Preserving the Past

Tension, lots of tension about what to do, but that doesn’t mean that always doing nothing is the right response.

It’s certainly true that knowing what not to do, from individual actions to projects that could be pursued but which are passed on, is as important as taking affirmative action on those projects that will be pursued. At the same time, however, this is a very different concept from devoting close to all of your attention on preserving your current position which, really is equivalent to preserving the past.

Physician groups are under tremendous pressure, the bull’s-eye of the target toward which the arrows of ACOs, hospital-centric healthcare, physician employment, Obamacare, national group competition, and more, are aimed.

What’s needed is for group leaders to devote significant time to how they’re going to transform their businesses to not only evade those attacks, but to capture new ground themselves.

I’m not suggesting that groups abandon their present relationships – certainly, you need to hedge more speculative ventures with a strong base. But query how strong that base really is.

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

Mark F. Weiss

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Are You Protecting the Right Turf?

Male hummingbirds, those cute little avian rockets, are absolutely vicious when protecting their turf from other males of their species. They’ll fight to the death.

But for physicians, protecting your turf requires a more balanced approach. Especially when it comes to deciding what to protect.

For example, some physicians believe that they will be able to forever protect the four walls of their specialty from encroachment by other specialties or that ever changing market forces, what Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction,” should never impact their territory. That’s wishful thinking at best.

On the other hand, many medical groups have developed significant innovations that create value and can be protected. Innovation can remain proprietary to protect your group’s competitive advantage. Or, it can be licensed to other groups. Of course, this means that the creators must take the time, devote the effort, and, yes, make the investment, to protect their rights in those innovations.

It does little good to glorify the past or to try to stop cold major market forces. Some defense is, of course, required, but in the long run, there is more profit (and sanity) in innovating the future.

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

Mark F. Weiss

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