Each month, we interview a Sandata employee who lives the Sandata mission—to continuously improve healthcare with the most innovative technology. This month we spoke with Phil Feldman, National Director of Revenue Cycle Management, who has been with Sandata for over 8 years.
Before you started at Sandata, what attracted you to the company?
I first met Sandata associates at their booth over several conferences when I was with a large home care agency in New Jersey. I was impressed with the development and implementation of EVV, and the benefits the agency management software could bring to our agency to support our clients, caregivers, and overall mission. I brought Sandata into the agency for a demo (in those days it was live). Unfortunately, changes at the agency precluded the decision to move forward, but I remained in touch with my Sandata contacts and jumped at the chance to help get Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) off the ground when it was conceptualized.
What experiences with healthcare, home care, or I/DD informed your choice to work at Sandata?
I was, and remain, enamored with the core products and the benefits they bring to client care and to home care agencies. With respect to the RCM offering, after having survived with great difficulty the transition to managed care in New Jersey, I relate with the challenges that agencies encounter adapting to this environment and successfully managing their cash flow, which is critical to their existence. At our agency, for some months through the transition to managed care, our executives had to defer our own payroll, so we could continue to pay the field and support staff. What a tremendous addition the RCM offering is to the value that Sandata brings to providers, so that the agency and staff can get paid for the care they deliver!
Can you please share your personal story or connection to the industry?
I have been in home care for 23 years. It is the first career move I ever made that I felt truly passionate about. We are improving and extending the lives of people who need support. I have been in the homes of clients from those receiving short-term, post-acute care, to those at the end of life receiving hospice care. I have witnessed the gratitude they express for care and the struggles they face when it is not available. I experienced home and hospice care with my own parents, and I am grateful for what that care provided to my parents and our family. And on the other side, I have seen caregivers in action with their clients—they go into a stranger’s home and perform the most personal of services, sometimes under extremely adverse conditions, and they do so in a fashion that evokes the trust of the people in their care. They go out into bad weather, leave their families on holidays, and do so with the greatest attitude. After Hurricane Sandy, I saw caregivers bring cooked food fromhome to their clients. I have seen caregivers cry at the passing of their client and clients cry at the passing of their caregiver; this is what Sandata ultimately supports. We allow people to receive care, and we facilitate the work of caregivers, who are at the economic and social fringes of our society, allowing them to go out and earn a living for their families. My daughter became a nurse, influenced by my home care stories. When she was doing her home care rotation in nursing school, she visited someone living in an abandoned car. This is an example of the environments our caregivers often face.
How do you personally live the Sandata mission?
I had a boss in home care who was particularly a great mentor, advisor, and motivator to me. He had two sayings that he conveyed to everyone in his organization wherever he worked. First was, “Always do the right thing”. Second, was “Always help the next one in line”. I apply these philosophies universally. Our business is a people business—from those receiving care to those providing it—and everyone in between—like us. If we always think about the needs of individuals, our purpose will be fulfilled. It’s not just about a paycheck—we are a small part of a large effort that ultimately improves the quality of life of those in need.