Tracy Bird, FACMPE, CPC, CPMA, CEMC
Medical Practice Advisors LLC, Spring Hill, KS
Volunteer Roles: Harwick Innovation Award Committee Member, ACMPE Essay Grader, ACMPE Forum Representative, State Liason & Certification Commission
Why did you decide to get involved with MGMA?
The company I was working for at the time provided memberships to National MGMA for the staff. I realized quickly that MGMA provides endless resources for managers for any area that comes up in day to day management.
What do you find most rewarding about volunteering for MGMA?
Volunteering has opened a wealth of network connections for me. I have come to know other managers that are experts in different areas of practice management that I feel comfortable reaching out to when I have a question.
How did you decide that practice management was the career for you?
My entry into the field of practice management was quite by accident. My degree is in fashion merchandizing. My intent after college was to be a buyer for a large department store chain. However, my new husband returned to college after the military and there were no jobs in my field in a small college town. I went to work in a pediatric office answering phones, making appointments, handling medical records, learned billing and other operational tasks. I asked a lot of questions, and one of the physicians was wonderful to mentor me about medicine. I was hooked! All my opportunities from that point forward led me to management positions in different specialties and eventually to a consultant’s role.
What is the best tip you give to people who are just starting a career in practice management?
The most valuable tip is to surround yourself with a network of other managers. One individual cannot be good at everything. With a network of colleagues to learn from and bounce ideas off of, you are likely to be able to solve any issue that comes along. Of course, being a member your local, state, or national MGMA affords a manager lots of opportunities for growing that network.
What is your favorite book or website or resource for practice managers?
My strength is in revenue cycle evaluations and management. My favorite book is the one authored by Deborah Keegan Walker, Elizabeth Woodcock and Sara Larch titled: The Physician Billing Process. I have a number of websites I like but MGMA is my “go to”. I often go in search of other members Fellow papers on a topic I am needing further information for. That is a great resource.
How do you relax after a busy work week?
I love to garden. I have 3 flower gardens I tend on our property. We live in the country on 8 acres, so I have plenty of space to create. I have a sunny garden with lots of cutting flowers in the summer, a shady garden with a water fountain and trees, and a third that is part sun part shade and under construction. Digging in the dirt is my therapy after a busy week.
What is your top tip for maintaining work/life balance?
Work can certainly be stressful with plates piled high with tasks, and dwindling resources so it is easy to get caught up in the stress. I maintain that balance by keeping laughter and humor in my work as appropriate, and always faith, family, and friends at the forefront.