This episode of the Women in Healthcare podcast features Brandy Mabra, CEO of Savvy Clover Coaching & Consulting. Mabra is the founder of Private Practice CEO, a CEO coaching school for private practice owners, which helps CEOs streamline their operations so that their business can run more effectively without them feeling they need to do everything themselves. Mabra has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Entrepreneur and various healthcare podcasts.
Mabra spoke to MGMA Sr. Editor Daniel Williams on her personal business success and stories of working with healthcare executives to engage their teams and take ownership of their executive roles. She also addressed the unique struggles women face in balancing the needs of their families and their desires in seeking opportunities in the C-suite.
Editor’s note: The following Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: You talk about a really compelling personal story, from being a bankrupt single mom of a toddler to the CEO of your own company.
A: I find that it gives other people permission to not feel like they have to be perfect. We all have our struggles that we’re facing, regardless of our walks of life. I made that transition from Ohio to North Carolina, post-bankruptcy, and I needed a fresh start. It was just me and my son. So I moved with my last paycheck – no home, no job, essentially in a rental car – and when I got to Charlotte, I was able to start anew and that’s when I got my practice management job. I needed to make sure that my son was taken care of, and that we were taken care of. I wasn’t anticipating all of that, but what that did was motivate me so I went after jobs I probably would not have applied for. It started off from me needing to make sure that we were good.
Q: Women do make up the majority of employees and workers in healthcare, but it’s not the same when you get to the executive level. If women do want to go to that level, what are some of the keys in doing so?
A: For me, I had to give myself permission to go after the career I wanted. And oftentimes, as women and as mothers, we feel guilt. We feel that we need to be at home and we need to make sure that our kids feel supported. We’ve definitely put them before us. And so I had to really rework that and decide what my version of balance looked like. I had to get really clear on the activities and give myself permission to not have to do everything. Being transparent and saying things like, “hey, I would love to be able to participate in this, but at this time, I can’t, or … maybe I can give it to you next week.” I had a habit of wanting to be supportive and definitely being a good team member, but over-extending myself.
So even a lot of the executive positions that I took, I’ve been able to take my kids to school every single day and pick them up. On some days, I needed to ask for help. And I find women sometimes don’t want to ask for help. I had to make sure to put my pride to the side and ask for help – if I needed my mother or a friend just to help me with that, then I’ve been able to do that.
Q: Of the practice leaders you’re working with, are they basically wearing all the hats? Are they running every aspect of the practice, from financial management to staffing and HR?
A: Yes. Or, they hired a team, and they’re not allowing their team to do the job that they’ve hired them for, because that’s their baby, that’s their practice. They don’t want them to mess it up. They have office managers, leadership billers and schedulers, but they’re not leveraging the team to full capacity. Or that team doesn’t have the resources to be successful. It’s a lack of policy procedures, a lack of company culture, company handbooks … all of those things. Some of them are very makeshift. So I come in and help them make things more efficient and effective as they’re running the practice, and then ultimately it’s making sure that they’re confident in their leadership skills.
Q: Let’s talk about a success story. What does that look like? You’ve identified those pain points, so how do you help them build a more efficient practice with better outcomes?
A: What it looks like is their tracking metrics. What it looks like they are now paying attention to their money, they’re utilizing their EHR systems with all the reporting that they need to look at. They are more empowered when it comes to their teams – they know how to hire, they know how to fire, they are partnering with HR rather than trying to do it themselves. It’s really fun to watch the transformation. They’re working less hours, they’re feeling more prepared.
The MGMA Provider Compensation and Production data set is one of the most comprehensive data sets in the industry, providing hospital- and physician-owned practice data and compensation benchmarks for medical directorship, on-call, academic and starting salaries. The 2023 data set represents nearly 190,000 providers from 6,800 groups spanning 250 specialties. Learn more by visiting mgma.com/datadive
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