There’s little question that most, if not all, medical groups should be led by practicing physicians. The problem is that too many groups create policies, either formal or informal, that actually dissuade and hinder the ability of physician leaders to lead.
Specifically, I’m talking about the fact that groups tend to put far too much emphasis on the need of physician leaders to practice medicine as opposed to spending the time required to actually lead the group.
For example, let’s imagine a group of 12 physicians generating, say, $8 million a year in gross collections. Let’s also assume that they generate that equally; in other words, they each generate $666,666.
If the group leader cut back his or her production by 20% in order to devote time to leadership, most groups would focus on the $133,333 “lost.” However, there’s a very good chance that that work would be spread over the other members of the group. Far more importantly, freeing up the ability of the leader to actually devote time to leading might make the difference in preserving the group’s relationship with the facility that if lost, would destroy the group and its $8 million a year of cash flow.
Group leaders should be given the ability to lead and they should be compensated for it. That effort is in many cases far more valuable to the group’s overall success than any direct patient care income that would otherwise result.
Don’t be penny wise and thousands-of-dollars stupid.