Most of what is done in patient accounting (aka patient financial services) is fairly simple and routine. The days of only paper claims are gone (but not totally eliminated). These days, if registration has done its job, and the departments have done their jobs, and your charge master is up to date, most of the time your billing personnel will never even see an account, let alone touch a bill.

/ Pixabay

This doesn’t mean there aren’t complications, otherwise every single claim would be paid and there wouldn’t be a need for receivables personnel; that’s a nice pipe dream. There’s always something getting in the way of trying to bring in the money you’re owed, but for the most part you’re okay with it because it’s consistent with your norm.
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Last Friday my mother passed away. I was sitting with her when it happened. She hadn’t been well since she came home a month ago, so I did the best I could to make her comfortable until the event happen. I’ll miss my mother greatly, but that doesn’t mean I’ll forget some of the lessons she taught me, both directly and indirectly.

Mom and me

It’s kind of amazing, and I feel like I should smack myself silly. I haven’t written about my mother, Betty, in years. Sure, I’ve mentioned her here and there in regards to other stories, but the only time she got her own post was back in 2009 when I wrote A Lesson I Learned From Mom. Time to rectify that I believe.
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As miserable as I felt in those days I knew something was changing in me. I’ve heard people call it a survival instinct and I think that’s exactly what it was. I had two very clear choices; get on with living or die. I chose to live.” Traci Lords, Underneath It All

These days not everyone remembers who Traci Lords was. Her story was shocking and nearly brought down the porn industry (not really lol). I still have her books around here somewhere; it’s a fascinating read.

She was a major porn star who, it turned out, was underage for every movie she made except one. She made movies for 3 years; that means she actually started at age 15. Hopped up on drugs and alcohol, she made these movies without a second thought, living what she thought was a glamorous life and becoming a star. She was actually inducted into the adult video hall of fame when she was 17; ouch! She won multiple awards. Yet in three years she made all of $35,000; that’s it.
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Are people allowed to congratulate themselves? Well, whether they are or not I’m going to give myself a brief congratulations. Today is the 20th anniversary of my business. I filed for business license on June 22, 2001, and I’ve only ever look back once, or maybe twice. Being self employed is scary, and it’s certainly not easy, so as Ramon said in the movie Happy Feet, “I’d like to take a moment for myself.”

Me in 2011

If you know me personally in some way, you might notice that the date above isn’t the date I’ve been telling people for the longest time. I thought for at least the last 10 years that the anniversary date was June 24th. I was considering putting up a picture of my entire business license, but when I looked at it I realized that the actual anniversary date was June 22nd. The things we sometimes learn about ourselves…
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I’ve been in the revenue cycle/medical billing field for nearly 40 years. I’ve been in leadership or consulting for most of those years. I feel this gives me pretty good perspectives on how things should work.

Ed's Retirement Party : March 17, 2010 - 1133
Parker Knight via

There’s no doubt that every year there are some kinds of changes because of insurance and/or technology. With that said, I can honestly tell you that the problem I see is that many medical billers don’t do or know the things that never change all that well.
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