How You Can Avoid a Black Friday for Your Medical Group
Commodity Practice

How You Can Avoid a Black Friday for Your Medical Group


I’m writing this on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the day that merchants have trained shoppers to expect the lowest prices of the year. Don’t buy that TV in October for $1,947, wait a few weeks and then buy it for $679, free shipping included. Even if the merchants don’t push sales to a single day but to a week or whatever, they’ve trained consumers just the same.

Oh, that’s not the way the press portrays it? For them, sales are a form of entertainment. “Black Friday,” “Cyber Monday,” and, who knows what. It’s more manufactured excitement, although it’s true that it’s a participatory sport, and it’s way more popular than the NFL.

Many medical groups with large numbers (large being relative) of employed or subcontracted physicians have put themselves in the same sort of bind in respect of their workforce.

They’ve created an annual event out of the renewal of employment contracts and subcontracts by legislating a set renewal date. It might be January 1st or it could be April 1st, or whatever, but it’s the date on which many or all of the contracts expire.

The danger is that it sets the group up for being held hostage through collective or just coordinated bargaining by the renewing employees. In a situation in which it’s hard to replace one or two physicians with not just suitably trained but suitably brained others, it’s hell to replace twenty or thirty or a hundred and thirty of them at the same time.

Stagger the renewal dates of your employees’ and subcontractors’ contracts.

Unlike Costco or Amazon, you’ve got nothing to make up on volume on your Black Friday.

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