Advancing patient access through leadership and change management

Podcast - June 23, 2020

Strategic Planning

Leadership Development

Patient Access

Patient access improvements have been a priority for medical practices since long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients have become increasingly savvy about how they access care, and providers have in turn become increasingly focused on meeting these modern expectations.

In this episode of the MGMA Insights podcast, we’re joined by Steve McMillen, senior manager, ECG Management Consultants, and Brian Bacak, MD, FAAFP, UCHealth Patient Line, associate vice chair for clinical affairs, department of family medicine, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. The two will be featured speakers at MGMA’s Medical Practice Excellence Conference in October, co-presenting a session on “Advancing Patient Access Through Leadership and Change Management.” 

“If there’s any silver living, it’s that hopefully we’re giving the healthcare industry a kick in the butt to do what we needed to have been doing 10 years ago,” McMillen said. “To see all these health systems moving to digital health, moving to an access approach, moving to a patient-centric approach and getting the right people in the room to make the decisions has been a really, really cool thing to see.”

To hear more from McMillen, Bacak and a host of other healthcare experts, register for the Medical Practice Excellence Conference at You can also click here to read McMillen’s joint MGMA insight article on “Balancing the supply and demand of patient access.”

Here are other highlights from McMillen’s and Bacak’s podcast interview:
  • (19:21) “I think it’s been extremely stressful for people, but it’s made me feel better about all of the energy that people had put in over the years, because I think it helped them respond better during this crisis.” – Bacak  
  • (24:47) “It was really a testament to say, if you have a strong physician leadership team, everything will follow. But if you can’t get your physicians to buy in, you’re going to have a hard time pushing for these difficult initiatives.” – McMillen  
  • (26:46) “You can’t just identify changes that are made, tell people it will be a good idea and then have them move towards it. They need a reason for moving in a different direction.” – Bacak
  • (34:37) “This is a world pandemic. This is a once-in-a-more-than-100-year event. This is terrible. It’s time to dust off some adaptive leadership skills and help people appoint a direction forward, because it’s needed. It’s not business as usual.” – Bacak 
  • (36:16) “There is a lot of good that can come from centralization. It's a scary thing. It can be an expensive thing. But I think it’s becoming a new normal in healthcare, and it’s something that when done right and done thoughtfully can help with things like this [COVID-19] tremendously.” – McMillen

Additional resources:

To keep up with the latest regarding the pandemic, be sure to visit You can also connect with fellow members and healthcare peers at

If you like the show, please rate and review it wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotifyStitcher or countless other platforms to make sure you never miss an episode.

MGMA Insights is presented by Decklan McGee, Rob Ketcham and Daniel Williams.

Thanks to CareCredit and Scrubin Uniforms for sponsoring this episode. 
  • Click here to learn how CareCredit is providing patients with payment flexibility and helping providers deliver a better patient financial experience. 
  • To streamline your uniform program and experience the Scrubin difference, visit

Shopping Cart

Your cart is empty



Use two letter code for US states
Use three letter code for country
Use two letter code for US states
Use three letter code for country

Grand Total:
Use two letter code for US states
Use three letter code for country

Questions? Contact the MGMA Service Center for assistance during checkout or review our return policy for more information.



Back to top