December 14, 2022
By: Megan Paauwe, MBA-HM
Medical Services and Credentialing Professionals have long been an essential part of the U.S. healthcare system. As the landscape of healthcare has evolved over time, so has the role and function of MSPs. Today’s MSPs have more career opportunities available than ever before. While most career resources for MSPs focus on more typical roles (such as Coordinators, Specialists, Managers, and Directors), this series will highlight a few seasoned MSPs whose career paths have taken less-traditional routes.
Donna Goestenkors, CPMSM, EMSP is the founder and President at Team Med Global. According to their website, Team Med Global delivers “trailblazing education and resources to medical services professionals, as well as staffing, training, and consulting services to healthcare organizations.” Before starting TMG, Donna had many years of experience in Medical Staff Services and in several volunteer positions with the National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS). The connection between TMG and Acorn Credentialing was formed when Jenna Sullivan, PESC, Implementation Specialist at Acorn, began co-hosting the Payer Enrollment Prime webinar series offered by TMG. Continue reading to learn more about TMG and Donna’s unique career path as she shares valuable insight into what it takes to be successful as a leader and entrepreneur in this industry.
Please briefly describe your role at TMG and the types of services TMG provides.
I’m the President of TMG, but I also like to think of myself as an innovator. My role at TMG is an outgrowth of my role as an industry thought leader, in that I provide a vision about what the industry needs to my team, who then implement that vision.
TMG provides a wide range of services. TMG University delivers curricula that guide early-, mid-, and late-career MSPs to success. I’m proud that we’ve introduced two leading-edge credentials, the Executive Medical Services Professional and the Executive Payer Enrollment Professional. The latter is the first of its kind. Our educational initiatives also encompass in-person, virtual live, and on-demand programs, as well as certification preparation programs that, in 2022 to date, helped MSPs achieve a 100% pass rate.
In addition, TMG’s ProVISIONary Staffing helps to address the national MSP shortage by placing onsite and remote MSPs with healthcare organizations around the country. We work hard to place right-fit candidates in part-time and full-time positions, either on a temporary basis or as permanent hires.
The third cornerstone of TMG is our consulting service. Healthcare organizations rely on our industry veterans to analyze their most pressing issues, understand their overarching goals, and create and implement a plan and timeline to address concerns. We’ve helped organizations with everything from operational streamlining to department function redesign to credentialing software implementation.
How many years did you work in Medical Staff Services before starting TMG?
What led you to start TMG?
TMG is an outgrowth of my role as a volunteer in our professional association, in which I served as president, education chair, and conference chair. As my volunteer role was ending, I knew I had more to give and more to learn. Based upon the relationships I worked hard in developing, I knew that our colleagues needed help and that they needed to know someone cared. On a personal level, I felt that I could both celebrate my colleagues’ successes and walk them through challenges when things didn’t go as planned.
How is operating TMG different than working in a more traditional Medical Staff Services role?
It’s very similar, but on a larger scale. My work in TMG is not limited to the Medical Staff Services Department. It also involves Credentials Verification Organizations, managed care, payer enrollment, quality, FPPE and OPPE, Medical Staff Leadership development and compliance. So, while I don’t, for example, do credentialing on a daily basis, I’m in a position to look at the bigger picture and broader trends to anticipate challenges and offer creative solutions.
Based on your experience, what skills are necessary to be successful in starting your own business in the credentialing space?
The central skills are focused intent and a strength of purpose. You must be clear that you can offer something new and be clear-eyed about your intention. More broadly, it’s important to have a depth and breadth of understanding about the medical staff services industry, strong emotional intelligence skills, communication mastery, and a healthy dose of confidence. On top of that, you must be willing to take risks. If you try something and it doesn’t hit, you need to be resilient enough to bounce back and try something different.
What in your past education and/or experience helped you succeed with NAMSS and TMG?
There have been so many factors that have helped me succeed. The physician leaders I’ve worked with have taught me an incredible amount. My solid, high-performing team members have allowed me to focus on the big picture as well as helping me become an effective leader. Mostly, my desire to always learn and grow enables me to see opportunities to help our profession. I set a personal goal to participate in one major learning event each year. I’ve taken courses in project management, facilitation, leadership, public speaking, and more. Continuous self-improvement has been key to my success.
What advice would you have for an MSP who is interested in a leadership role at NAMSS?
My involvement in NAMSS was a wonderful introduction to our industry on a larger scale and helped me develop stronger networking skills that has served me well. It is important to state, however, that the respect I have for our industry through the work at my local and national volunteer roles was not the magic bullet to success. All my achievements and successes were a direct result of my efforts in building relationships, treating people with respect, being a person of integrity, being willing to make personal sacrifices, to take risks and to always be willing to learn something new. Should an MSP truly have an interest in participating in a volunteer organization that will further their professional development, I’d advise them to target specific areas they’re trying to develop. To that end, I’d advise them not to limit their choices and perhaps get involved in more than one organization.
What do you like most about owning your own business?
The freedom to take a concept or an idea shared among colleagues and developing it into a reality is unparalleled. I’m a great listener and over the years administrators, physician leaders, and coworkers have vented frustrations about missing pieces in medical staff services. I have the privilege of mulling over those ideas and personalizing them. Then, with the help of my colleagues, we can quickly convert an idea into a product or service. I’ve surrounded myself with very talented people, so if I want to do something, I can just do it. Because I own my own business, we don’t have to jump through hoops and deal with organizational bureaucracy.
What motivates you and what do you like most about your current role?
Passion motivates me. When I interact with other people who are passionate about what they do, it makes me curious and makes me want to learn more. I’m also motivated by high-performing professionals. They challenge me to do better for myself and for the individuals within TMG who are the fabric of what we do.
I most like that my role gives me the ability to help my industry. I love my job because of the diversity of stakeholders with whom I get to interact. I appreciate the challenges that are unique to every project that I am involved in. I enjoy getting good results, but mostly I appreciate being able to make a difference.
What are your biggest challenges with running TMG?
There simply isn’t enough time in the day to do all the things that would help advance the profession and help my colleagues. The second biggest challenge is having to work within a budget. If money were no object, we could do so much more!
What do you wish you’d known before starting TMG?
The financial responsibility is much greater than I anticipated. I’ve put a large burden on my husband, Mark, to be TMG’s VP of Finance . The beautiful side is that he is a mathematical genius and knows we make a difference and is happy to handle that side of my business. I also wish that earlier in my career I’d been more curious about human behavior; if I had, I wouldn’t have been disappointed throughout the years by those who aren’t truly committed to advancing our profession or shocked by some about their lack of professionalism – from MSPs to physician leaders to healthcare administrators. Credentials and job titles do not always equate to high-performing and well-behaved humans.
Would you recommend this career path to other people in the Medical Staff Services/Credentialing profession, and why or why not?
Absolutely! That’s the whole impetus in creating TMG and the first of its kind – TMG University, the first comprehensive educational platform offered in the industry. The truth is, every person who enters our profession is bitten by a bug. It’s either a love bug and they’re in it for life, or it’s a pesky mosquito and they run for the hills. We want them to be bitten by the love bug. A career in Medical Staff Services has been most rewarding to me both professionally and personally. It can be that way for you too. Jump in, we are at your service!
To learn more about Team Med Global and inquire about their services, visit www.teammedglobal.com. Learn what Acorn’s credentialing experts can do for you, and book a live demo to see the power of Acorn in action by visiting www.acorncredentialing.com/book-a-demo.
Tomorrow’s MSP® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a service mark of National Association Medical Staff Services