Jere Pittner – Founder,
Alecta Revenue Cycle Management
Jere Pittner is an invaluable voice in the field of healthcare management services, particularly in revenue cycle management. With over 25 years of experience in the field, she has a deep understanding of complex physician-hospital arrangements and the ability to design systems and solutions to maximize reimbursement. Jere talks to me about her experiences over the years and her expectations for the future of the industry.
An Early Start In Healthcare Administration
After obtaining her master’s degree in healthcare administration, Jere started her career working in a six-physician pediatric group. At the young age of 24, she began to manage the practice, which launched her career.
She recounts that a huge factor in becoming better in her field was her ability to learn from making mistakes. She believes this is crucial in gaining expertise.
‘One of the things that I have learned in leading people is if I not only own my mistakes but also advertise them, they make me real and help others realize they don’t need to be ashamed either.’
During her early years in physician practice management, Jere was introduced to the field of revenue cycle and reimbursement. She then became the practice administrator for a large GI group in Atlanta.
Jere then focused solely on revenue cycle and founded Galen Advisors, a firm providing full-service revenue cycle management to private physician practices. She sold the company to a large hospital and ended up managing the revenue cycle work for all their physician engagements. This offered her a deep level of expertise in a specialized field, which greatly contributed to her knowledge and success in launching Alecta.
After more than two decades in the field, Jere states that her passion for developing complex processes to solve problems is what keeps her interested. As she says, the United States healthcare system is very dynamic, and the way healthcare is delivered is different in every market. This offers a variety of opportunities to hone one’s skills, offer assistance, and continue to watch how it all unfolds.
Overcoming Challenges Over The Years
Jere is keenly aware that one of the main challenges of pro-fee revenue cycle management is often resource constraints. There is only going to be a finite amount of dollars and resources that can be allocated to something that is so complex and challenging. Most revenue cycle infrastructures and entities are so lean that if things don’t go well, there is no bandwidth to deal with it. As a result, Jere’s company can provide expertise as well as staffing options to help organizations with a revenue management component.
Current Business Structure And Organization
Currently, Alecta has close to 10 clients and a team of fifteen. One of the major clients they are working for is a large laboratory with multiple locations around the country and growth prospects in the next three to five years. Alecta’s focus is to help them build a revenue cycle model that stays dynamic as the firm grows.
‘Being able to help a company understand the value of the revenue cycle is very fulfilling. It’s an integral part of who they are because after you have cared for a patient, if you don’t get paid for it, you don’t have a business.’
Jere also reveals that they have extended certain services into the legal space. Here, the focus is on advising healthcare organizations facing regulatory or compliance issues by working directly with their law firms. Her firm acts as the perfect bridge between the client and the attorney to help them understand the nuances of the revenue cycle to resolve specific challenges.
Key Benefits Of Services At Alecta
Jere believes one of the key benefits is having a level of expertise that enables clients to optimize their revenue. It is not typical for an organization to have people with this breadth and depth of knowledge about RCM. For organizations that recognize the need for revenue cycle management, Alecta is a perfect complement.
Business Plans For The Future
For Jere, marketing and getting the word out are the primary areas of focus for the business. Right now, Alecta is a small organization in startup mode. However, Jere has put together a team of experienced RCM experts who are working together to build a substantive organization that can provide a variety of services.
Standout Moments As A Business Leader
Founding her first revenue cycle management company tops the list for Jere. The company was successful enough to sell to one of the largest hospitals in the country, which was an achievement personally and professionally.
Another standout moment was building a large complex infrastructure to manage that department, and there was never a misstep in increasing revenue or growth.
With her new firm, Alecta, Jere mentions being able to expand its services beyond traditional revenue cycle companies as an achievement. The company’s focus goes beyond physicians or hospitals to advising law firms, accounting firms and private equity investors as well. Using their broad knowledge base and unique set of services, Alecta’s team can help accountants and non-provider operators understand and enhance their revenue cycle infrastructure.
Top Philosophies And Core Values In Business
Jere’s main business philosophy revolves around honesty and integrity. Because healthcare is a highly complex and regulated industry, errors occur. There are always changes in what is and is not allowed. And as she well knows, unless someone actively stays current on these aspects, they can find themselves involved in a situation or business model that may no longer be favorable.
Having a culture of working honestly and with integrity goes a long way in having results that will hold up against any kind of scrutiny. Additionally, as a leader, it is important to instill these values in the employees to encourage them to step up and act when needed.
‘We have to be able to talk honestly about what we have. It is the only way we are going to able to address problems and build something that is going to be sustainable and work for us.’
Staying Ahead In This Industry
Jere believes that for organizations looking to remain successful in this industry, it is important for them to have staff members or consultants who are committed to understanding what is going on.
Anyone in business for any period of time is going to end up facing challenges. It is important to have people who understand what is going on and can lead the firm out of those challenges, and subsequently make sure that operations are being maintained.
Advice For Newcomers Looking To Start A Career In RCM
One of the most important things for anyone is to be introspective and know themselves. This helps anyone in this industry better align what they are doing with their skills and strengths and that becomes the driving force in their career path.
For instance, even in the revenue cycle, for a people-friendly person, customer service is a great avenue, while for a tech-savvy person, EDI and complex connections can be a better idea. A lot of people come in without any direction or understanding of their skill set. Jere states that for an individual, her best advice is to recognize what satisfies them.
‘I think we do so many things in reverse. I want to be successful; I want to make money and that is not the order. The order is who are you, what do you enjoy, what fulfills you, and the rest comes once you do that.’
Leadership Lessons Learned Throughout Life
Jere’s biggest lesson in leadership has been the importance of knowing herself, accepting who she is and being willing to share that, and being truly authentic. Leading by this example allows her to not only recognize her shortcomings but encourage others on her team to be authentic.
‘I am not going to deny who I actually am. I am going to take it and own it and give it and hope that others see that as an opportunity to do the same.’