7 Steps to Take after Graduation

May 14, 2011

Congrats!!  It’s graduation time!  Are you a little nervous?  Here are seven tips to follow your dreams, find success, and make a difference.

1)  Commit to something bigger.

There is no sugar-coating it, healthcare is tough!  Odds are that within the first year, you’ll either quit or think about quitting. However, it’s hard to quit on something bigger than yourself. Have a goal. Be on a mission. Change the world. Save a life.

If you want to succeed, you must commit yourself to a bigger cause.

2) Figure out what you love.

I guarantee you will not truly succeed if you’re doing anything you don’t love.  Healthcare is just too hard  if you don’t love it.  Find your calling and chase it!

3) Start doing it. Now.

If you don’t love what you’re doing, make a change.  Don’t put it into your 5 year plan.  Start today.  Even if you have to get/keep your day job until you can do what you love full-time, get started!  Volunteer or do per diem work on the side to gain experience.

4) Meet others who love what you love.

Few people can win alone anymore.  The world is too complex and we need people to pick us up when we’re tired, broken, and failing.  It’s a war out there, and you will fail, fall, and need help.  Find others, learn from them and win.  Together you are stronger.  (If you need help finding others in your specialty, check out the free Clear Medical Network forums on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin)

5)  Make long-term plans, not short-term ones.

If you’ve committed yourself to something special, keep your eye on it.  Make short-term adjustments, but focus on the big picture.  It’s too easy to get distracted these days, so you need to be working towards long-term goals.  Don’t waste energy on achieving short-term goals. Everything should lead toward the end goal.

6)  Don’t be selfish.

You will need to give things, thoughts, and time away before you get anything in return.  I’m not sure exactly why, other than people like nice people and are willing to help them in return.

Give, give, give.

7) Take your magic step.

If you will succeed, there will be one magic step only you will discover.  The very nature of our world is that we cannot all have the same path, the same steps towards our dreams.  You will need to take a unique step along the way, and it will be something that only you will find.

Call it magic or whatever you’d like, but you’ll need it and I can’t tell you what to look for.  We all have a step in life that we will need to take to achieve our dreams.

When you see yours.  Take it!

Let me know if we can help.

Have a great day,

Aaron@Biebert

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Aaron is a former nursing home administrator, HIM Director, and consultant.  He is also the creator of the Clear Medical Network and an 8pm Warrior.


A Salute to the 8pm Warriors Among Us

July 31, 2010

 

Still in the office at 8pm?

Unless your workday begins at noon, that’s a sure sign you’re probably working on something important.  It’s probably also a good sign sign that the project is probably in great hands.

While it’s probably not healthy to work in the office 8 to 8 every day, sometimes duty calls…and it’s the special people that answer.

Whether it be the deadline for that new building project finance package, the EMR implementation that has go-live around the corner, the new administrator helping to rally the staff on the NOC and PM shifts, or the hundreds of other scenarios we see at Clear Medical Solutions…it is important that someone takes the ball and runs with it.

You know who you are, and thanks for giving it everything you got when something important is on the line.  I’ve taken part in quite a few “after hours” adventures, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Thanks for being great, and if you ever need help we’ll be “8pm Warriors” right with you. 

 

Special thanks to our agents at our Clear Medical Agency division.  I am continually amazed and inspired at what you accomplish long after most have gone home for the day.  Keep up the great work, you’re starting to make a huge difference in the lives of the consultants, nurses, therapists, and hospital leaders you work with.

 

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.


A Mother’s Gift

May 9, 2010

In addition to my mother and my wife, I’m celebrating all mothers around the world today. 

It’s amazing to think about what this world would look like without mothers.  I’m not just talking about act of childbirth or pregnancy, but what would it look like if each of our mother’s were not around while we grew up?

Where would we be today without mothers?

My mother supported my dreams, no matter how crazy they were.  My wife carried me (and our two children), through tough times and stressful career situations.  I’ve seen our nurses, therapists, consultants, and leaders working overtime to make ends meet or having to take time off to care for a sick child or family member. 

Everywhere I look…mothers are giving.

Yes, sometimes it hurts to be a mother and sacrifices are made, but I know that not one of my wonderful colleagues would be here supporting our “Culture of Caring” without their mother.  On behalf of the entire Clear Medical Solutions family, I want to say “Thank You” for making our world a better place, and for incubating our dreams, our careers, and our mission to make the world a better place…one person, one facility at a time.

Thanks!

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.


