Bondholders, Docents and Hospital-Based Groups


I recently read an article about a woman bemoaning the fact that she had been “cheated,” as her investment in General Motors bonds was about to become worthless.  The system had failed her, she cried.

Later that week, there was an Easter Egg hunt at the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens.  As the hunt began, the docent announced to the throng of children that the eggs were well hidden in the thick brush and were hard to find.  She then told them that they had hidden 8 eggs per child.  “If you find any more,” she warned them, “you’ll have to give them to another child.”

The fact is that life is not “fair,” and we cannot make it so despite how much we “reallocate” from those who made different choices or from those who have better skills or a more attuned work ethic.

But when I thought of it a bit more, I realized that the attitude expressed by the bemoaning bondholder and the politically correct docent is not really that different from that of many hospital-based physician groups which view their continued ability to provide services at a facility as a right.  In the same manner as the bondholder and the docent, they see fairness as requiring an equality of outcome, not simply of opportunity.

Life doesn’t work that way for physician groups, either.  Focusing simply on doing the procedures (and “benchmarking to best practices in our specialty”) is no longer enough to assure success.  Instead, a highly proactive approach is required to position your group for success.  And the time to start is now.

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