The initial notion of a hedge fund was that its investment risk was reduced through a “hedge,” an off-setting investment.
I’ve noticed that many medical practices, from small office based groups, to large hospital-based groups, and even to national groups, hedge, too.
But that hedge tends to fall into two distinct classes: Acting like a hedgehog and acting out hedges.
Those in the hedgehog class are insular, perhaps protecting their turf but doing nothing to expand it.
Of course, “turf” is capable of different definitions. For example, for an office-based practice it might be relying on historic referral patterns. For a large hospital-based group it might be relying on an exclusive contract with a single hospital. And, for a regional single-specialty group it might be relying on the survivability of the single specialty model.
Those who are hedging view the world differently. Rather than simply building an insular hedge around their business, they expand outside of that hedge, taking on other business, in some ways both related and unrelated.
What is really interesting, and what many, if not all, have never considered, is the possibility of being both. Perhaps the real issue is not being big or of being small, or of being a hedgehog or a hedger, but instead being all of those things at once.
Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.
Mark F. Weiss