The Business of Providing Medicare Solutions

What is your company name?

Nurse Agent X

What problem does your company solve?

My company promotes improved access and affordability to healthcare by educating and advocating for patients/families to be proactively engaged in understanding their health coverage. It is important that patients understand all the potential savings and costs for effective financial planning. This is achieved by collaborating with beneficiaries and walking through the projected expenses for a plan year and estimating their potential plan usage (this is where prior nursing and case management experience becomes crucial). Patients and their families can benefit from enrolling into a Medicare Advantage plan because there is a built-in financial protector which sets limits on healthcare costs during the plan year.

When did you first see this problem as one that needed to be solved?

Having worked as an emergency room nurse for over 10 years in several states, I have cared for patients who decided to sign out against medical advice because of the crippling fear of medical expenses. I have also cared for patients with multiple repeated admissions because of failure to afford the prescribed medication or failure to seek appropriate follow-up. Later, I transitioned into Case Management and the problems were even more forthcoming. It was evident that most patients were not aware of available resources/services in the community and how to employ cost control medical planning. It is imperative that patients understand their healthcare coverage and be able to anticipate the costs associated at each point of service. The use of an emergency room for non-emergent conditions is a common pitfall. These patients are incurring high costs when the same care could have been provided at a more appropriate facility, such as Urgent Care Centers or Primary Care Providers. 
 

Did the problem ever seem like it was bigger than you?

The problem did seem insurmountable at first because there are many variables when discussing healthcare coverage. Some of the major variables include age groups, employment status and state-based medical coverage (Medicaid) and Point-of-Service. It would be imperative that all insurance companies develop a campaign to educate and engage their beneficiaries in using their coverage appropriately. Medicare, on the other hand, has very strict guidelines and is better regulated than employee health insurance. The population (beneficiaries) is defined and commercial insurance companies have to provide the same basic coverage as Original Medicare, making it easier to highlight the benefits of choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan.
 

What makes YOU stand out from others who may solve similar problems?

There are thousands of Medicare Solution Agents today who continue to do an awesome job in assisting beneficiaries in selecting their plans. My unique contribution is my Nursing and Care Management experience. I have cared for these beneficiaries as a frontline nurse and I have first-hand experience of the numerous challenges they face, especially when trying to navigate healthcare. This population is often faced with multiple chronic medical conditions. I am able to use my nursing knowledge of disease conditions and processes to guide their health planning. For example, a patient with Type 1 diabetes can expect to be prescribed insulin (which can be associated with a high cost), and will most likely have orders for blood tests such A1C checks (will need to consider outpatient laboratory visits, transportation, etc.). I am also able to advise beneficiaries how to anticipate services such as podiatry (for possible peripheral neuropathy), nutritional consults (for glycemic management) and other key areas which are important in comprehensively managing their conditions. I also maintain community resources for caregiver services, support groups, etc. All these are available at no cost to my clients. They really get the best of both worlds.

What, if any, concerns are there related to nurses NOT knowing about non-traditional roles?

Truth be told, most healthcare professionals are unaware of how insurance works. I have been asked multiple insurance-related questions by patients. As a nurse, my answer would be…."I don’t take care of that part" or "I can get a representative from billing to talk with you" or "Let’s focus on your health now and worry about the bill later." My answers were not just generic to avoid answering the questions; as a matter of fact, that was all I knew, and it was often the jargons my colleagues used as well.


If nurses are not aware of healthcare costs and coverage, we cannot advocate for patients, we cannot educate or even guide patients in planning for these expenses. Let’s look at this example: If a patient (35 years old) states he will lose his Medicaid coverage at the end of the month, what would be a follow-up question for the nurse? In the past, I wouldn’t know the significance of such info, I would probably be screaming ‘TMI’ in my head or simply wondering why he thinks his nurse needs to know this information.


However, now I am able to interpret that same statement as implying: He previously qualified because of a disability longer than 24 months, he was diagnosed with kidney disease and cleared after getting a transplanted kidney, or he has returned to work and no longer qualifies based on his income level. 


An appropriate follow-up question would be:  "What if anything, changed based on your prior qualifying situation, or have you started the application for another insurance plan or will you be paying out of pocket for follow-up, will you need to change PCP, etc.?" These are all pertinent questions that will determine if this patient will transition appropriately in the community or returned to the acute setting because of failed outpatient management.
 

