Don’t underestimate the ‘sidekicks’

 - 
04/17/2020
Sarah Hanna

With COVID-19 permeating every aspect of our lives and our media experience, we look for the good in our communities and continue to celebrate the front-line workers: health care staff, truckers, grocery store clerks, gas station attendants and the list continues. They are the heroes tirelessly working so we can stay at home and abide by the shelter and place orders.

Have you wondered about the “sidekicks” who are behind the scenes making sure the heroes and heroines have what they need to save the day? Those who keep the “caped crusaders” going?

Some of the most famous of the “dynamic duos” are:

  • Batman and Robin
  • Aquaman and Aqualad
  • Batwoman and Batgirl
  • Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy (you had to watch SpongeBob SquarePants to get that reference)


During a recent all-staff video conference with my team, I told them that if they ever doubted their importance in the health care continuum or viewed their jobs as just “paper pushers” now is the time for a paradigm shift. That’s right, your revenue cycle staff are the behind-the-scenes partners to the front-line health care workers.   Think about it: They are the invisible sidekicks that keep the superheroes going. You see, they are your intake, medical documentation, and billing and collections arms of your company.   

Gaining payment has always been important, but now with the world’s focus on the health care delivery system and the respiratory health of our population, your revenue cycle staff can truly feel the weight and importance of their day-to-day jobs. Without collections, your front-line team members and the patients they serve can’t receive the life-saving equipment and service. The collections of your revenue cycle staff fund your ability to purchase equipment to serve your patient base, pay salaries when many are out of work, and keep your superheroes outfitted in the PPE armor that protects them in the midst of a pandemic, just to name a few. 

Now is the time for a mindset reset of your “sidekicks.” They need to truly understand their importance in the front-line defense in health care. Throughout history, people have risen to the occasion in the face of great national tragedies and war. Patriotism goes on high and people come together for a common cause. 

This new perspective can drive performance and increase collections.  Amid this global tragedy, you can pull your in-house team together to make things work and click like never before. When people feel like their job has meaning, they work harder and look for ways to make a difference. This is a perfect time to show your team that their jobs are important and that they, too, are part of the success of the health care delivery system fighting COVID-19. 

Payers are easing up claims processing restrictions, certain audits have been suspended, Medicare sequestration cuts have been removed, timely filing limits extended, etc. With payers loosening their grips on our claims, it frees up some of the time of your staff to work on viable claims and improving production. Providers can take this negative and turn it into a positive not only from an employee morale standpoint, but also increased revenue generation.

And while this is occurring, your management can take note of processes that are necessary for day-to-day workflows and those that are in the words of today’s economy “non-essential” to a productive work product. Then take these notes and act upon them when the environment moves to our new post-COVID-19 normal.

The American spirit is strong, and we always rise to the occasion.  Show your “sidekicks” that you couldn’t go through this without them. Make them feel like their job has more value than they ever imagined. You will see them rise to a new level of performance and fight the good fight, along side your superheroes. 

Sarah Hanna is CEO of ECS North. She can be reached at sarahhanna@ecsbillingnorth.com or 888-811-2250.