Considered one of the nation’s leading spine coding and reimbursement experts.
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Founder and CEO, Business Dynamics, LLC, CaseCoder, LLC, and The Business of Spine. LLC
Favorite Adelphi professor: “Allan Ashley. I was in his operations class, and I had a blast. Operations continues to be my favorite part of business today. I love to look at what the problem is and come up with the solution to fix it. It doesn’t matter if it’s in business or at home—it excites me if I can find a mechanism to do something a little bit easier or to save a little bit of money.”
Proudest accomplishment: “I will never forget the day I received my M.B.A. from Adelphi. I drove home with my gown on. It was probably the proudest day of my life, because I couldn’t believe that I did it. My husband told me, ‘The one thing about education is that nobody can ever take it away from you.’ And that’s exactly how I felt that day.”
Qualities that make an effective manager: “Number one is discipline; definitely a sense of humor; and be willing to stay the course. Most people are not willing to stay the course. When the going gets tough, they get going.”
Revolutionizing the Business of Spine
Barbara Cataletto is considered one of the nation’s leading spine coding and reimbursement experts. The founder and CEO of three companies dedicated to “revolutionizing the business of spine,” she has over 20 years of experience providing medical coding, billing, and collective services to spine surgeons, practices, and hospitals across the country
“We are spine industry advocates. We make sure doctors receive fair pay for their services, and patients receive the coverage their insurance companies are supposed to provide,” says Mrs. Cataletto, whose expertise is requested nationwide. Last year alone she traveled to 50 cities providing her educational services, as well as coaching, consulting, and collaborating with spine specialists.
“I’ll be totally frank,” she says. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought as a 15 year old in Brooklyn that this would ever happen.” Mrs. Cataletto started a family early in life, and through sheer will and determination, spent years working several jobs to support her family. She was a cleaning lady, taught physical education at a private school, and worked in Merrill Lynch’s finance division. “I jumped from job to job while finishing my bachelor’s degree at Brooklyn College,” she says. “I had three kids at the time, and I was just trying to survive.”
One of the positions she held while pursuing her undergraduate degree was in a spine surgeon’s office. “By the time I finished my bachelor’s I realized that I really liked the challenge of the business atmosphere,” she says. “At that point I decided I would focus on business, because I enjoyed it so much.”
Ready to pursue her M.B.A. to help further her career aspirations, she visited several institutions across Long Island. “I went to Adelphi, and it was love at first sight,” she says. At the University, she savored the hands-on experiences she was offered in the classroom. “Working in a group setting, with people coming together and contributing different parts that the project required—that’s real world,” she says.
As she studied for her M.B.A. from Adelphi and raised her children, Mrs. Cataletto was employed full time at a spine practice she was instrumental in building, while also developing her own business in the same field. “In 1994, I officially started my company, Business Dynamics. And from there, my career was launched.”
In addition to Business Dynamics, a spine-specialized firm dedicated to providing coding, billing, and collection services for spine surgeons, she has also established two other leading companies in the industry. CaseCoder provides web-based spine coding programs and The Business of Spine delivers professional development, training and customized education through spine specific consulting services, training programs and educational tools.
What’s the leadership approach of a manager heading three companies? It’s employee-centered for Mrs. Cataletto, who believes that creating a supportive work environment is the key to successful business. “There is one main responsibility that a CEO has: an obligation to keep everyone employed in a job,” she says. “I try to figure out what makes people want to do their job. I provide them with education and training, and create the necessary systems that will make their job easier.”
It’s no surprise then that watching her employees rise to new heights is one of her favorite things about her job: “I love seeing people—who you think are just in the background—blossom,” she says. “I like to see people achieve. It gives me a good sense of accomplishment. It’s also good for business.”
In her free time, she and her husband enjoy gardening, swimming and canoeing. She also loves photography, sewing, and decorating. Mrs. Cataletto makes it a priority to get together regularly with her children, grandchildren, and large extended family. “I am really fortunate to have worked as hard as I have and still maintain such a close family,” she says.
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