Assessing Risk The Business of Healthcare

No, It’s Impossible!

December 26, 2012

How may times have you heard someone say, or yourself said, that some event that would affect your group, your career, your future, is so remote that it’s impossible.

But, the seemingly “impossible” does happens. The unsinkable ship sinks. An industry dies. The exact same match-up of 16 soccer teams is drawn in rehearsal and then officially.

The important metric to consider isn’t the odds of occurrence, that is, the probability; rather, it’s total risk to your group if the event occurs. That’s measured by multiplying the odds of occurrence by the damage that would result.

So, the odds that the board of Community Memorial St. Mark’s Hospital will choose not to renew your contract, or that your best referral source, an internist you’ve known since high school, will send all of her patients to your competitor, might not be great. But if that results in the loss of a $37 million a year business or the evaporation of half of your income, the risk is still high.

And, even if you think the soccer draw was a scam, there are equivalent risks in healthcare.  For example, the Fictitious RFP™ in which a supposedly open process is really the cover up to veil a predetermined outcome. You’re just as screwed either way.

Plan for both the possible and the “impossible.”

After all, risk happens.

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

Mark F. Weiss

www.weisspc.com

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