Some say, "It's not what you know, it's about who you know." In terms of developing business relationships, do you agree with that statement? Please explain your rationale.

I totally agree with that statement. You can have the best product but if you cannot get in front of the right clientele, your product will remain just a product. Likewise, in developing business relationships, it is important that you are known by the right person(s) who are influential in getting your name and product out there. Networking becomes imperative if you are going to grow your brand and build substantial relationships.
 

Tell us about your transition. What was the process of moving away from the clinical role into a business role? What mindset shifts, if any, did you need to make?

A key part of the transition was to seek knowledge about insurance. I enrolled in an insurance training program and for the first couple weeks, I was reminded how clueless I was about the financial aspect of healthcare. As my illiteracy decline, my interest grew tremendously. I passed the state examination and got licensed. Now I was really destined to make a difference…or so I thought. I approached a few individuals with my new-found knowledge; many were receptive, but very reluctant to change anything. Now the question was, do I just continue working as a nurse, watching people sink deeper in medical debt? As a Case Manager, do I continue to help a few needy families with the declining limited resources available? Do I continue to put the best interest of the hospital’s profit first, or do I help individuals and their families make more informed health decisions? I decided on the latter, but could not find the job description to match my desires. By this time, my mindset had begun the shift from a clinical role into a business role, which was often overshadowed by fear of the unknown and inexperience. Occasionally, I stop to question if I made the right decision but remain committed to the journey into entrepreneurship. On difficult days, I remind myself that I will always be a nurse and I can always fall back to the bedside - only in case of an emergency. That said, my transition is still ongoing; I still maintain per diem status as a Case Manager.

What has been the hardest thing in starting in your specific type of business or job role?

The most challenging aspect of providing Medicare solutions is obtaining your book of business. Pursuing prospective clients, gaining their trust while remaining compliant with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) guidelines can seem insurmountable. However, with patience, persistent and determination, most obstacles can be overcome.

What has been the most rewarding thing about being in your business or job role?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is the appreciation expressed when a client enrolls in a plan that offers them the freedom and choice to seek the help they need. When the beneficiaries understand their benefits, it is easier to coordinate their care, which will lead to less hassle and frustration when trying to navigate the complicated healthcare system.

What would you say are the five important resources (books, conferences, associations) for a nurse who wants explore business?

"M.O.B.E website, networking with nurse entrepreneurs, e.g.: BNE, Marquis, B.L., & Huston, C. J. (2015). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing:  Theory and application (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, The Leadership Motivation Assessment found at
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_01.htm"

Let's talk legal stuff. Many nurses are afraid of this part of business. How did you address this concern in your business? What worked for you?

I am also afraid of the legal stuff!  Outsourcing such services to the pros has saved time and headaches. 

Who supported you during this transition? Did you have paid mentorship or coaching? If so, what made you make that investment in paid support?

My husband has been and remains my greatest support during my transition. He contributes his time, knowledge, experience and also offers ‘unpaid’ coaching services. I am now able to appreciate the information learned in my post graduate studies, especially relating to marketing and finance. I also have a handful of close friends and relatives who are very instrumental in the process, especially by offering words of encouragement. I have ongoing mentors and support through the insurance companies that I represent. I have not located a nurse or healthcare provider that offers the same or similar services. I will continue to endure a lot of trial and errors (learning moments) which are time consuming but crucial for growth to occur. The importance of paid coaching in this area would be invaluable.
 

What would you like others to know about what you do?

Meredith is the founder of NurseAgentX.com, and offers Medicare solutions for eligible Medicare beneficiaries. She now offers transitional coaching for healthcare workers interested in getting started in insurance. Meredith believes that in order to improve access and affordability to healthcare, patients and healthcare providers must be proactively engaged in understanding healthcare coverage and reimbursement.  

Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

Starting a business is never easy. It's important that you are accountable and powerful to achieve your goals. Be true to yourself, follow your dreams, don't be afraid to fail and never give up trying.

 

Meredith Ximines-Mullings MSN, RN, CEN

Website + Social Media Handles :

nurseagentx.com, facebook: nurseagentx

In terms of marketing and generating revenue for your business, having the right conversations with the right person(s) is important. Targeted marketing strategies are recommended, hence quality over quantity will potentially generate the most wins.

 
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The Business of Estheticians

What is your company name?

A Nurse's Touch Too; Massage and Skincare

What problem does your company solve?

My services help people to focus on self care.

When did you first see this problem as one that needed to be solved?

