MSP Week 2020: Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It… Blog Feature

By: symplr on November 2nd, 2020

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MSP Week 2020: Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It…

Medical Service Professionals | Provider Credentialing

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be a clandestine gatekeeper of patient safety. An enforcer of rules set by states, the federal government, accreditors, and your organization. A detector of danger within data, to secure revenue. You’ll confidentially communicate, negotiate, evaluate—adapting to the environment and priorities. You will be...an MSP. This blog will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

OK, perhaps that’s not what it says in your job description. 

But those who understand the medical services profession know that MSPs’ mission alongside clinicians helps make healthcare work for all of us. National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week is upon us (November 2-6), and it’s time to reflect and celebrate the ways you accomplish the seemingly impossible.

Which president signed Congressional House Joint Resolution #399 proclaiming the first week in November as National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week?

  1.  Ronald Reagan, in 1987
  2.  George H. W. Bush, in 1992
  3.  Bill Clinton, in 2000
  4.  George W. Bush, in 2004
    See the answer at the bottom of this blog.

Thankfully, yours isn’t a solo mission. 

You’re backed by professional resources and guidelines, physician champions, and an army of fellow, dedicated MSPs to help stealthily negotiate today’s challenges as you gear up for the next mission: maintaining vigilance as centralization, consolidation, automation, and innovation accelerate change in nearly every aspect of your role. 

MSPs share advice, stories, and predictions 


Carol Cairns, CPMSM, CPCS,
has been in the unique position of seeing and participating in the development of the medical staff services profession for nearly 50 years. In 1996, she founded Plainfield, IL-based PRO-CON, a consulting firm specializing in credentialing, privileging, medical staff organization operations, and survey preparation.

How I ended up in the best profession in healthcare: Decades ago, I was informed by the hospital CEO that the new VPMA needed some assistance.  She asked if I would schedule an appointment to speak with him. I did so and to my surprise discovered that I was in an interview for the "medical staff secretary" position! I later found out that there were NO medical staff offices in those days! As I was leaving the interview, his parting words were, "I am not sure where the future will take us, but one thing I AM sure of is that no two days will ever be alike."  I was hooked!  

The craziest thing that ever happened in my office was: One day a surgeon member of our medical staff came into my office. I knew he was heading to South America on an extended vacation with his family. After exchanging pleasantries, he asked me to witness his will!  

Some advice: Never turn down an opportunity to learn and grow! In my 20s and early 30s, I had intense speaker's fright. Just giving a simple presentation to our MEC would cause intense anxiety.  During this time, an opportunity came along to teach sign language to teachers of the deaf.  (Since my parents were deaf, sign language was my primary language.) Terrified, I reluctantly accepted the challenge since I believed deaf children would receive improved education through use of sign. I survived the first semester, then the second and third . . . 30 years later I turned over the reins of a community college "Communicating with the Deaf" program to a deaf teacher colleague! By teaching those classes, I learned how to present to adults, gained confidence, and overcame my fears. To this day, my favorite professional activity is presenting to medical services professionals and physician leaders. Who knew?!

Cris Mobley, CPCS, CPMSM, is a  President, C. Mobley & Associates, an owner/co-Founder of EDGE-U-CATE, LLC, and a 45-year veteran of the medical services field who has taught hundreds of MSPs the skills they need to succeed.

MSPs, here’s why healthcare needs you now more than ever: You are the conscious for safe, quality patient care and may need to remind others when their decisions may not always be in the best interests of patient care!


Mel Hall, CPCS,
is a Georgia-based MSP who has worked in credentialing and privileging for medical staffs of hospitals large and small, nationwide.  

One thing I know now that I wish I knew when starting out as an MSP is: Don’t stop working on a credentials file until you have everything!

If there’s one thing for certain about the role of the MSP of the future, it’s: Say goodbye to paper.

No one ever told me that the *(asterisk) at the end of my job description as an MSP would include: everything that’s not in my job description!

