Strategy The Business of Healthcare

Does Your Group Own Its Future or Are You Merely Renting It?


Henry grew his restaurant from a shack selling hot dogs into a wildly successful business generating an incredible profit. It took years of labor, great service, and development of superb relationships with customers.

Then it ended.

You see, the restaurant was Henry’s sole business. And, it was located smack dab in the middle of a county fairground.

The fact that the county leased the facility out multiple times each week for large events which drew tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom where hungry and who had no option of eating somewhere else on the grounds, was no longer of any consequence when the county refused to renew Henry’s contract and, in essence, gave his business to a new “vendor.”

In reality, Henry never really owned his business. He was simply its caretaker. He just realized it a bit too late.

in essence, this is the same situation many hospital-based groups have created for themselves. Their entire business is, in essence, located on “leased space,” that is, at a single hospital. And, that lease is probably abysmally short, it might even be subject to termination at any time on 90 days notice.

And soon, due to the wave of financial alignment with hospitals, office-based specialists will increasingly be in the same boat.

More and more hospitals are more and more upfront about the vendor status they have placed you in. Even if you resisted expansion of your business for years out of some misplaced notion that you would be poaching on your colleagues down the road, pay attention to the lesson of Henry and his restaurant: It was a concession stand — just as is, in many hospital administrators’ minds, your practice.

Whose mind will be easier to change, the administrator’s about your vendor status or your own about the need to strategize, and then act, to preserve your future?

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