All my adult working life it has been a problem for me. I see it day in and out. People always put themselves last. Especially nurses, as we are caregivers by nature.

Did the problem ever seem like it was bigger than you?

N/A

What makes YOU stand out from others who may solve similar problems?

I am the only spa in my town that offers care from a provider that is licensed in three wellness fields.

What, if any, concerns are there related to nurses NOT knowing about non-traditional roles?

The health and beauty Industry is an amazing industry for nurses. I have clients daily tell me that they come to me because of my nursing background. We also sleep on the fact that there’s quite a bit of money that can be made in this industry.


Some say, "It's not what you know, it's about who you know." In terms of developing business relationships, do you agree with that statement? Please explain your rationale.

I totally agree with that. For example, my business coach has helped me so much. I have been having issues with planning the Black Esthetician & Skin Therapists cruise. People just would not commit. I then brought it to my business coach's attention. Within a week of talking to her, it had sold out.

Tell us about your transition. What was the process of moving away from the clinical role into a business role? What mindset shifts, if any, did you need to make?

It was slow and rough going at first. I had the "help people" mindset, not a business mindset. Once I started treating my business like a business, things started happening.

What has been the hardest thing in starting in your specific type of business or job role?

The hardest part has been being the only provider of color in my town. I’m not the average Barbie doll type in the spa industry. So people see me and sometimes are a little bit surprised that I am very plain. This allows people of all shapes, sizes and skin tones to relax. I operate in a judgement-free zone.

What has been the most rewarding thing about being in your business or job role?

The most rewarding thing is the freedom of time that I have gained. I started this business because I wanted to spend as much time possible with my grandson five years ago. Didn’t want to miss out on his life like I did my kids, working 12-hour shifts taking care of others. Two grandchildren later and I set my own schedule. I can take off to go on a field trip or take them to the movies if I want to.

What would you say are the five important resources ( books, conferences associations) for a nurse who wants explore business?

N/A

Let's talk legal stuff. Many nurses are afraid of this part of business. How did you address this concern in your business ? What worked for you?

As my coach says, "Find you a good team." 

Who supported you during this transition? Did you have paid mentorship or coaching? If so, what made you make that investment in paid support?

I had great coach that helped me along. Her Name is Candace Holyfield, The Six figure Spa Chick. She’s out of Atlanta and has been amazing. When I started with her, there were weeks that I had only two clients. Now I’m consistently seeing 15 to 20 people a week. Investing in myself was hard. I had heard nightmares about coaches who did not deliver. I didn’t want to be one of those stories. So I reached out to her. I spoke to her at midnight New Year’s Eve and that started our relationship. 

What would you like others to know about what you do?

LPN 14 years, LMT 5 years, Esthetican 2 years. Mom to 3, Gigi to 3, I love to travel and cruising is a favorite of mine. We have the Black Esthetician 2019 Cruise in the works. It’s April 18th-22nd. We have four great speakers, including my business coach, Candace Holyfield.

Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

You can do so much more than bedside nursing if you choose to. I never would have thought that there was so much to the beauty/spa industry.

 

Nakia Campbell LPN LMT LE

Website + Social Media Handles :

www.facebook.com/anursestouchtoomassageandskincare

True you have to be out there, visible for the community to see. They need to know you offer a product or service. They also need to know what it is.

 

 

The Business of CPR Training

What is your company name?

Reliant Health Career Center

What problem does your company solve?

There are more than 300,000 victims in the U.S. that experience a sudden cardiac arrest annually and less than half of those survive due to not receiving CPR in a timely manner. Reliant Health Career Center is a healthcare training center focused on training individuals how to increase the survival rates of sudden cardiac arrest victims through CPR skills.

When did you first see this problem as one that needed to be solved?

Through working in the nursing field and seeing first-hand the damage of patients coming in to the hospital that did not survive or suffering the irreversible damages from not receiving CPR in time.

Did the problem ever seem like it was bigger than you?

This problem is definitely a big problem that one individual cannot solve alone. Through training others to learn to save lives, the process to decrease the problem begins.

What makes YOU stand out from others who may solve similar problems?

Reliant Health Career trains individuals in CPR skills as well as offers coaching/consulting to individuals who are instructors desiring to start their CPR business. The mission is to decrease the number of deaths from sudden cardiac arrest by training and encouraging other instructors to grow in assisting with this mission.
 

