What is the “Sharknado” of Medical Practice Management? (Continued)

In my previous blog, I drew upon the Sharknado concept of two major tornadoes merging into one super-tornado to relate to issues encountered in medical practice management.

Now to the more humorous part, the sharks!  The three types of sharks I recognized in the movie were: the infamous Great White, thegreat white shark attack docile Whale and quite distinctive Hammerhead.

The Great White, since the day Jaws came out, they have become notorious for being man-eaters.  I do not claim to be a shark expert, but I am pretty sure that is seldom the shark’s true intention.

The ones in this movie however, did seem to be quite aggressive and vengeful.  Perhaps their motivation was based on feelings that the humans were to blame for global warming causing crazy storms and therefore it was our fault they got sucked into the tornado.

I know, I am exaggerating on the “motivation” but in the world of medical billing, how often do we feel unjustly attacked by payers.  The dreaded medical record auditor can be our Great White shark attacker. 

In our court system, we are innocent until proven guilty.  Insurance audits, feel much more like the opposite.  Granted, there are some providers and/or facilities that are knowingly coloring outside the lines and should be penalized accordingly.

surviving an auditThe Great Whites were “neutralized” by the star of the movie with a very large chainsaw.  I do not advocate taking a chain saw to the auditor, but if you are utilizing your EHR to its maximum capabilities, have established quality control guidelines for documentation verification and can always demonstrate medical necessity, you already have the best weapons possible.  It will neutralize the potential negative results of any payer audit.


Anyone who is lucky enough to have seen a live Whale shark cannot deny their beauty.  They are known to be completely docile and as the name implies that like whales, they are filter feeders.  To humans, they are pretty harmless, unless they fall out of a tornado on top of you.

giant whale shark

Squashed by a falling whale shark, no one expects that.  As a practice administrator, a sudden departure of a staff member can sometimes initiate sheer panic among remaining staff.  You immediately go into the “reorganization” mode, assigning others to take on those tasks in the interim.  This can often be met with a great amount of discord: “I am too busy to do more work.  Why can’t someone else do it?”  After the initial dust settles, you switch into hiring mode.  Filling an integral position in your organization is never an easy task and you need to balance the urgency with allowing enough time to select the most appropriate candidate.  The higher the skill level of the open position, like nurses, PAs or NPs the longer the search may take.


hammerhead shark

Hammerheads look pretty cool, but you might think having your eyes way on the outside of your head, could be problematic. It is the opposite, it allows them 360 degrees of vision so they can see above and below at all times.

That is a great skill.  As a practice administrator, billing manager, or physician it is so important to have the ability to see the fiscal health of your entire practice.


Iridium Suite Practice Management System incorporates a robust Report Center.

It allows users to examine not just outstanding ARs, but denials, the accuracy of payer reimbursements, biller efficiency and demographic trends used in marketing.