I’ve sometimes wondered about the amount of importance attached to the arbitrary selection of the date we call January 1, New Years Day, as the date on which to make resolutions about our future behavior. Perhaps I’ve waxed way too philosophical, but why January 1 – after all, prior versions of our calendar began the year on March 1 and didn’t even have a January – and why not make resolutions any day . . . if you intend on keeping them?
But the notion of a fresh start is important; a clean break from the past. At the end of December 2010, I suggested that instead of making resolutions to do something, you consider resolving to stop engaging in some destructive physician business behavior. You can watch the 2010 videocast, New Years UnResolutions, Wisdom. Applied. No. 12, on YouTube.
This year, I’d like to continue that trend, with some UnResolutions for 2013:
1. Start running your practice as a business. It is one.
2. Each of your employees represents your group. Hire great representatives, ones with more than just top clinical skills, ones with the right personalities.
3. ACO’s are probably here to stay and will quickly be morphing beyond a Medicare payment mechanism. Watch out so that you don’t lose financial control of your group while retaining all of your responsibilities to provide coverage.
4. As reimbursement declines and service expectations rise, be on the alert for an increase in overt and disguised kickbacks. Those with patient control leverage will be looking to maximize their financial interests someway, and not always legally.
5. If there ever was a time to invest in your future, 2013 promises to be it. Your competitors will be investing in theirs. If you’d like them to decide your future, then you can ignore this fifth point—in fact, you can ignore all five points.