Hospital Administrators Assume That Your Group Is Out of Control

June 13, 2012

If you are a hospital-based physician, you can be certain that there are one or more so-called national groups targeting your facility. That is, they want to put you out of business.

Probably better said, first they want to take some or all of your current physician staff, and maybe some of your non-physician staff, and then they want to put you out of business.

If you are an office-based physician, this isn’t the time to gloat. That’s because in many office-based specialties, this same trend is beginning to emerge. After all, if hospitals have their way, sooner or later all physicians will be hospital-based.

I’d like to address one of the several grounds on which national groups compete: governance.

National physician groups and the practice management or contract management companies, by whatever name or acronym they are known, masquerading as true physician groups or purporting to be able to provide staffing, generally portray local groups as being disorganized, out of control, and deficient.

In other words, they simply assume you are damaged. Unfortunately, most hospital administrators make the same assumption.

As a result, the national group’s pitch often resonates.

This should both scare and empower you:

Scare you because if you do nothing to improve the governance within your group, you are leaving an open door through which you can expect a competitor will enter.

And, empower you because knowing that your competitors are looking for an open door, and knowing that administrators most likely see your group as lacking in governance, whether it’s true or not makes no difference, enables you to focus on this issue as early as possible, which is right now.

Specifically, we’re looking for two important elements:

The first is adopting a streamlined group management structure. A system that can make decisions and take action quickly.

The second is creating a structure that can deal effectively in managing the behavior of group physicians.

Sure, as in planting a tree, the best time to address governance was many years ago. But the second best time is today.

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