GM ran its business into the ground by becoming focused on everything other than building cars that their customers wanted. They didn’t even understand who their customers were (in the car business, manufacturers hold to the belief that the dealers are their customers). But when people stop buying cars, the dealers stop buying cars and the whole system slows or shuts down.
Instead of focusing on cars, GM became a large social welfare company devoted to providing benefits to their workers, both active and retired.
In the healthcare industry there is a similar argument about who the customer is: The patient? The hospital? The referring physician? The payor?
And in the healthcare industry, there is a push, both by private payors and the government, to balance the financial equation on the heads of physicians: Reimbursement is cut, regulation (and the cost of compliance) is increased, yet physicians are still expected to provide the social service.
So, will there be a physician bail out any time soon? Don’t hold your breath.
Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.
Mark F. Weiss