Aug 17

How to Avoid a Black Friday for Your Medical Group

Are your contract in line to be held hostage through collective bargaining?


Aug 16

Another Hospital CEO and His Senior VP Sentenced to Years in Prison – Medical Group Minute Series

Two men failed to turn over more than $6 million in taxes collected from employees of an Arkansas, hospital, were convicted for the same crime they committed (and were serving time for) in Texas.

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Mark F. Weiss

Aug 15

Differentiate Or Die – Success In Motion Series

Ride along with Mark as he discusses why medical groups, like members of a species, must differentiate or die.


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Mark F. Weiss

Aug 14

Learn About Negotiation From a Not So Dead Opossum

My dog Larry, the Briard, who had recently succeeded in catching a squirrel, came up to one of the doors from the backyard at around 9 o’clock one night, right after being let out for the final time that evening.

When he approached the door, I saw that he had an opossum hanging from his mouth, as lifeless as a dishrag.

After some coaxing (and the promise of a treat), I was able to get him to drop the opossum and come into the house.

I then went back outside to pick up the carcass, only to discover that the opossum had been playing possum. It really wasn’t dead at all. It had already walked away. No blood nor fur on the ground, just little footprints.

I was relieved. I didn’t want to pick up a bloody opossum carcass. But it did hit me that it was a great analogy for negotiation.

By playing dead, the opossum gave Larry a win. But, and here’s the key, it was a win that cost the opossum nothing.

Larry came into the house thinking that he had landed the best deal in the world, and maybe he had. In his mind he thought that he was the winner of the battle with the opossum. Yet, the opossum walked away.

In your negotiations, are you letting the other side think that they won?

For example, depending upon the negotiation, it could be as simple as deploying a sixth finger approach, or it could be as detailed as truly figuring out the other side’s underlying motivation and giving them what they seek, so that they, too, are satisfied with the result.

We can also look at “opossum negotiation” from the other angle. Consider whether you’ve been played in the same manner. But, in the end, it doesn’t make much difference if what you received was valuable to you.

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Mark F. Weiss


Aug 10

Weaponized RFPs – A Podcast

RFPs can wear many faces, is it an organic, fictitious or fulcrum RFP? Find out which type you’re facing, and strategize your response.


Aug 09

The “Why” In Hospital Employment – Medical Group Minute Series

Hospital closures are impacting the physician employment market. Doctors are left with a choice of navigating the pitfalls of their own private practice or being part of the hospital which may lead to lower market value.

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Mark F. Weiss

Aug 08

Do You Need To Respray Your Medical Group’s Message? – Success In Motion Series

Take a seat and listen in as Mark discusses how the message sent within a medical group is like the lane lines on the road. Every once in a while, it needs to be resprayed.


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Mark F. Weiss

Aug 07

Update: Physicians Must Brand Their Role in Healthcare or Suffer the Consequences

In the original 2011, version of this article (then entitled simply Physicians Must Brand Their Role in Healthcare or Suffer the Consequences), I correctly predicted that the role of the physician as the principal provider of healthcare was in danger.

Over the ensuing 6-plus years, hospitals have continued to benefit from the expanding role of paraprofessionals and from the top level professional degree, the doctorate, that those paraprofessionals are obtaining.

In 2011, I cited the example of nurse anesthetists’ push to be recognized as equivalent to anesthesiologists. Hospitals, seeking to break the financial and medical staff voting block hold of anesthesia groups, are often more than willing to accept CRNAs in place of anesthesiologists. They view them as cheaper, more controllable and disposable.

I cautioned that just because you might not be an anesthesiologist, don’t think this doesn’t apply to you — in a very real sense, anesthesiologists are simply the “canaries in the coal mine.” In fact, I predicted that PAs would soon be pressing for freedom to act independently.

I recently came across an article that describes a hospital’s move to replace its M.D. hospitalists with PAs. Why? Because they’re cheaper. 

In the words of a patient, who was portrayed as not being bothered that a physician assistant was in charge of her care, the PAs “seem knowledgeable and they’re easy to talk to. I feel comfortable with them.”

“Easy to talk to” tells you something about your need to relate to patients. But “seems knowledgeable” is by no means equivalent to “is knowledgeable.” If it were, hospitals could simply hire out of work actors from their day jobs at a restaurant near you to play physicians of all sorts. They’d seem really, really knowledgeable.

At the same time as paraprofessionals are pushing for more authority, doctorate degrees are becoming the top professional degree in many of their fields. Once the nurse specialist performing your function becomes a “doctor,” you will become irrelevant – or so goes the thinking of hospital-centric healthcare pundits.

Physicians do have one important branding tool, the “M.D.” degree. Of course, as paraprofessionals become branded as doctors, too, the value of an M.D. will become diluted. Physicians cannot allow that to happen, and your professional societies must take a far more active role to educate the public on the difference between M.D.-delivered medical care and the care delivered by nurses and other physician extenders holding doctorates. I’m not denigrating the role that nurses and PAs and other paraprofessionals play; rather, I’m asserting that if there’s not an actual distinction in the difference between their education, skills, and training, and those of physicians, then medical school and residency is a scam. I don’t believe that for a second. But who might?

Additionally, physician specialty boards, which to the public are generally meaningless (after all, what do all those initials after a physician’s name mean?) must devote significant resources to promoting the public’s awareness of the high-level of training and peer-reviewed expertise required in order to earn that designation and, even more importantly, what that actually means to patients and their families.

It’s bizarrely amusing, in a sick sense, to see hospitals demanding that all physicians in a contracted group operating a hospital-based department be board-certified, while, at the same time happily replacing a significant portion of those doctors with far lesser trained nurses and other professionals.

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Mark F. Weiss


Aug 03

Mediocre Advancement or Transformational Improvement? – A Podcast

Are you planning for your ideal future reality, or focusing on slight incremental improvements?


Aug 02

Your Exclusive Contract Is About To Be Nonexclusive – Medical Group Minute

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Mark F. Weiss

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