What a Year It's Been!
Welcome to my final president's message. It's hard to believe that fall is here. It seems like yesterday that I was composing my first letter to you, introducing myself as the new president of HBMA. Time flies when you consider how busy we've been this year and how much we've accomplished.
Looking back, I am proud of the hard work that our board of directors has put into some really important strategic objectives. Past boards have recognized what the winds of change have been bringing to our association and to our businesses and industry. We've all had to react to these changes and be ahead of the curve. This year has been no different for HBMA's leadership. There are real threats to medical billing companies, but there are also opportunities. This year, our board of directors was able to distill consultants' analyses, industry news, and reports, as well as real-life experiences, into a concise strategic plan that will continue to improve HBMA, as well as position us for growth.
These decisions include reducing our annual meetings to once a year. This will allow HBMA to have one large convention-style meeting that will have great educational content, excellent industry representation from our vendor affiliates, and expanded networking opportunities as we work toward our goal of becoming the revenue cycle management convention of the year. I look forward to what the educational task force brings forward.
Another bold step by the board are the proposed bylaws changes. Again, I'd like to commend the members of the ad-hoc Bylaws Committee, chaired by Scott Everson, for their great work. Many of the changes contemplated will simply allow future boards of directors to govern more efficiently by removing confusing language, as well as positioning future boards to make better use of wise policy and procedures to govern or adapt. However, the clarification of membership categories marks a significant change for HBMA. These membership categories eliminate confusion on how other stakeholders may get involved with our efforts and provide clarity to the roles and rights of different levels of membership that existed in prior versions of our bylaws. Our new bylaws will make HBMA more accessible to our industry. Passage of these changes will allow HBMA to grow along with an industry that has already seen amazing changes.
When I began my presidency this year, I sought to better align our committees with our long-term strategic vision. Part of that goal was that board members would not chair committees so that they could focus on the governance and strategic vision of HBMA. We made some progress, but more is needed. Another seemingly obvious but still elusive goal is to better align our committees' efforts with our budgeting, communication, and outreach efforts. This is more difficult than it sounds for a volunteer organization since we don't always know what other committees are up to, even if there are opportunities for collaboration. This year HBMA members will begin to see reports from the board that will give a window into the discussions and efforts of the board, in addition to effective planning, communication, and coordination of our committees to move our objectives forward.
Much has been done, yet much remains to be accomplished. As the Roman statesman Seneca the Younger said, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." And so I look forward to working with our incoming president, Holly Louie, as she works to move forward her vision and the initiatives set forth by this and prior boards. I'd like to thank my fellow board members from the bottom of my heart for the privilege and opportunity to serve with them and learn so much about so many things. Lastly, I'd like to thank all of my member colleagues for allowing me to be your president this year. I believe I leave with HBMA in a better place and I am very proud of our board's accomplishments. As I said at our fall meeting, I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Curt Cvikota, CHBME
President, Healthcare Billing and Management Association