Nearterm Blog

What can revenue cycle professionals learn from military science?

As Revenue Cycle professionals, we are often asked to develop and present a “strategy” but we are rarely asked to address “tactics” per se. As a result, the defining line has blurred between the two. Take a moment to review the following and consider their importance and associated differences;




The science or art of military command as applied to the overall planning and conduct of large-scale combat operations.



The technique or science of securing the objectives designated by strategy, especially the art of deploying and directing troops, ships and aircraft in coefficient maneuvers against the enemy.


I submit that making this distinction is critical for healthcare revenue cycle and financial leaders. It is more than just semantics. The following illustrates its impact on how we approach things.


    1. Hiring:
      When asking job candidates interview questions about how they might handle certain situations or operating conditions, do you get a tactical response or a strategic answer? Perhaps if the candidate focuses mostly on tactics, you would consider them for different roles than if they provide more strategic responses.


  1. Managing Change:
    Your organization has acquired multiple facilities over the course of recent years and the question of centralized AR processing hits the table. Are you thinking about development of a strategic plan or are you speculating about how billing data will be transferred (and the multitude of other tactical challenges inherent in this initiative)? Unfortunately, businesses often “skip” strategic thinking and planning when addressing key opportunities. This often leads to the conclusion that the original idea was a bad one or that people have underperformed when the reality was simply that an absence of strategy caused a great idea to fail implementation.


So when you are considering a central business office, integration of physician billing, a computer conversion, a denial management plan, or any other initiative, develop and test a strategy before you leap into the tactical component.

We hope this and other practical experiences Nearterm has accrued over the recent 20 years will be of value to you. We have served in both strategic and tactical roles with our clients and we would welcome your call us at 281-646-1330 if you have questions.