Philosophy The Business of Healthcare

Transparency Within Medical Groups

June 17, 2013

Secrecy. Data gathering. Keeping safe from those who want to do you harm.

Hot topics in the news as I write this. But I’m not writing from a political point of view. At least not this time.

Instead, I’m writing about protecting your medical group’s financial and performance data and about guarding its yet unfolded strategies.

In particular, I’m writing about the question of how much transparency should exist within your group.

The answer requires a particular balance, one that must be determined on a group by group basis: there is no hard and fast rule.

However, keep in mind that the most successful groups, the Strategic Groups™, are not run as clubs. They are not completely transparent.

On the other hand, sharing some amount of performance data across the entire group, whether you see that as only owner physicians, or as all providers, can be a tremendous motivator in the development of a cohesive team.

But pure matters of strategy and your group’s essential financial information should be held much closer to the vest. Those entrusted with it should be bound by fiduciary duty and by confidentiality agreements. Unfortunately, any of your inner circle might be tomorrow’s competitor.

There is no advantage to be gained in claiming to be the most transparent while actually being anything but. There’s also no advantage to disclosing willy-nilly what should be protected information. Instead, find the right balance for your group and clearly establish walls beyond which information is closely guarded against attack both from outside and from inside your group.

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