Strategy The Business of Healthcare

Are You Blinded by Success?

April 17, 2013

The Rock Solid Group, a fictitious name for what was once a very real group, had a lock on the services that it provided to St. Mark’s Community Memorial Hospital, again a disguise for a very real place. And then . . . poof! . . . it all evaporated, leaving the former members of the former group as shocked as if an elephant had disappeared off of an illusionist’s stage.

For years, Rock Solid had not only performed well, its owner–physicians earned close to 100% more than what the MGMA would report as 75th percentile compensation.

But what they didn’t do when they were riding high, because they were blinded by riding high, was expand their business significantly beyond their relationship with St. Mark’s.

They misunderstood the risky place they were in. Sure, the odds that the contract between Rock Solid and St. Mark’s Community Memorial would come to a screeching halt were low, but they ignored the fact that low odds times the life changing magnitude of an end to that relationship yields an extremely high risk. Later, of course, that lesson was made all too clear to them.

Medical groups of all shapes, sizes and specialties must take this lesson to heart. Just because things are going well doesn’t mean that you don’t need to strategize for your future. In fact, when things are going well you are in the best position to strategize for your future.

What potential risks does your group face? Where are you vulnerable? What alternatives and opportunities exist to reduce the risk and vulnerability? Which ones should you pursue? What is the first step in pursuing them?

The processes that I’ve written about in other posts, including Focus on the Future™, the Strategic Group Process™, and the Scenario Survey Process™ are all tools that you can use, and should use, now.

Just because you don’t see a problem on the horizon doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Absence of proof is not proof of absence.

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