How I ended up in the best profession in healthcare: I never thought I would end up in the credentialing field, but I was given the opportunity when my family transitioned from Washington State to Fort McPherson, GA, one of the greatest blessings of my life.

The craziest thing that ever happened in my office was: A provider insisted his 7 adverse actions didn’t need to be disclosed.

MSPs, here’s why healthcare needs you now more than ever: I believe the unscrupulous of this world will take our current state as an opportunity to bypass credentialing processes.

Donna Goestenkors, CPMSM, EMSP,  has 40+ years of experience in the healthcare industry, and is a recognized leader in the medical staff services field. She founded Team Med Global in 2007 and has grown the company to two dozen executive and collaboration team members who deliver consulting, education, and staffing services.

The best professional advice:  Treat others with respect, be honest, and always do the best job possible.  Work to develop others, and through these experiences, you are not only developing these individuals—but your own style and skills too.  Life is short, so find the joy in what you do.  There are always politics, but don’t let the politics get you down.  Just keep working your plan.

Mary Baker, DHA, CPCS, CPMSM, and Team Med Global team member:

If there’s one thing for certain about the role of the MSP of the future, it’s:  You'll never be bored.  Our area of expertise is ever-changing and expanding!

 Here’s the story about how I ended up in the best profession in healthcare: I was a ward clerk on the night shift, and was called to HR.  I thought I was in deep trouble, but I was asked to work in the Medical Staff Office, because, they said, “you know how to track the doctors down, and  get them to get their work done." 

Larry DeHoyos, CPCS, PESC, and Team Med Global team member:

The best professional advice I ever received was: “Clean the slate” before every meeting or phone call.  It keeps me grounded and helps me move to the next project/item with an open mind.

I would also like to share with fellow MSPs that the industry is ever-changing and we should walk into each day with an open mind.  Healthcare, and our industry, continues to evolve every moment.  It is different from yesterday, and tomorrow will be different from today.

Dina Solis, PESC, and Team Med Global team member:

If there’s one thing for certain about the role of the MSP of the future, it’s:  that Payer Enrollment will remain one of the most important functions of MSPs in healthcare.  As healthcare delivery evolves, the role of the Enrollment Specialist will remain at the forefront of revenue integrity in healthcare organizations and will continue a demand for affordable, quality education and training, as well as professional networking and collaboration within the enrollment community, in order to successfully overcome its many obstacles and challenges.

Rachelle Silva, BS, CPCS, CPMSM, and Team Med Global team member:

Here’s the story about how I ended up in the best profession in healthcare: I was working as a receptionist in a Physical Therapy/Sports Medicine Center at a local hospital.  Over an 18-month period, there was a medical staff coordinator position posted three times. They would post openings at the time clock for internal interest.  Each time I saw the posting I'd think, "Gee, I wonder what that job is” and then would go about my day.  The third time it was posted I thought, “Maybe I should see what this job entails,” so I asked to see a job description. Looking it over, it was clear that I could easily do the job. But what really caught my eye was the reference to the national and state organizations for medical staff services and the certifications offered by NAMSS.  Through certification, I saw a profession—not just a job, and I have been riding the rocket ever since.

Joyce Moore, MPA, CPCS, CPMSM, and Team Med Global team member:

Why healthcare needs us more than ever: As an MSP with +15 years of experience, I am still considered a baby in the field.  What I have gleaned over these years is we often times are the historians for the medical staff and for administration.  If our minutes are accurate with pertinent details, we can,  in perpetuity, provide expertise long after we are gone.

I have more than once been the expert at the table providing unbiased facts that allowed action.  I have also been the professional brave enough to address the elephant in the room. Asking the platonic question using proof of absurdity... And why, I ask, should this be allowed?  Would you allow this to happen if it were your family member?  We often times offer a non-partisan voice to turf battles. We cite regional national standards, we cite criteria, we offer facts rather than opinions.  We offer the voice of reason as well as the call to action.  We are the gatekeepers of patient safety and guardians of future MSP. Why?... Because what we do today impacts our friends, families, and future generations. 

