Independent Medical Reviews
May 11, 2020
With much written describing millennials as a “job-hopping generation,” I was compelled to reflect on what has led me to stay with my current employer, Advanced Medical Reviews (AMR) for over six years now. I started at AMR as a case processor, having a five-year background in the health care industry, working in an ophthalmology clinic. I knew about health insurance and authorization requests, but I came to understand another facet of health care when I came to AMR – independent medical review.
As anyone who has submitted a medical prior authorization request or insurance claim can attest, sometimes requests and claims get denied. But what happens next? Onboarding as a case processor at AMR opened my eyes to an entire industry devoted to independent medical review, or peer to peer medical review, conducted by independent review organizations (IROs). I learned how health insurance companies partner with IROs to ensure that patients receive the appropriate and medically necessary care needed for positive health outcomes.
Beyond learning about this new industry, I was also struck by how much my own values aligned with AMR’s belief statement: we believe every patient should receive quality health care. The more I worked as a case processor, I observed how AMR’s belief statement truly informed its operational and customer service strategies.
In my initial position as a case processor, I gained familiarity with medical terminology, the process of assigning cases to an appropriate specialty, learning about different state requirements and how commercial plans work. I started to build an interest in being the one who directly communicated with clients, understanding their needs to assist them and translating their unique requirements into customized workflows designed by a team at AMR. Within a year, I applied for the account manager role, which was more along the lines of what I wanted to do: directly communicate with clients.
What I loved most about AMR was that the company found my interests and took them to where I would thrive the most- customer service. Since day one, I've felt that AMR staff and leadership are looking out for your interests, skill sets, strengths and advising you on how to build on them. You have the option of building up your strengths even further while also strengthening your weaknesses. My team lead saw a lot of potential in me enough to say: “Norma, are you interested in this other position? I see that you are great with your communication. This could be a good direction for your career.”
I moved from the operations department to the client account management department. From then on, I continued to dive deeper into optimizing client communication while finding way to put AMR’s values in action.
AMR continued to offer me opportunities that nurtured my talents and challenged me in exciting ways. In my current management position, as the Director of Client Success, I continue to feel supported by my fellow managers in a way that feels like “family.” We frequently share new ideas with one another, freely offering feedback and encouragement, while generating ways to keep moving the company forward. In addition to our belief statement, we stand by three core values: selflessness, dedication, and a can-do attitude. I know I can count on my colleagues to possess these qualities when I need to pick up the phone and get some quick advice, or when I want to collaborate on an idea that I haven’t fully formulated yet, or when I have a client request that requires a team effort to address. Our belief statement and values have been a major factor in my company loyalty, as well as one of the biggest reasons I feel valued as an employee within AMR.
One of the ways we recognize employees at AMR is through staff nominating employees of the quarter and of the year. Last year, I was honored and delighted to be recognized as employee of the year. That level of recognition meant a lot to me because even though I wasn't looking for it, other people were noticing my work. It became real to me that this company is not just a company I worked for, this is the place where I've been able to develop as an employee and as a person. That professional and personal development has been instrumental to me.
I only manage five people, but they are all very different from each other. Different things motivate different people and we all have unique working styles— it's not one simple formula where you can think to yourself, “If I say this and I approached this topic this way, everybody's going to see the vision and do it the same way.” You have people that are super positive and confident in themselves, so you can motivate them by saying, “I don't think you can handle this; prove me wrong.” A more introverted person wouldn't appreciate that type of motivation. They need to be motivated by constant, positive feedback that builds their self-confidence.
Communication is always key, whether it’s clearly stating goals, or being prepared to clearly convey the details of a new client initiative. It might take more than one conversation. It might be that you have the initial conversation as a team. But you also need to have that conversation with each individual, because they don't always perceive information the same way. I think this approach has helped my team understand the decisions behind new initiatives. Being in a management position has made me become more strategic in my communication.
I’ve also become a lot more forward-thinking and analytical. I think these have become my strengths more so in the last couple of years because I've been able to rub shoulders with other people who also are thinking ahead of the game and picturing efficiencies that can drive this company forward. Being forward-thinking has also translated into my personal life, as I’ve become more adept at thinking a step ahead, in general. That wasn't a strength of mine three or four years ago; everything was very routine for me. AMR creates a work environment that encourages our ideas to come forward, and even if it's a small idea, it can grow into an idea that really drives the company forward.
One of the managers that I gravitated toward was our former director. One of the things that she shared with me was reinforcing the idea that this company can take me as far as I want to go, and the only person that can limit me is myself, which really struck me. For anybody that I feel may be at the same position where I was a couple of years ago, I always share that advice with them. As long as you're limiting yourself, you're always going to be frustrated and you're always going to be in a position where you're not happy. So what are you going to do about it? How are you going to go about it? That's what you need to start thinking about. This has made me appreciate AMR and everything that they've done for me. It's special to me that this company has opened the door to new pathways I would have never considered.
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