When You Aren’t Your Own Boss: Dealing with Medical Billing and Coding Management

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Supervisors and bosses can be wonderful, horrible, or somewhere in between. This is true of all occupations, but can be especially noticeable in the medical billing and coding field. Demands for quick claims processing and medical records management clash with the need for quality and compliance. Management usually has to explain any mistakes to a committee of reviewers just moments after answering to operations executives about process efficiency. Often, the heat is passed from management to the billers and coders themselves.

What Not to Do in Bad Situations

When tensions are high and your boss is demanding, you may be tempted to act rashly. Several behaviors come naturally to many in these situations, but individuals often regret such actions later. Here are five things you should never do in a moment of tension or dissatisfaction with your manager.

  • Do not quit your job. Walking out in a moment of tension is both unprofessional and poor decision making. At the very least, allow the issue to cool down before making a decision to quit. After the storm blows over, you may find there is not a desire to change occupations after all.
  • Do not send an email while angry. Allow yourself to calm down before you send a scathing email and copy it to every vice president in the building. If there is someone you can trust, ask for a private conversation just to vent. Communicating your frustrations in private allows you to blow off steam. Then, you can send a much calmer, professional email detailing the problem.
  • Do not sabotage the situation. Sending incorrect claims, falsifying information or any other negative action in response to a poor work environment will only get you in trouble.
  • Do not confront your boss in front of others. If you have a serious problem, ask for a private meeting.
  • Do not break chain of command unless command is unresponsive. Before going above his or her head, make sure you have tried open, honest communication with your boss. Never communicate the problems to other staff members, as this is a form of gossip.
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What You Should Do

Medical billers and coders are responsible for the accuracy of medical records information and claims. Incorrect information can influence company payment and profitability, putting everyone’s jobs in danger. Even worse, inaccurate information on a patient’s file can lead to injury, additional health issues and even death. It is imperative that medical billers and coders act professionally and attend to their job with excellence, no matter what is going on in the business around them. Here are some things you should do if you are having boss problems in your medical billing and coding career.

  • Continue to complete work with integrity. An issue with your boss is not connected to your responsibility to provide accurate medical information in records and claims.
  • If your boss’s actions are impeding your ability to complete accurate work and attempts to resolve the issue directly have gone unanswered, report the situation in private to your department head, human resources representative or compliance officer.
  • Be discreet about any issues once you have reported them and comply with senior management or human resources requests.

It can be stressful to be involved in an issue with your supervisor or boss. Often, the stress leads to actions that make the problem worse. When stress levels reach boiling points, take a break and walk around the parking lot for a few minutes. Vigorous walking is a great release for nervous energy. A healthy, high-protein snack can also provide a break in routine. For a quick spa treatment right in the office, wash your hands in the restroom. Then, run alternating hot and cold water over your fingers in intervals of about 15 second each. You will feel refreshed and ready to face the challenge of stress for the rest of the day.

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