Speaker: Melissa Buchner-Mehling, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Advisory Services
How have Sound’s training opportunities for Physician Advisors helped prepare you for your role?
Melissa Buchner-Mehling, MD: The technology-based Learning and Advisor Institute, the training cases, and the live one-on-one shadow shifts made me feel completely confident and prepared for working in my role. There are always opportunities to gain new skills and expertise by going into Advisor Institute or reaching out to leadership.
In what way does connecting with team leads and fellow advisors at Sound add to your experience as a Physician Advisor?
Melissa Buchner-Mehling, MD: The monthly educational meetings, with other Sound onsite Physician Advisors from around the country allow me to cultivate mentorships, hear what else is going on in the country, and it really does create a real sense of camaraderie among all of the Physician Advisors.
What is the benefit of being an advisor with a physician-led organization?
Melissa Buchner-Mehling, MD: Because we are a physician-led organization, you know, behind every decision is doing the right thing for the patient. Even without doing direct patient care, there is still the shared goal across all of Sound to create processes to to coordinate high-quality patient-centered care.
In what way does being a Physician Advisor offer a unique opportunity to participate in patient care?
Melissa Buchner-Mehling, MD: Being a Physician Advisor allows you to use your knowledge, your skills and your expertise to engage each team member to create new processes and protocols that directly improve patient care in the hospital. Beyond this, as a physician advisor, I work directly with insurance companies to make sure the patient is receiving the right treatment at the right time and in the right setting.
Based on your experience, which skills or qualities help a physician succeed in an Advisory role?
Melissa Buchner-Mehling, MD: The best Physician Advisors are the best communicators, and they know how to collaborate well with others. You certainly need expertise in regulations, commercial payer policies, appeal processes, clinical documentation and medical necessity, but all of those things can be taught.