The Walking Dead: Is Your Group Actually In Business?

You have been coming into work every day for years. Now there’s no need to come in tomorrow because your group no longer exists.

You see, although your group collected over $20 million over the past year, and you and your fellow partners earned a tidy sum, it turns out that your group was simply a service to one hospital, not a real business. When the hospital chose to obtain that service from someone else, proof, there went your group.

There are many things your group can be doing to create leverage to prevent its demise. And they all start with telling the truth about your present situation and with imagining the future as you want it, not as “the hospital” wants it.

Right now, the chances are almost certain that there’s someone – in fact many someones – who want your group’s contract.

Are you going to let them have it?

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

Mark F. Weiss


The 83% And Concierge Care – Podcast

Entrepreneurial thinking is the cure for dissatisfaction with Obamacare.

Why Stake Your Future On Only One Hospital?

Pretend you’re about to invest years of effort and place your economic future on one of the following:

(a) A business totally dependent upon the fact that Gmail will always exist, or

(b) A business dependent upon email on any platform.

Why is it that “b” is an obvious choice in this pretend exercise, but that, for hospital-based physicians, almost all have chosen to stake real years of effort and their actual economic future on a single relationship between their group and a hospital?

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

Mark F. Weiss


Do You Own Your Practice Or Does It Own You?

Be honest: Do you own your practice or does it own you?

If your practice owns you, what you have is a job. You might as well go work for someone else. Less headache. Isn’t that the whole point of physician management companies and hospital employment?

But if you want to become successful, and there is no need to apologize for that fact — I laud it — then you need an entirely different mindset and an entirely different business structure.

And, if you have partners who don’t agree, they’re simply holding you back and it’s time to reorganize.

Thanks to government intervention in what used to be a marketplace and is now a system, physicians are quickly coming to what I’ve referred to as the Great Junction™ – one route leading to commoditized medicine and the other to personalized, unique care. You could look at this junction another way, and that’s the divergence between employee and virtual employee physicians and true entrepreneurs.

If you own your practice now but find comfort in the employee track, then there are certainly burgeoning opportunities for the sale of your practice.

And, if you want to build something, this is also the time to do it.

The problem is, you have to decide or understand that the default route is the employee track.

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

Mark F. Weiss

How to Create the Balance Your Group Needs in Order to Thrive – Podcast

Most medical groups are out of balance and easy to tip over.

Beware The Government-Hospital Complex

The first time that I saw a computer there were two in the room. One of them took up most of the south side of a floor of the Computer Science Building and the other took up most of the north side.

To the best of my memory, the first time I saw a hospital it took up much of a city block.

Today, I and millions of you each have have more computing power in our individual smart phones than there was on the entire floor of the Computer Science Building. Computing power, the distribution of new media sources, the ability to put electrical power back onto the grid, and hundreds of other advances all result from the explosion caused by the microchip.

So then why is it that hospitals are getting larger, not smaller? Why is it that hospitals are assuming the functions of physicians, not the other way around?

Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex. Is the government – hospital complex just as dangerous? In my mind, it is even more so. Why do large hospitals continue to exist?

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

Mark F. Weiss

The 83% and Concierge Care

Whether it’s the 83% reported in the press or even half of that, many physicians are questioning their career strategies in light of the Supreme Court’s upholding of the individual mandate within Obamacare.

It appears certain that an increasing number of physicians will be disappointed with Obamacare and the burdensome requirements of its bureaucracy.

From my experience working with concierge type family and internal medicine practices – no insurance accepted, high touch high-quality care – it appears as if there will be a growing market among the professional and executive classes as well as the truly rich for something outside of cattle call medical care.

But what about specialists? Can a cardiologist or a hand surgeon adopt the same kind of practice? In some instances and in some locales it is entirely possible. But in others, even they can’t go “no insurance” on their own, they might be able to create a similar business through alignment with primary care doctors in a concierge network.

Yes, I can hear someone saying that medicine is a profession not a business.

But unless you begin thinking like an entrepreneur, you just might find yourself becoming a government employee.

Contact me if you’d like to continue this conversation for your benefit.

Mark F. Weiss



Breaking The Physician Hospital Paradigm – Podcast

The paradigm for physician hospital relations is completely at odds with society’s other trends.

Jurassic Park And PHI – Leaks Are Inevitable

In the book, Jurassic Park, and in the movie of the same name, it quickly becomes obvious that despite absolute belief and assurance that the system is closed, there is always the chance of a leak.

Shift from dinosaurs on an island to your patients’ protected health information, or “PHI,” which you probably believe to be safely ensconced within your practice’s system or that of your outsourced billing and collection service, all nicely guarded by your compliance program. After all, you have a copy of the compliance binder on your bookshelf.

I can almost guarantee you that there’s a leak. It may not be intentional as in the Jurassic Park character who attempts to abscond with dinosaur embryos. It may simply be inadvertent as in the dinosaurs that find their way off the island.

The downside of an inadvertent PHI leak can be fines couched as civil monetary penalties; a wreckless or purposeful leak can lead to criminal prosecution. That plus the damage to the reputation of your group, jeopardy of its relationship with referral sources and facilities, and potential liability under various legal theories to the patients whose information was disclosed.

In this light, compliance auditing is a must. But the auditing process, and the corrective action taken, must not simply be viewed as correcting a problem; rather, the best return on investment for your group is to dual-purpose compliance – yes, it reduces risk, but it can also be a focal point around which to fine tune and improve your group’s systems and performance.

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

Mark F. Weiss


You Can’t Blame Me – I Won’t Tell You My Name

I’m on an American Airlines flight.

As I’ve noticed on other flights, the flight attendants are wearing their name tags flipped around so that the back of the tag, not their name, is visible.

What’s their mindset? Is it “excellence” or “I’ll be in trouble?”  The question, of course, is wholly rhetorical.

This should make you wonder which way your group’s physicians’ metaphorical “name tags” are facing.

Are they aiming to please, or are they taking aim?

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

Mark F. Weiss