I am growing in my professionalism and take great pride in the progress notes I write about the people I am assisting. But my latest focus is about something I touched on a few weeks ago. What made it possible for peer specialists to begin earning livable wages was the factor of billing for our services. So I want to make certain that I am billing as accurately and completely as possible. For those who want to do peer support without doing progress notes or billing, I won’t discourage you but I doubt that you can sustain yourself on that kind of strategy.
I paid very good attention in the documentation class that I took at Milwaukee Area Technical College. And I encourage my co-workers to read my notes and critique them. Part of the process of creating the notes involves estimating the amount of time we spend on each person. We work directly with people and on their behalf and we have to account for all of that time, otherwise we are doing ourselves a disservice.
As I am writing I am completely aware how very different I am from when I began my professional career as a librarian. I was a government employee and I could take work home and not be all that concerned with who was paying the bills. Suddenly, by chance I became involved in a grant proposal to help fund a program to improve our student retention. That was the beginning of my journey toward billing. And away from the ideology that had guided my early adulthood. That is probably why professionals rarely make good revolutionaries. We would have to develop a kind of split brain mentality separating our work lives from our political ones.
Having said that, the best way we can uphold our ideals of offering well funds peer support is by being as good with the numbers in our computers as we our in using our words with our peers. There is no shame at all in being able to pay the bills. In fact, the only shame would be in not making the effort because we were too afraid.
- Pro-Tips Monday: Billing and SmartScan History (expensify.com)