"This next choice is one that I can make
So I'll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing"
• Anna, The Next Right Thing, Frozen 2
The exhortation to do the next right thing is ancient, Disney’s 2019 sequel to Frozen notwithstanding. Still, Anna’s commitment to boldly choose "rightness" over temptations to take the easy, less costly, shorter, or more comfortable path is a reminder to us that life is a series of choices. Whenever we say “yes” to one thing, we say "no" to something else.
The ancient Hebrews called it "righteousness," and although it has a kind of religious or moral meaning today, it didn’t always. To them it simply meant life was about accepting personal responsibility for making the right move. It dislodges us from the ideas of ethics, efficiencies, and effectiveness, and places us squarely into the reality of day to day living - and that includes our work.
Revenue cycle management (medical billing if you prefer), when conducted fully and with conscious attention to its processes, is a complex and uneasy endeavor. Like so many things in life, we can love it deeply and still hate it sometimes. Writing off a balance that no one may ever discover is much easier and more pleasant than calling an insurance company to address a denial for medical necessity. Putting off completing a provider credentialing application or EDI enrollment in favor of sorting paperclips will tempt anyone with a soul. The choice to climb out of bed and get to work on time vs. an extra hour of sleep will challenge (hopefully rarely) all of us. That’s when a habit of doing the next right thing will always serve us, our clients, and their patients.
The commitment to do the next right thing requires discipline and even sacrifice, and it is one of our guiding principles. It’s not for the faint of heart. Anna can attest to that. We pay a price or enjoy the benefits of every choice we make, even the little ones. Let’s choose and do well.