Sandy's Corner

Sandy's Corner

Promises are Promises but Only Performance is Reality

It is no secret that relationships are at the heart of any company’s success — in its simplest form, a company is a partnership between the business and its customer. The hard reality that many businesses face in building successful relationships though is that it is challenging to focus on growing both their and their customer’s businesses simultaneously. As a result, the customer’s end of the relationship over time begins to lose out to quarterly targets, shareholders, personal priorities, buyouts, etc.

Founded in 1975 as the originator of medical bill review software solutions in the workers’ compensation, auto liability, and general health community, Medata understands and believes in the power of business relationships/partnerships. So too does the TRISTAR Insurance Group who, since its founding in 1987, has focused on continually improving its products and services to ensure the best value for their clients. As a provider of risk and benefit services for property and casualty, employee benefits, and managed care, TRISTAR believes that intellect and ability can be applied to their entire range of products. With their joint beliefs and values, Medata and TRISTAR became business partners in 2009. Continue reading

Life & Business Always Come Down to Just Two Things – Blocking & Tackling

When Vince Lombardi took the helm of the Green Bay Packers in 1959, the team had won just one game the year before. Over the next eight years, the Packers assembled six division titles, five NFL championships, two Super Bowls (the first and second ever played) and amassed an overall record of 98-30-4. It wasn’t great strategy or a team full of high-profile players or even a playbook with hundreds of complex play schemes that achieved this success but rather a leader and a team relentlessly focused on the basics of blocking and tackling. As memorialized by Coach Lombardi, “Some people try to find things in this game that don’t exist but football is only two things – blocking and tackling.” In his book That First Season: How Vince Lombardi Took the Worst Team in the NFL and Set It on the Path to Glory, John Eisenberg chronicles that:

(Coach Lombardi’s) playbook would be staggeringly simple, one-fourth the size of Scooter’s, totaling around forty plays. And the plays were as basic as white bread – runs off tackle, up the middle, and around end, passes to receivers of the middle, toward the sideline, and out of the backfield. The alignment wouldn’t change from play to play…. “If you block well, execute, and eliminate mistakes, this is all you need,” Lombardi said. “It doesn’t matter that the other team knows what is coming.”

Coach Lombardi ensured winning via a constancy of purpose on executing the core skills. In practice after practice and game after game his team was built around perfectly executing the blocking and tackling. As a result, the Packers proved that in life and business if you focus on the basics you will succeed as they achieved win after win over supposedly “more superior” teams with abundant strategies and marque players. Unfortunately, many companies today in the age of sound bites, tweets, and selfies have either forgotten how to block and tackle or have just dismissed its importance.

What are the fundamental activities that are performed within your business day in and day out that make or break your team’s ability to win or lose? Continue reading

ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code F05, O Brother, Where Art Thou???

I am never really too sure how to take any action that occurs on April 1 and when the Federal Government takes action on said day I am doubly suspicious; therefore, you will understand my reticence of the news that on April first President Obama signed H.R.4302 extending (among many other things) the federal ICD-10 implementation until at least October of 2015. Continue reading

“It’s déjà vu all over again!”

Well, it is that time of year again, a time to think kindly of the wisdom of the Yogi-isms left to us by Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra. After witnessing Mickey Mantle and then Roger Maris hit back-to-back home runs over and over again in the 1960s, Mr. Berra quipped, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” His wit and wisdom – which appear to be encapsulated in the nonsensical – always seem to perfectly capture an idea or emotion and could not be more appropriate in relation to the recent action by the U.S. Congress on March 27, 2014.

While the medical community across the United States has been preparing-retracting, preparing-retracting (…) preparing-retracting for the implementation of the ICD-10 codes for some time now (we will be kind and just use the word “years” here) it was looking like the implementation finish line of October of 2014 actually had a fighting chance of being met – heck, even Vegas had dramatically reduced the posted odds to 30-1 that they would be adopted this fall.

But, as luck would have it, it was déjà vu all over again on March 27, 2014, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed “House Resolution 4302 (H.R.4302) Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014.” While the core of H.R.4302 is an act “to amend the Social Security Act to extend Medicare payments to physicians and other provisions of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and for other purposes,” it contained an added provision to delay the adoption and use of the ICD-10 coding system from October 1, 2014, to October 1, 2015. Continue reading

Medata-ODG Study Shows that Focusing on Quality of Care Can Also Lead to Savings

“More with less, do more with less,” that is the mantra we routinely hear in business today. But what about changing this dynamic and beginning to do “more with more but with less effort?” Still, as technology allows companies to gather and aggregate more-and-more data it also allows companies to become buried under more-and-more data; however, it is this data that will propel companies to become more efficient, effective, and profitable. Yet when we look at the promises of the past it is understandable to see why many companies believe that this idea of using more technology and more data to increase efficiencies and cut costs appears more onerous than realistic. Continue reading

So you’re telling me there’s a chance… *YEAH!*

I suppose for those who know me they know that I am not really giving up the ghost when I admit out loud that I love the movie Dumb and Dumber. And much to my family’s chagrin (mostly my wife’s) if I am channel surfing and happen to luck upon the movie whilst doing said activity the process comes to a prompt halt. While the movie is a treasure trove of silliness and one-liners, there is one exchange between two of the movie’s lead actors Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Mary (Lauren Holly) that sticks out for many fans and non-fans alike.

Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me… ending up together?

Mary: Well, Lloyd, that’s difficult to say. I mean, we don’t really …

Lloyd: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

Mary: Not good.

Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?

Mary: I’d say more like one out of a million.

[pause]

Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance… YEAH! Continue reading