What, if any, concerns are there related to nurses NOT knowing about non-traditional roles?

Nursing is such a vast career of opportunities that individuals can tap into. Not everyone is suited to work in the traditional role or clinical setting. Nurses are unique and talented. It is important to find your niche in order to be productive and fulfilled with your career choice. Not knowing these options can lead to burnout and poor care for the people you serve.


Some say, "It's not what you know, it's about who you know." In terms of developing business relationships, do you agree with that statement? Please explain your rationale.

I believe that both statements are true to an extent. The world of business relies a lot on relationships and networking. It is also important to have the knowledge to do business whether it is obtained through additional certifications or investing in coaching/mentorship.

Tell us about your transition. What was the process of moving away from the clinical role into a business role? What mindset shifts, if any, did you need to make?

Working in a clinical role of nursing over 15 years became very stressful. I had many challenges that happened from ending a bad marriage, trying to further my nursing degree and being a single mother. I wanted to have freedom to spend time with my kids and also financial freedom. I wanted to start a business and was fearful for several years. Once I started, the fearful mindset  shifted to not having enough confidence to really see myself as a true entrepreneur making money. I began to do research and joined a lot of social media groups geared toward business and decided to invest in coaching. The investment was worth it, and I have a totally different mindset about my business and I'm now coaching others.

What has been the hardest thing in starting in your specific type of business or job role?

The hardest thing has been at first finding ways to market.

What has been the most rewarding thing about being in your business or job role?

The most rewarding is the impact on helping save lives and the financial/time freedom.

What would you say are the five important resources (books, conferences associations) for a nurse who wants explore business?

I would say nurse associations that are geared toward your niche, books by Les Brown, nurse entrepreneur groups, professional nurse conferences.

Let's talk legal stuff. Many nurses are afraid of this part of business. How did you address this concern in your business? What worked for you?

With any business, whether healthcare or not, there are legal risks. I did my research and put in place the insurances necessary to protect from such liabilities as well as conducting business in an ethical and safe manner.

Who supported you during this transition? Did you have paid mentorship or coaching? If so, what made you make that investment in paid support?

Yes, I made the decision to invest in coaching. It was important for me because I was able to get the help I needed from a coach who had the experience of where I was to help push me in the right direction.
 

What would you like others to know about what you do?

Charlotte Trayvick is an RN with a BSN degree from University of Alabama Huntsville. Her experience in nursing, spanning over 15 year,s has now landed her in the nurse entrepreneurial world. She is the CEO and owner of Reliant Health Career Center where she is a Premier CPR instructor training in BLS, ACLS and first aid. Along with training she also is a CPR business strategist, coaching startup CPR businesses as well as mentoring CPR established businesses grow and earn multiple streams of income.
 

Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

Taking action toward starting your business one step at a time is important at the beginning.

 

Charlotte Trayvick

Website + Social Media Handles :

www.relianthealthcareer.com

Facebook:Reliant Healthcareer Instagram:

Reliant Health Career Center

Marketing is an ongoing component to the livelihood of any business. Conversation in marketing terms should vary according to your target audience through researching what works best.

 

 
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The Business of Nurse Coaching

What is your company name?

Blue Monarch Health

What problem does your company solve?

We listen deeply and then partner with you to create a personalized wellness plan.

When did you first see this problem as one that needed to be solved?

I was a critical care nurse for almost 20 years, I finally realized that my patients had no idea why they were ill, how they got so sick, how they could have prevented their illness and they lacked the passion and skill to own their personal health. I also finally realized that our healthcare system was not designed to help empower patients to be partners in their health and the prevention of disease. I say, ‘finally realized’ because I had been working in this environment for years and had accepted it! It was like one day I woke up and I knew I needed to do my part to affect those in my circle of influence. It was here when I began Blue Monarch Health, a Nurse Coaching business to partner with the many people who want to step up and be active in the prevention of disease.

Did the problem ever seem like it was bigger than you?

The healthcare system became so task and business driven, that the human component was left to fend for itself with the little time healthcare providers had left after tasking and doing "business-things." This type of environment does not thrive; instead, it starves and it becomes desperate. To get the job done, we stopped truly listening to the unique needs of each individual and instead took a one-size-fits-all approach to providing care and treatments. The one-size-fits-everyone approach cannot work in healthcare, because NO ONE is the same. I realized that even though the healthcare system was practicing like that- it didn’t mean I had to continue doing it too.

