What is SOMSA Topicbox?

The SOMSA Topicbox forum/listserv is the online community provided exclusively to members of the Society of OMS Administrators. SOMSA encourages all members to share successes and challenges, contribute constructive feedback, bring questions, and provide perspective in all aspects of OMS practice administration. Participation in this forum indicates agreement to abide by rules of etiquette.

Make it your own! You can get exactly the level of notifications you want, and you can adjust them for each Topicbox Group you are in (for example, OMS Practice Questions or your regional group), you get to decide how you would like to receive delivery of new posts and replies to current threads. You have three options:

  1. “Email it to me” You’ll receive an email immediately after someone one posts a new thread or a new reply
  2. “Include it in my daily summary” You’ll receive a daily digest, sent the next morning, that includes snippets of new threads and replies from each group to which you’ve subscribed to the daily summary option
  3. “I’ll view it on the web/don’t email me” You will never receive an email notification for new threads or replies from this group. If you want to read threads from this group, you must visit Topicbox in a browser or in the mobile app.

To adjust your settings, click on the forum from Topicbox home page, then Click “Edit delivery options –>” in the right-hand menu. Select your notification level, outlined above.

Are you signed up for all the Topicbox channels? See list below to see if you should subscribe to any new topic-based groups!

When you’re ready to create an account and post, click the “Join Here” link below for the forums you’d like to participate and receive notifications about. We have created several topic-based forums and their join links are listed below, as well as the general forum.

We are making sure that the people who join are current SOMSA members, so be sure you have renewed and use your real name and email address you use with SOMSA. If you need help renewing, please reach out to Linden at linden@somsa.org or 417-319-1130.

OMS Practice Questions,
where you can share your questions and insights on issues within the OMS practice not covered in the other topic-focused groups.
Join Here
Posting Email: connect@somsa.topicbox.com
where you can share your questions and insights on Human Resources issues within the OMS practice.
Join Here
Posting Email: hr@somsa.topicbox.com
where you can share your questions and insights on Operations issues within the OMS practice.
Join Here
Posting Email: operations@somsa.topicbox.com
where you can share your questions and insights on Operations issues within the OMS practice.
Join Here
Posting Email: finance@somsa.topicbox.com
where you can share your questions and insights on COVID-19 related issues within the OMS practice.
Join Here
Posting Email: covid@somsa.topicbox.com

Regional Forums

We also have four regional forums (view SOMSA regions), so you can request to join your region, if you haven’t already been added.

Eastern Region,
Join Here
Posting Email: @somsa.topicbox.com
Southern Region,
Join Here
Posting Email: eastern@somsa.topicbox.com
Midwestern Region,
Join Here
Posting Email: midwestern@somsa.topicbox.com
Western Region,
Join Here
Posting Email: western@somsa.topicbox.com

The subject of your thread or your email will be the title of the thread, so don’t “bury the lede,” or put the most important information at the end of your post.

Also, don’t change the subject if you are replying to a Topicbox email! This will start a new thread in the forum, which will put related information in two separate places… no bueno!

Instead, if you are starting a “new topic,” fill in the title box (or your subject field, if submitting by email) with a clear description of what you need help with so other members know right away if they can help you. Here are a couple tips for crafting a descriptive subject.

  1. Shorter is better. But one word rarely conveys enough information about your question. Aim for 3-5 words. Rather than “Insurance,” try “Cigna claims”
  2. Be specific. Rather than “Cigna claims,” opt for “Cigna claims delay”
  3. Could you write it as a question? Ha, see what I did there? If you’re able to succinctly pose the question in the subject line, go for it! Rather than just “Cigna claims delay,” try “Is Cigna delaying processing/reprocessing your claims too?”


  1. Everyone subscribed to the group will see your reply! If you need to send a message directly to a member, look them up in the member database, ask them for their email address, or reach out to Linden to request their email address. Don’t accidentally hold a private conversation in the public forum 😟
  2. When you email the forum, delete previous content! When you email a response, your post will include all previous replies, including signature blocks! This means tedious scrolling to the next response for people reading posts on the app or in a browser. Keep the forum trim by deleting any previous replies before you add your voice to the thread. To avoid repetitive information and needlessly long posts, select all (CTRL+A), then click Delete before you begin typing.

NOTE: If you reply in a browser or in the app, you do not need to worry about deleting previous replies: just enter your reply and send.

We host this forum to facilitate real-time, meaningful conversations around issues OMS practice administrators face every day in practices all around the country. Everyone is polite but sometimes what is polite in the real world can have unintended consequences online. If too many messages sent by our forum are just “Thank you!” then some members will begin ignoring emails from the forum, which in turn decreases participation–the opposite of what a thriving network of professionals needs.

  • Good: No “Thank you” response at all.
  • Better: “Thank you” plus include a follow up question or insight sparked by the response.
  • Best: Send a personal email to thank them. Bonus: fosters a personal connection and could build a new friendship!

We all agree to remember that we are grateful for the help we provide and to show that thanks by not only asking for help but giving it whenever we can.

Note: This applies to other short responses too. Instead of “Why?” or “Yes.” Or “We use Five Lakes.” always do your best to couch replies in context. “Why do you use that product? We’ve used the competitor for 4 years and they’ve always been very reliable and they seem cost-effective.” Or “Yes, we do have to call them back each time, but it is working. Our acceptance rate has increased in the 3 quarters we’ve be doing this.” or “We have used Five Lakes for a year now and they’re helping us in x, y, and z ways.”

One of the many reasons we chose Topicbox for the SOMSA forum is the many ways each member can choose to participate. Whether you prefer to interact with other members through email (like a listserv), post from the web, or reply from your phone–or any combination of the three–that’s up to you!

  • To post or reply on the web, visit https://somsa.topicbox.com
  • Download the Topicbox app from your app store, and sign in to use it on your mobile device. NOTE: By default, Topicbox uses your email to login; if you’d like to setup the app at home and you’ve registered with your work email (because we sign you up with your SOMSA-registered email address), first login to https://somsa.topicbox.com from the office and set up a password under “My Account” that you can use to authenticate yourself in the app.
  • If you’d like to interact through email, you have two options.
    • Review Tip ##: “Personalize Your Notifications” and set up “Email it to me” notifications. This will send you an email for each new thread and each new reply to a thread. Reply to the email you receive, and it will be posted to the same thread.
    • If you’d like to read and respond to posts online or in the app, but occasionally start a new thread through email, add the thread email addresses to your Contacts, then send an email to the appropriate thread email address to start a new thread. The Subject of your email with be the thread title (review Tip ##: “Descriptive Subjects”), and the body of your email will be the forum post content. Easy peasy! NOTE: Be sure to use the email you’ve registered with SOMSA, or your post will be held for review until you can be confirmed as an active member of SOMSA.

Thank you for participating in the SOMSA online community. To ensure the best possible experience for all of our members, we have established these basic guidelines for participation.

  • Be professional and be kind. We are all doing our best and sometimes humor, sarcasm, and jokes do not come across through text like they do when we are face to face, so no need to stoop to name-calling or derogatory language.
  • Do not share forum posts with anyone who is not a member of SOMSA or works at your practice. Respect the privacy of the people who are posting.
  • No messages less than 3 words. Remember, every email you send to the forum will be emailed to everyone who has subscribed to the forum. If you want to say “Thanks!” be sure you add something substantive to the conversation. Otherwise, we all agree to understand that each of us is grateful for the help we’re providing.

If you believe someone is violating any of our Forum Etiquette guidelines or general behavior expected from professionals, the best thing to do is forward the post to Linden or a board member and let us handle the situation.