Medical Billing Services

Reducing Medical Billing Staff Burnout

According to MGMA’s (Medical Group Management Association) report, amongst the COVID-19 pandemic, burnout among medical billing staff becomes an overwhelming problem. MGMA reported a combined 30% turnover rate specifically among front office and operational staff, the highest of any other healthcare career category. Continuously changing payer policies and reimbursement guidelines put additional pressure on medical billing staff. Rapidly shifting policies and guidelines require adapting quickly to these new and continuously changing protocols. Compounded by stress, exhaustion, and uncertainty, it’s no surprise that medical billing staff has approached burnout.

If you noticed your team is displaying characteristics that are out of the ordinary, it’s worth digging deeper. Red flags include high achievers suddenly becoming unproductive, positive attitudes devolving into cynicism, and encouragement suddenly replaced by complaints. At first glance, it might appear that providing additional motivation is the answer. If your medical billing staff is experiencing burnout, no amount of pep-talking is going to change it. Your staff is likely overworked and unsure how to improve the situation, contributing to a cycle of exhaustion and discouragement common to those facing burnout. As a practice owner, you should pay attention to your staff, help examine the situation, and develop strategies to help them recharge, refocus, and destress. Some of the strategies mentioned below could help.

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Find the Root Cause

You might observe the warnings signs like staff easily getting angered or frustrated, lack of focus, underproductivity, and disengagement. Your top performer might demonstrate a noticeable decrease in productivity and involves lots of errors. In such cases, it’s time for you to exercise your leadership skills and find out the root cause of such behavior. Ask a potentially burnt-out staff member questions that make it easier to raise the subject of burnout, like “How do you feel about your workload?” or “What would you change about your responsibilities?” It’s possible that issues have arisen at home that has crept into work-life; maybe they’re dealing with illness. Any number of possibilities could affect their attitude at work, so it’s best not to guess. Set aside time to have an open, gentle conversation with your staff to uncover the root cause behind any changes. Clear communication is an effective anxiety-reducer, so having a safe space to speak freely can be just what your billing staff needs. The root cause might not be a work issue, but if it is, that means you can help.

Distribute Workloads

The root cause analysis will help you understand the reason for unrest among staff. If a high workload is a reason, then think about distributing workloads amongst team members. Obviously, you might be assigning your staff members the most challenging tasks. But if they’re facing burnout because of it, switch things up every once in a while. Give a complex and challenging assignment to someone less experienced. Your senior staff member will get a reprieve, and the less experienced member will be challenged to grow in their role. Before implementing this strategy, just make sure to explain that you are lightening their workload for their benefit. The last thing you want is a dissatisfied employee feeling like their work was taken from them due to underperformance. Maintain open communication with your team members about distributing workloads. The goal is to help reenergize your employees with new goals they’re excited to tackle, not add the pressure of more responsibilities beyond their scope or comfort zone.

Talk about Boundaries

The lines between professional and personal time can blur now as everyone is working from home. Distractions from children or spouses, in addition to a lack of routine, may only make things worse. If someone on your team feels as though they’re falling behind, they may think that working longer hours is the solution to getting back on track. Starting work earlier, working through lunch, and continuing into evening hours or weekends may seem the fastest way to alleviate an overwhelming workload. When you notice employees struggling with burnout symptoms, step in and help come up with strategies for setting boundaries. For example, you could work with an employee who struggles to ‘turn off’ to have a set time each evening to turn off the work computer and phone. Encourage them to take lunch breaks and set work aside on the weekends. It may not change the behavior right away, but making expectations clear will help lessen some of the pressure a burnt-out employee may feel.

Associate with Medical Billing Company

Most practice owners fear that they will lose control over medical billing functions if they outsource or associate with the medical billing company. That’s not the case. Associating with medical billing companies comes with a lot of benefits. Medical billing companies have a pool of talented billing and coding experts and as per your practice’s requirement, they can start working immediately. Plus, these billing experts require minimum inputs and supervision to undertake medical billing activities. Medical billing companies share various reports as per your requirements. Such reports will give you a clear picture of your practice’s financial health. As your major time is freed from complex medical billing functions, that can be invested in giving better patient care. 

Burnout among medical billing staff was an issue long before the pandemic. Your staff may not even realize they’re in the midst of overwhelming. If you try to follow the above-mentioned strategies then it will help you in reducing your medical billing staff burnout. As mentioned earlier leave all complex billing tasks to medical billing companies and just focus on improving patient care. MedicalBillersandCoders (MBC) is a medical billing company that is known for providing reliable and accurate medical billing services. To know more about our medical billing and coding services, please contact us at info@medicalbillersandcoders.com/ 888-357-3226

MBC Service will definitely help to provide your Healthcare Practice a Competitive Edge!

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Medical Billers and Coders

Catering to more than 40 specialties, Medical Billers and Coders (MBC) is proficient in handling services that range from revenue cycle management to ICD-10 testing solutions. The main goal of our organization is to assist physicians looking for billers and coders, at the same time help billing specialists looking for jobs, reach the right place.

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