By Rebecca Broeker Billing Specialist Radiation Business Solutions
Cancer walks. Knitting fundraisers. In-memorial parks. YouTube channels. Survivor businesses. You don’t have to go far before you’re confronted with something cancer related. In fact, cancer is now so commonplace it’s not news. Nearly everyone knows someone who has been affected by the diagnosis and, though the message of another patient is saddening, it eventually becomes just one more tick on the monster’s board of victims.
Working in medical billing, ticks on a board are part of my job. There’s a board on our department wall tracking monetary percentages and monthly gains/losses. In an environment where tasks seek to lower or higher various ticks, it’s easy for insurance calls and revenue questions to become as commonplace as cancer.
In the middle of such monotony, however, what isn’t common are my patients. I know most cases by name: who just started treatment…who’s on their fourth round…who lost the fight yesterday. Those ones always put a pang in my heart. A few such dates I even remember.
April 19. The day my grandmother passed away. Her body, though cancer free, was worn and compromised from an eight year duel. After such an ordeal I can only imagine the bills, phone calls, and sleepless nights she had. I empathize with patients and their questions about their statements or a family member’s concerns. I remember the tired look in my grandma’s eyes and the questions in my grandpa’s, and often hear the same exhaustion in my daily calls. For the patients I never speak with, but only ever see their treatment history, I wonder how they’re doing and internally cheer them on in their fight. After reviewing numerous treatments and follow-up visits, I want to ultimately be able to input the most rewarding charge of all: End of Treatment.
That’s why, though my job title of "Billing Specialist" may not sound interesting, it’s vastly rewarding. I’m entrusted with keeping track of all the money for my patients and that trust extends beyond the doctor whose money I’m handling to the patients who charges I review. RBS will never send a patient to collections and that’s extremely important to me. Instead of passing the buck to an uninterested collections agency, I retain the power to assist patients: to listen to their concerns, walk them through their bills, and tailor their payment plan to their financial needs. Every emotion from delight to happy tears has come through my phone as the patients and I team up to tackle their bills.
RBS has a six point business motto, the first of which is “Encourage Others”. Ledgers and curves will forever be measured in ticks because that’s what keeps a business alive, but patients at RBS will never be a tick because RBS wants them to live, not only without cancer, but without the stress and confusion of yet another expense.
That’s why, even on the dreariest of Mondays, I come to the office and strive to be attentive to each patient. It’s an honor to work at RBS where humanity is always our first priority, and I’m able to be the Billing Specialist for patients and their families that I wish someone would have been for mine.
At the end of the day, RBS isn’t in the business of getting the most pennies possible; we’re in the business of supporting as many patients as possible. Ultimately, that dedication to patients is the unparalleled value RBS brings to our clients... and the most rewarding part of my job.