Podcast | The Business of Healthcare | Value

Value and the Price of Not Providing It – Podcast

today, employers reward for the value you create. The factory worker, whether in what is readily recognized as a factory or one which looks, to outsiders, like a medical clinic or hospital, who simply shows up on time, does what he or she is told (you know, follows protocols) and then clocks out at the end of the shift, creates no real value in comparison with the next worker.


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Venezuela, Rice Farmers and Doctors in Dallas Redux

In light of Fidel Castro’s death and the news that Venezuela is issuing new, higher-higher denominations of currency due to the triple-digit inflation that reduced the value of the country’s largest note to two U.S. cents, I’ve decided to republish an updated version of the following, popular blog post.


Models. No, not the skinny kind in a magazine. But conceptual frameworks. Like global warming “models” or even Obamacare.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, U.S. rice farmers are raking it in on exports to Venezuela. Hugo Chavez’s legacy of socialism, in which large farms were nationalized, broken up and “redistributed,” together with food price controls resulted in the destruction of its farming industry. Similar top down management continued by his successor, Nicolas Maduro, ruined the beef, coffee, steel and sugar industries.

Humans are complex. Our interactions are complex. Outside of basic urges, like the drive to survive, we can’t, especially on a large scale, be modeled by policy wonks and other useless idiots.

Those who were surprised that employers turning to part time workers and temps to escape Obamacare were clueless.

Those who think that ACOs and hospital-centric healthcare have a long term survival rate are equally blind.

The key for doctors in Dallas and Des Moines and Detroit, and across the country, is to develop strategy that increases your chances of professional and economic survival in both the likely short lived hospital-centric world and in the physician-patient-centric one to follow.

Those in favor of Obamacare claim they did it to help the uninsured. Chavez and the Chavistas, like Castro, claimed that they took the steps they did to help the disenfranchised. But the disenfranchised have become even more so and everyone is suffering.

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

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Are All Hospitals Really Price Buyers?

I see that you’re driving a Chevy Spark, getting 119 combined city/highway miles per gallon-equivalent. And, at around $25,000, it’s got to be the most efficient car currently being sold in the U.S.

What? You’re not?

Oh, then you’re driving a Nissan Versa 1.6 S, right? At $11,990, it’s the least expensive car sold in the country.

What? You’re not?

You mean that you’re not a price buyer; you’re a value buyer?

Certainly, there are price buyers out there. In the car market, they are buying those Versas and their close competitors.

But most people don’t buy on price alone; rather, they buy on value.

Value is what a buyer receives for the price paid. If value is more than the price, it’s a good deal. The devil though, is in the details: what’s value to you isn’t value to everyone. And, value is determined by the buyer.

I once represented a guy who could, and did, move $50 million into an account to show good faith within a day of being asked to do so. Yet he drove a ten year old Buick station wagon. He apparently saw no value in a Mercedes. Another client, similarly well off, took a weekend trip to Palm Springs and came back with not one, but two, Rolls Royces.

So, then, why do so many simply assume that all hospitals are price buyers? That they only want they cheapest price?

You can compete on price. Go ahead, try. But then your competition might simply cut their price, forcing you to cut yours even more. Your competitor doesn’t care if you are profitable.

Instead, compete on value, the value that you provide to your customer. Yes, creating value in the eyes of your customer is harder than simply saying “we’re the lowest cost provider,” but you’re selling professional services, not mass produced pickup trucks.

Sure, some or even many hospitals may be price buyers. If they are, consider that they may be the wrong customer for you. Either that, or you need to develop a more sophisticated business model in which you provide different value options to different customers.

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

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