June 28, 2012 – Yesterday I posted Part I of the CarePlanners Manifesto. Today I’ll dive into some personal stories about the current state of healthcare in the United States.
In 2005 I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and:
- My insurance company declared that my cancer didn’t exist because it wasn’t in their database – really?
- I was forced to play 1-800 pinball when trying to navigate my way through the healthcare system – really?
- An insurance representative was almost fired after giving me her direct phone number – really?
- The hospital sent a team to see me after surgery to see if I was addicted to pain killers – really?
- A doctor billed the insurance company $3,000 after seeing me for 20 minutes – really?
- The same doctor then came after me for the balance when insurance only paid him $300 – really?
And about infinity other stories…
(If healthcare were a pinball machine, I was the ball.)
You have healthscare stories – we all do – that maybe we can all laugh at after the fact. But the stories in and of themselves are problematic. We all look at the stories and shake our heads because we know the stories to be true and we aren’t sure how to address the system.
Health and care are two nurturing words that taken together have become the personification of tangled and bureaucracy. Our mission is to make the healthcare system work far more effectively for both patients and their caregivers. Our stated objective is “to help simplify the healthcare system so you can make better decisions for your loved ones and yourself.” That is meant to be a noble endeavor and will require supreme devotion on our part to ensure it remains a noble endeavor.
Our mission must be a constant reminder to our team of why CarePlanners exists and what we envisioned when we began this journey. We must always be vigilant and not lose sight of our mission regardless of the situation. Otherwise we will have taken the first step to failure.
My primary belief in business is a simple one. If my three children aren’t proud of what I did in a given day, I did not have a successful day. It’s a fairly easy rule to follow and that has to be what CarePlanners strives to do in each and every situation.
And then there is the belief that stands over all other beliefs: We exist to serve our clients – period. These clients are caregivers, patients, healthcare advocates and others in the healthcare ecosystem. We are first and foremost a customer service organization. To borrow a few inspirational quotes from people far smarter and more accomplished than we are:
- “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.” –Sam Walton
- “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” –Bill Gates
- “Well done is better than well said.” –Benjamin Franklin
- “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that.” –Jeff Bezos
- “Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” –Peter Drucker
- “In our way of working, we attach a great deal of importance to humility and honesty; with respect for human values, we promise to serve our customers with integrity.” –Azim Premji
- “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” –Walt Disney
- “It starts with respect. If you respect the customer as a human being, and truly honor their right to be treated fairly and honestly, everything else is much easier.” –Doug Smith
- “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” –Sam Walton