Changing Market Manage Your Practice The Business of Healthcare

What You Would Have Learned If Only You’d Attended

April 20, 2015

Deal structure. Governance. M&A.

Those were among the subjects of this past weekend’s Advanced Institute For Anesthesia Practice Management in Las Vegas, the premier national conference on actionable anesthesia business issues.

Here’s some takeaway info for you, no matter your medical specialty, from my two presentations at the conference as well as from other speakers:

1. All physician group leaders know that healthcare deals trigger federal and state compliance issues. But fewer appreciate that even once signed and delivered in complete compliance with federal and state anti-kickback and self-referral (Stark) laws, small changes in the level of performance by one or both parties can re-open the compliance trap. It’s essential that you revisit the issue of ongoing compliance on a periodic basis, including every time that the level of service, delivery or payment changes. Falling within safe harbors, a benefit under the anti-kickback statute and a necessity under Stark, depends on frequent analysis and documentation.

2. The pace of change is accelerating. Groups that operate in a club-like manner, or which run on a consensus or fully democratic basis, are destroying their ability to make effective decisions quickly, from those impacting day-to-day operation to long-term strategy. They are also watering down their own position even before negotiations begin with their contracting opposite.

3. More hospitals are turning to RFPs for a variety of hospital-based services. Physician groups make the mistake of thinking that delivering excellent care is enough to protect their position. It is, but only if it’s also 1980. Today, many groups are, or soon will be, surprised to be handed an announcement of an RFP for their services. There are steps you can take to ward off that fate but the time to start is now (actually it was years ago but now is the best time still available).

4. The competitor for your contracted line of service isn’t necessarily someone from outside of the hospital. It could well be the current provider of another line of service within the hospital.

5. The M&A market continues to be active. There are other routes to success other than selling. Some groups can never be sold. Whatever your interest, your group needs to determine its strategy or someone else will impose their strategy on you.

The next AIAPM will be held in June 2016 in Las Vegas. Make plans to attend now.

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

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