I believe that all great leaders are constantly learning and growing. I also believe that there are two great ways to do this. Read and Listen. I read every night as part of my night time ritual. I also attempt to listen to books on tape whenever I can. This is what shapes me as a leader and as a therapist. The following are a list of books that I have read that help me with my management and leadership skills. I also believe that some of these authors have more than one book that should be read and I am including one book that I have not read but was recommended to me by mentor as an essential learning opportunity.
If anyone has other books to recommend please let me know. I love to read and am always looking for a great book.
I hear the complaint all the time, “ that is not in my job description.” People look at jobs as how to do the least amount of work for the most amount of money. They may even resent the owner of the business because he or she is making money. The fact is that people should look at their job as a business that they own and so they should step up and contribute when they can.
Today while I was working on my sleep studies from this weekend the marketing and owner came up to me and asked me to write an advertising article for a local newspaper and I had a two hours to complete it. It was challenging but I was able to get it done and working with the marketers we had a great product to put in the paper.
These little extra activities that help the business also helps me because I am helping to make the business grow and that gives me more job security. It also gives me new and interesting experiences that I can use in the future.
It also helps me be a more valuable employee. That little extra step allows me to know that I have so much more to contribute. It also shows me that there are skills that I possess that go far beyond sleep and management. Skills that I can put toward outside interests and teaching.
The last two years have seen a great deal of change in health insurance and this has affected the care of people with sleep apnea. It is part of the job of a sleep lab manager to keep up with these changes so we can make sure that the patient receives the best service possible. The biggest problem we face is that many times the patient does not understand the changes that have taken place. If you are able to explain these changes effectively you might avoid a patient’s negative experience.
One big issue seems to be the most difficult with those patients who need a replacement machine. People who have older machines many no longer qualify for CPAP simply because the qualifications have changed. Respiratory events have a different definition today than they did 10 years ago. Documentation was also different 5 or more years ago. You need to make sure you have documentation that meets current standards when going to order a new machine.
The other issue that is becoming more influential on sleep patients is riders and deductibles. Today many patients have significantly higher deductibles they have to meet. This can cause financial hardships in having tests done and getting their CPAP equipment. Many people do not know the nuts and bolts of their insurance policy. If we can be of help in explaining what is going on and why we bill the way we do they will leave with a positive experience even if they do not end up having a test due to the cost. But if all you say is that “your insurance company says that your test will cost you x dollars,” the patient will only leave with a feeling of being short changed by your facility. Instead if we understand that the patient has a large deductible and that although when you visit the doctor you pay a copay if does not cover deductibles, instead the deductible applies only to everything that happens outside the doctor’s office, they will get a clearer picture.
It also helps to reduce the non pays for the lab. In our lab we rarely get an insurance company denial. The ones we do get usually get paid when we submit additional paperwork. This reduction in denials helps us make more cash flow overall and allows us to grow. It gives everyone in the lab job security.
In the end it is important to be a strong resource for our community. Knowledge about how insurance works is a great way to start. If you are an avid reader or you have access to the people in the billing department of the practice you can gain the knowledge you need.