What makes YOU stand out from others who may solve similar problems?

I listen deeply to a client’s story and then partner with them to co-create their wellness action plan. I don’t tell clients what to do, I help them uncover their own, innate wisdom and then partner with them to create a personalized plan they can commit to. I also have fun, laugh a lot and absolutely enjoy my work!

What, if any, concerns are there related to nurses NOT knowing about non-traditional roles?

Nurses who don’t know about non-traditional roles may stay in their traditional role even if it is literally killing them from a stress and burn-out perspective. They struggle with these ill-consequences and in the end, their colleagues, the system and their patients suffer. 

Nurses are powerful leaders with a wealth of varied experiences. Give us a scenario and we will find the best solution, with the least amount of resources and keep everyone alive!  Seriously, nurses are knowledgeable about people- they innately know how people tick. Nurses use their intuition to make decisions and can make them looking at all sides in a relatively short amount of time. Without nurses, the business world would not find these skills in one person.


Some say, "It's not what you know, it's about who you know." In terms of developing business relationships, do you agree with that statement? Please explain your rationale.

I am a firm believer in Theodore Roosevelt’s quote: “People don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  There is some truth in, "it’s not what you know, it’s about who you know," but if those I know don’t really care about people or the work they do, then it doesn’t matter. I strive to connect and associate myself with businesses who share similar values and who show up in the world willing to make a difference by dedicating themselves to the service of others. I have declined developing business relationships with those that do not share my values, even though it meant losing a contract, or connection. 

Tell us about your transition. What was the process of moving away from the clinical role into a business role? What mindset shifts, if any, did you need to make?

I was ready to move on, but I stayed in a full-time role while I tried to figure out how to run a business. I mean, there was a ton to learn-I don’t recall a single business class in nursing school. I learned to make time even when I didn’t have it. That was challenging. Family, life, work and business- you have to find a way to put it all together and that will be different for each person. I began working on the things I liked first, the things that brought me most joy and then moved on to the things that scared me. I took it a day at a time, until I could finally quit the bedside completely.  

What has been the hardest thing in starting in your specific type of business or job role?

I’m an introvert, so it can be VERY difficult for me to begin a conversation at events and parties. I mean, I could sit in silence all night if someone else wanted to! To overcome this, I made a list of some easy questions I could use to get someone else to talk about themselves- taking the pressure off of me. Most people are very happy to talk about themselves- which makes my job easy! 

What has been the most rewarding thing about being in your business or job role?

Seeing others find their personal vision of health and discovering that they have such power over their lives.

What would you say are the five important resources (books, conferences associations) for a nurse who wants explore business?

Strengths Finder:  When we know what we are naturally good at, we can use that to our advantage!
Small Business Association and SCORE mentors
Principles:  Ray Dalio
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up:  Marie Kondo
Facebook Groups:  key words Nurse, Business, Entrepreneur etc.
 

Let's talk legal stuff. Many nurses are afraid of this part of business. How did you address this concern in your business? What worked for you?

I found a good legal consultant and ask questions all the time. I document well!!! I got liability insurance. Practice within my scope! 

Who supported you during this transition? Did you have paid mentorship or coaching? If so, what made you make that investment in paid support?

At first, I began using free tools from the Small Business Association and working with a free SCORE mentor. I attended many paid and free workshops and gleaned lots of implementable information there- I paid in time. I talked to many people who shared their wisdom, inspiration and best practices. I have a supportive husband by my side as well.  

What would you like others to know about what you do?

I LOVE people! I enjoy challenge and putting the pieces of a person's story together.  

Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

I am so excited that I was just approved as a 501(c)(3)! My newest organization is called Brave Mind Living. Our mission to share lifestyle strategies that prevent brain disease. We find hope in the prevention of this horrible, life- and love-taking disease by learning about, implementing and enhancing lifestyle strategies we will use every day!

Brave Mind Living focuses on the lifestyle strategies of: nourishment, movement, better sleep , stress reduction and socialization. These are the cornerstones of preventing Alzheimer's Disease and dementia and we want everyone to learn about them and DO THEM so AD and dementia are diseases of the past. And when we do use them- we feel alive, energetic, strong, present and purposeful! 


https://www.bravemindliving.org/

 

Nicole Vienneau MSN, RN, NC-BC

Website + Social Media Handles :

https://bluemonarchhealth.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlueMonarchHealth/

Twitter: NicoleRNCoach

 
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