Kathy Mills Chang, MCS-P, CCPC

Kathy Mills Chang, MCS-P, CCPC

A client made a very insightful observation recently. He told us, “We’ve been in practice long enough that we’re probably way cockier than we need to be.”

Anybody out there feel an “ouch” on that one? It’s dismayingly easy to get cocky and fall for the illusion that because procedures and policies are in place, the practice is safe and compliant, and its systems can basically run on autopilot.

The truth is, no matter how long we’ve been in business or practice, we’re on unsteady ground when we assume we know all we need to know. That’s as true for our company and its Certified Medical Compliance Specialists as it is for any of you. It’s our responsibility to stay on top of every change, every new regulation, every new directive that comes down the pike, to the tune of earning a mandated 20 hours of updated, continuing compliance and reimbursement education each year.

Just like you, we can’t know what we don’t know. And so we stay alert to every learning opportunity that comes our way, and go in with an open mind and an eagerness to better our understanding of reimbursement, compliance, and the chiropractic profession.

Former first lady Abigail Adams once said, “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” Yes and yes. Even when we have years of experience in a particular subject or area of expertise, we must constantly keep in tune with any changes and updates that occur. That’s the whole idea behind chiropractic continuing education (CE). But we urge you to stretch beyond the mandatory requirements for keeping your license.

The opportunities for learning are many, and, sometimes, overwhelming. There are seminars, webinars, books, journals, in-office trainings, consultant-driven education, newsletters, etc. So once you’ve accepted that first tenet—that no matter how experienced you are, continued training and learning is essential—there’s a second hurdle to be overcome: how do you determine where to spend your precious time and resources so that you get the information you need and the most bang for your buck?

We suggest looking for resources that are deeply familiar with not only your state’s laws, but who also have experience working with the scope of practices like yours, and who are up-to-date on the latest guidelines from your specific third-party payers. There’s lots of information out there, but you deserve and should hone in on materials that actually seek to educate, not simply tease with basic facts you probably already know and a hint that if you buy, buy, buy, you can get the good stuff.

We know that not only can you indeed teach an old (i.e., experienced) dog new tricks, but that it’s essential for those pups to keep learning if they want to stay relevant, compliant, safe from audits, and in growth mode. Stay alert to growth opportunities for you and your practice. It’s a fast-changing world out there, and no one is ever “all done” learning.

Kathy Mills Chang is a Certified Medical Compliance Specialist (MCS-P) and Certified Chiropractic Professional Coder (CCPC). Since 1983, she’s been providing chiropractors with reimbursement and compliance training, analysis, and tools to help practices increase revenue and decrease risk. Kathy leads a team of 14 at KMC University, and is known as one of our profession’s foremost experts on Medicare. She or any of her team members can be reached at (855) 832-6562, at http://www.kmcuniversity.com, or by emailing info@kmcuniversity.com.