Friday, May 28, 2010


When I came back to Charleston last year after my Mother passed away I took a month to get situated and then had to find a job because bills were due. At the time I had 13 years of medical billing experience, including managing a two doctor, one nurse practitioner practice. I've done it all... from checking in patients, billing, coding posting payments to sending patient bills just to have them call back to yell at me. I've done physician credentialing, hired, fired, kept the doctors from going crazy, kept the staff from going crazy... the list never ends.

While looking for a job I wanted something that was going to be challenging and paid well. It didn't take long before I realized I was back in Charleston and that position was rare... especially the salary part. After looking everywhere I finally succumbed to the pressure and took a position at my former company that I left 10 years ago.

When I left 10 years ago I was put in medical coding classes and was soon take out and told that there were "more important" people that needed the classes and that I was needed on the floor. After that I went to the local technical college, took the coding classes, as well as medical terminology and anatomy. After getting my certificates I left the company and went to work for a doctor across town.

Long story short, due to moving around I've worked at several billing companies and have pretty much worked in every field of medicine. I'm good at what I do and I love to be challenged.

When I came back to this company I soon realized it was the same crap that I left all those years ago. The same people were in management along with some of my former teammates that had been promoted. When they offered me the position they actually offered me less money than what I was making when I left. I laughed out loud, but wasn't shocked. After I left, the company was bought out twice and is now owned by the largest healthcare company in the world. When they bought us, they really didn't want our office, but we were part of a package deal so they didn't have a choice.

I have a strong opinion about office management here. Most of supervisors and managers started with this company and have never strayed. They have no idea what's really going on outside of these walls in the medical billing field. The way they run things is horrendous and I honestly can't believe they are still in business. They gain a massive client that signs a contract for several years, "we" totally screw up their billing, they lose money and we lose their contract when the time is up. For a while we struggle until another big client comes along and it's the same thing. I've seen it happen over and over again and in fact, it's what's happening right now.

We just lost a huge client and gained two big, but smaller clients. Our team was big and they have already done initial layoff's. We whisper amongst ourselves about different rumors going around regarding the client, layoffs, management, etc. and some of us have cleaned out our desks down to the bare necessities. I know I have.

Yesterday, eight of us were called into a meeting with our manager and two supervisors. In a nutshell, while trying to be as nice as they could, they told us that positions have been filled with the two new clients and that she would fill positions with us "as they become available." Until then, we are to work down the client that is leaving. So, basically she said we are the bottom of the barrel and weren't given priority positions and now we get to do the shit work. Nice.

I was looking around the room asking myself, with my resume why am I sitting here? I then realized that for the past year I've not used any of the skills I have worked so hard to obtain. All I do all day is write off charges because the doctors were never credentialed with Medicaid. So, because someone else failed to do their job, I'm unable to really do mine. There's no money coming in on Medicaid (which is my entity) so that reflects on me. Everything I have worked so hard for in the past 14 years is going to waste at this company. Why do I want to sit here and bust my ass for them when they have not invested in me?

To be honest, for the last few months this whole field of billing has left a bad taste in my mouth. I make $5 less an hour in Charleston than I did in Cincinnati. That's really sad. I want to do something new. I miss working with people and having contact with patients.

I realize I'm eventually going to get laid off along with some of my other co-workers, but I'm not sure how soon. The really sad thing is that before they called us in they did our annual evaluations earlier in the morning. I got a 2.5% raise. Wow.

Today I'm going to write a list of things that belong to me in my desk. Their way of doing things is to call you into HR while someone cleans out your desk for you - those scissors are mine! How classy. After they clean out your things they bring it to the front and hand it to you.

I laughed when I heard that one of the people that they recently laid off refused to carry their box to their car and made the supervisor do it. I like that. I think I'm going to use it.


Clytie said...

Wow. I've heard of places like this, but have never had to work in one. My sister did and on her last day she snuck a dead fish into the office, climbed up on a chair, pushed out a ceiling tile and dropped it between the wall studs. She never heard back from them.

Hang in there, and good luck!

Pamela said...

Oh my gosh! That's fantastic! I wish I knew when my last day was! lol!