes. And it stays around for what seems like forever; even non-smokers have to go home, take off their clothes, and throw them in another room, then wash down before going on with their business. There’s nothing worse than smelling smoke on someone else, and, strangely enough, smokers can’t smell it.
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Do you suffer from fears that you don’t quite understand? Do you sometimes feel hesitation when you’ve been invited to a party? Or maybe feel everything closing in on you when you think about things such as flying or bugs? fear of death If so, you probably suffer from some kind of phobia. Phobias are […]

I set out trying to do an article on how long hospital and physicians billing offices should retain their records. Once I got into it, I realized it could turn into a major project. It turns out each state gets to determine the length of time medical and billing records are expected to be kept. […]