When I was  at a facility that had interns, I oriented them to why credentialing the highest risk process the hospital engaged.  A “C” MSP is not good enough.  Do you want an average doctor? NO.  Why settle for an average MSP? We are needed more than ever because it is our responsibility to pass the baton.  In community organizing there is a “power of information” that means we use power to gain leverage.  What l love about MSPs is that WE SHARE knowledge.  Sharing is our life blood.  Without it, our minds wither and patients can ultimately die. 

Nicole Keller, MSHM, CPHQ, CPHIT, and Team Med Global team member:

The best professional advice I ever received was: Develop strategies to let non-value-added incidents and comments be "like water off a duck's back." Be aware and mindful enough to evaluate value: How can I take this experience, learn, and apply learning in future situations to improve outcomes? What are the facts, and could these facts be used for improvement? If not, we all need to allow these incidents or comments to have little or no effect on us, which requires us to let them go.

Extend GRACE to others and also (and sometimes more importantly) yourself... OFTEN. We are all works-in-progress, who are continually learning and growing personally and professionally. Be the person to lend a helping hand when others stumble, and surround yourself with individuals (colleagues, leaders, personal acquaintances, etc.) that will do the same.

Wendi Stivers-Rigby, BS, and Team Med Global team member:

If there’s one thing for certain about the role of the MSP of the future, it’s: We are taking on more responsibilities. In the time I’ve been an MSP, the Medical Staff Office has expanded to oversight of quality metrics, CME, and physician wellness. In addition, MSPs make up the staff of a fairly new CVO. The CVO is now accountable for payer enrollment and credentialing for our ambulatory health centers and surgery centers. I foresee more duties added to the MSP role as we prove we are not only good at what we do, but essential to keeping together our administration and Medical Staffs. 

Here’s why healthcare needs you now more than ever: MSPs are conditioned to hold together the Medical Staff and support them through trying times. More than ever, practitioners need to have a consistent reliable place to come for all their questions and to get up-to-date information. MSPs are traditionally well-rounded people, driven by the need to help, and go above and beyond to do so. We know our facilities in and out, are clever and natural problem solvers. “The new normal” is fluid and as MSPs, we are here, strong, to navigate and keep all on track.  We are essential.

Stephanie Russell, BS, CPCS, CPMSM, and Team Med Global team member:

The best professional advice I ever received was: from the first administrator I worked for. He told me physicians are no different than you or I; they put their pants on one leg at a time, just like us. I always remembered that and it reminded me to not let them intimidate me.

No one ever told me that the *(asterisk) at the end of my job description as an MSP would include: other duties as assigned, such as listening to and counseling physicians. I realized over the years that everyone needs a safe place to vent and to someone who understands what they do every day.

Here’s the story about how I ended up in the best profession in healthcare: The medical staff secretary was retiring. She told me I should apply as I knew all the physicians (from working in the ICU and medical records). My mom, who was the previous director of quality at the same facility, told me that the doctors sometimes gave out Christmas bonuses and I should apply. Well, I did and it came down to two of us (out of 10). I got the job! The Chief of Staff at that time gave me a hard time about everything for the first year; I later found out that he was mad, because the other finalist was his girlfriend. Can't make up this stuff, and so began the journey.

Yesenia Servin, CPMSM, PESC, and Team Med Global team member:

One thing I know now that I wish I knew when starting out as an MSP is: Find a mentor; there are many professionals willing and ready to guide and watch your journey.  

If there’s one thing for certain about the role of the MSP of the future, it’s: that we are always learning and growing.

The craziest thing that ever happened in my medical staff office was: when a doctor asked me to help find his wedding band! Yikes!

 


Have your own stories and advice to share? Reach out to let us know. At symplr, we are honored to serve medical services professionals through our provider data management software products, CVO services, industry-validated best practices, complimentary educational webinars, and more. 

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QUIZ ANSWER:  In 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed Congressional House Joint Resolution #399 proclaiming the first week in November as National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week.