At Element, what gets us up in the morning? This. Our values:

Fully realize value for our customers

Integrity and compliance drive every decision we make

Relationships are the secret sauce for what makes us special

Empower through learning and innovation

But we’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon in many organizations: values live on coffee mugs.

Huh? The mug is sitting on a desk. Like a trinket. It’s functional… but only for drinking coffee (as long as it hasn’t gathered too much dust). Just to be clear: we love coffee mugs! But an organization’s values don’t belong on a coffee mug. Values belong in day-to-day behaviors. What do I mean by moving from words-on-a-coffee-mug to behaviors?  

Integrity:  hard decisions are like forks in the road. Do you take the harder (but right) path – correcting these 97153 codes to non-billable because you can’t bill them? (per insurance company and adaptive behavior CPT code billing guidance). Or, do you take the easier path and let it slide because it’s likely that no one will notice? Simple: you choose the harder path… and you praise your team when you see them doing it because you want everyone in your organization to know what integrity looks like IRL.

Learning: learning, like training, isn’t something you did. It’s something you DO. Every day.  

Think about the children with autism whom you serve through ABA treatment: you’re teaching them life-changing communication skills to help them interact with the world and live their best life. Do they learn because you added a cool smiley face emoji to the sticker? Nope. They learned because you did the hard work of understanding their preferences, modeling it for them, and praising the heck out of them when they said their first word. “Mama.” “Dada.” “I love you”. That’s hard. It took time, consistency, and relationship building. It’s the same at organizations. Intentional learning takes deliberate practice (daily), it takes reinforcement mechanisms, and it takes storytelling to embed it part of your culture.

THAT’S what it means to demonstrate values-aligned behaviors every day. IRL.

Here’s an easy question you can ask your billing team to figure out your culture. Better yet, ask your RCM vendor so you can understand their culture: “What behaviors get reinforced here?”

At Element, we reinforce values-aligned behaviors: realizing value for you, our customer; integrity and compliance drive every decision we make (big or small, whether the decision is made in public or when no one’s looking); authentic relationships are our secret sauce; we empower our customers and our teams through on-going learning and innovation.   

So when it comes to your revenue cycle team – or your RCM vendor’s – culture and values, ask them to leave the coffee mug at home. Instead, demand that they engage in the harder work of reinforcing values-aligned behaviors when they see them. Every. Single. Time. Because it’s your integrity on the line. Most importantly: it’s worth it.

Put some kindness into the world,


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