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Rana McSpadden, FACMPE, CPC

"When I first started in practice management, my contacts and mentors were Fellows in the ACMPE."

Rana McSpaddenVolunteer Roles: Chair of the Fellowship Submission Committee
Job: Medical Practice Consultant

Why did you decide to get involved with MGMA?

I had always been told to surround yourself with people you want to be like, and if you were the smartest person in the room, you need to find another room.  That is what MGMA-ACMPE is to me; a room full of people much smarter than me who I want to be like.  MGMA is the pulse point of what’s happening in healthcare — from our Government Affairs team informing us of what’s happening in Washington, D.C., and advocating on our behalf, to the members of our Member Community, sharing their knowledge from the trenches.  When I first started in practice management, all of my contacts and mentors were Fellows in the ACMPE, and I knew if I wanted even a fraction of the knowledge these people had, I needed to be a Fellow as well. 

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering for MGMA?  

The most rewarding part to volunteering for MGMA is passing on the knowledge and the encouragement I have received to others.  I learn from those I help. I want to see them succeed.  I want to be their cheerleader.  To me, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a new Fellow cross the stage, knowing I might have had some small part in them accomplishing their goal.

How did you decide that practice management was the career for you?

I actually kind of fell into practice management as a career. I started off doing data entry for a radiology practice when they did a billing system conversion while I was in high school. It was only supposed to be a temporary job, but they kept me on after the conversion posting payments, patient collections, and then finally as administrative assistant before I left a few years later. I knew at that point, I wanted to work in the administrative side of healthcare. 

What is the best tip you give to people who are just starting a career in practice management?

In my current company, I get to work with many newly minted practice managers.  One of the first things I tell them is to find another manager in their local community willing to mentor them.  Join a local manager group if a MGMA local chapter isn’t available. These people are fighting in the same trench; they know how to navigate local politics and where to go for certain information.  I also encourage state and national MGMA membership, as these help with more big picture issues. Finally, I encourage them to ask for help.  There is no shame in not knowing an answer to an issue, where to get information, or how to do something; the shame is in remaining ignorant.  

How do you relax after a busy week? 

During the week, I relax by having a spa night where I’ll soak in the tub for a long period of time, listening to music, and reading a book to let my mind and muscles unwind.  On weekends though, I have discovered the relaxing therapy brought on by riding motorcycles.  It’s hard to explain the therapeutic effect of having the sun and wind in my face, the roar of the motor in my ears, and the smells of the countryside you don’t experience while in a car.  It’s the closest to flying without leaving the confines of the earth. All thoughts and worries seem to melt away as the only thing I’m concentrating on is the road ahead.

What is your top tip for maintaining work/life balance?

It’s hard for me to advise on maintaining a work/life balance, as I struggle with this myself sometimes.  I guess the best advice I can give is to recognize you aren’t your job, “no” is a perfectly acceptable word, and asking for help is not weakness.  Know when you’re starting to take on too much.  I’m lucky enough to have coworkers that can recognize when I’m starting to get overwhelmed and aren’t afraid to tell me.  It’s helped me learn my limits, and I know if I need help, they have my back.

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