Social Media Savvy

April 11, 2010

(This post is part 3 of a short series on 4 Skills for Healthcare Leaders)

Just like the nurse I mentioned that was tweeting about her boring meeting, your employees and patients are probably tweeting or facebooking about things they don’t like too (or maybe things they do like). 

I would suggest that in order to maximize success as a leader at your facility, you will want to not only listen, but engage your stakeholders in a social way in order to learn more about them and their needs.  Listening to their needs shouldn’t be a new idea, it’s just nowadays when someone is unhappy, 10,000 people hear about it within 5 minutes.

There is no more hiding the bad…or the good!

Don’t believe me?  Check out http://www.SocialMention.com and try searching “Clear Medical Network” or the name of your facility in parentheses. 

Interesting?

The key issue is that your reputation matters for recruiting and retaining hard to find:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Surgeons
  • Therapists
  • Executives
  • and others

In order to operate and flourish in an industry facing these shortages of skilled people, you (not just HR or Marketing) will need to find and engage your future doctors, executives, nurses, patients, and everyone else.  On top of that, you also have marketing to patients as well. 

That is why I believe that having Social Media Savvy will be a key skill.

We’ll see you tomorrow for the third skill topic: Caring.

 

Learn about Social Media:

  1. Guide to Twitter:  http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/
  2. Guide to Facebook: http://mashable.com/guidebook/facebook/
  3. Social Media in Healthcare:  http://www.ClearMedicalNetwork.com

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.


4 Skills for Healthcare Leaders

April 9, 2010

In my opinion, leadership in the healthcare world has seen a drastic shift from just four years ago and it isn’t going back.  The “Good ‘Ol Days” we once knew are now officially gone (I know this may not be breaking news to you if you’re reading this).

For the skeptics out there, I don’t have any scientific research to back this up.  However, when you see the medical world from the eyes of a visiting consultant and interim leader, it is easier to step back and see how fast change is happening. 

For me, it only took a nurse (your nurse maybe?) posting on Facebook about how boring her hospital meeting was…during the meeting.  About 500 of her friends saw it, and they were commenting back.  One of the commentors told her about another job opportunity at a neighboring facility. 

Wow…

It’s things like this that get me thinking.  What will the future be like, and will we be ready?  I was doing some reading last night about future leaders and the skills they will need, and I created my own list of four skills that I think any of us will need to succeed in the future as leaders in a changing industry that will face severe shortages of nurses, doctors, therapists, and others.

  1. Learning on the Fly
  2. Social Media Savvy
  3. A Caring Attitude
  4. “The Champion” Skill

I’d love to hear your thoughts on each of these, as I’d be shocked if someone didn’t have a great 5th skill to add. 

In the coming days, I am going to write a quick series about these four skills and why I think they’re important.  If you’d like to take part in the discussion (or just get the next post via email instead), you can get these posts sent to you by signing up in the upper right of the main page. 

See you tomorrow!

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He enjoys teaching, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.


A New Day in Healthcare

March 21, 2010

Insider sources in Washington D.C. have confirmed that the vote on healthcare reform will successfully pass the House, the budget for the bill will then be reconciled by the Senate, and then the President will sign into law one of the most significant pieces of legislation in almost a generation.

Today truly is a new day in healthcare. 

Whether you’re for it or against it, there is no doubt that it will make significant changes to almost 1/6 of the US Economy, add millions of regular users to the healthcare industry, and usher in a new era of growth to an industry already poised to experience tremendous growth as the Baby Boomers retire. 

So, you might be wondering how this affects you?  In this posting, we will attempt to provide a basic overview of what will happen.  While it will vary by what part you play in the industry, it is certain to affect everyone:

Patients will:

  1. be required to carry health insurance
  2. get help from the government if they qualify under a certain income threshold
  3. not have lifetime caps on insurance coverage
  4. not be excluded from some option of coverage due to pre-existing conditions
  5. pay a tax on very expensive health insurance plans (The so-called Cadillac Plans) 
  6. see Medicare Advantage plans begin to disappear
  7. see the value of their health benefits reported on their W-2 forms

Clinical Professionals (Doctors, Nurses, Therapists, Leaders, etc.) will:

  1. see the number of potential patients rise as the program begins implementation
  2. see changes in reimbursement methods and amounts
  3. see encouragement of doctors and caregivers to reorganize to provide more efficiency and quality of care
  4. have fewer uninsured patients that need care

As with any new entitlement, someone will have to pay for it.  In this case, it will be paid for by new taxes, State budgets, and some cuts in Medicare budgets.  Also, as was the case with Medicare and Social Security, the costs will probably outgrow the current plans for taxes and cuts, and new taxes or deficits will be needed. 

The impact this bill will have on insurance companies, Medicare, Medicaid, businesses, and taxes is not certain.  The country is sharply divided on the matter, and there will be many legal battles and objections from States.  Periodically, I’ll update our readers here on what we’re seeing on the horizon as things change.  However, history has shown us that these sort of reforms are hard to reverse. 

For your reference, we have provided a helpful timeline below to outline when different phases will begin.  Let me know if we missed anything, and please subscribe to the blog (in the upper righthand corner) if you are interested in getting more updates in the future.  This is important stuff, and we’ll get through it together.

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Within One Year

  • Insurance companies will be barred from dropping people from coverage when they get sick.
  • Lifetime coverage limits will be eliminated and annual limits are to be restricted.
  • Insurers will be barred from excluding children for coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
  • Young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26. Many health plans currently drop dependents from coverage when they turn 19 or finish college.
  • Uninsured adults with a pre-existing conditions will be able to obtain health coverage through a new program that will expire once new insurance exchanges begin operating in 2014.
  • A temporary reinsurance program is created to help companies maintain health coverage for early retirees between the ages of 55 and 64. This also expires in 2014.
  • Medicare drug beneficiaries who fall into the “doughnut hole” coverage gap will get a $250 rebate. The bill eventually closes that gap which currently begins after $2,700 is spent on drugs. Coverage starts again after $6,154 is spent.
  • A tax credit becomes available for some small businesses to help provide coverage for workers.
  • A 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services that use ultraviolet lamps goes into effect on July 1.

2011

  • Medicare provides 10 percent bonus payments to primary care physicians and general surgeons.
  • Medicare beneficiaries will be able to get a free annual wellness visit and personalized prevention plan service.
  • New health plans will be required to cover preventive services with little or no cost to patients.
  • A new program under the Medicaid plan for the poor goes into effect in October that allows states to offer home and community based care for the disabled that might otherwise require institutional care.
  • Payments to insurers offering Medicare Advantage services are frozen at 2010 levels. These payments are to be gradually reduced to bring them more in line with traditional Medicare.
  • Employers are required to disclose the value of health benefits on employees’ W-2 tax forms.
  • An annual fee is imposed on pharmaceutical companies according to market share. The fee does not apply to companies with sales of $5 million or less.

2012

  • Physician payment reforms are implemented in Medicare to enhance primary care services and encourage doctors to form “accountable care organizations” to improve quality and efficiency of care.
  • An incentive program is established in Medicare for acute care hospitals to improve quality outcomes.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the government programs, begin tracking hospital readmission rates and puts in place financial incentives to reduce preventable readmissions.

2013

  • A national pilot program is established for Medicare on payment bundling to encourage doctors, hospitals and other care providers to better coordinate patient care.
  • The threshold for claiming medical expenses on itemized tax returns is raised to 10 percent from 7.5 percent of income. The threshold remains at 7.5 percent for the elderly through 2016.
  • The Medicare payroll tax is raised to 2.35 percent from 1.45 percent for individuals earning more than $200,000 and married couples with incomes over $250,000.  The tax is imposed on some investment income for that income group.
  • A 2.9% excise tax in imposed on the sale of medical devices. Anything generally purchased at the retail level by the public is excluded from the tax.

2014

  • State health insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals open.
  • Most people will be required to obtain health insurance coverage or pay a fine if they don’t. Healthcare tax credits become available to help people with incomes up to 400 percent of poverty purchase coverage on the exchange.
  • Health plans no longer can exclude people from coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
  • Employers with 50 or more workers who do not offer coverage face a fine of $2,000 for each employee if any worker receives subsidized insurance on the exchange. The first 30 employees aren’t counted for the fine.
  • Health insurance companies begin paying a fee based on their market share.

2015

  • Medicare creates a physician payment program aimed at rewarding quality of care rather than volume of services.

2018

  • An excise tax on high cost employer-provided plans is imposed. The first $27,500 of a family plan and $10,200 for individual coverage is exempt from the tax. Higher levels are set for plans covering retirees and people in high risk professions.

Some information was gathered from our friends at Reuters.  To view their original report, please visit:  http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1914020220100319

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For more information about the Clear Medical Solutions team, please visit http://www.ClearMedicalSolutions.com or join our free network of healthcare professionals at http://www.ClearMedicalNetwork.com.


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