Socialism and Medical Groups


February 28, 2018

Socialism Is Alive and Well Within Medical Groups

Socialism is alive and well, and I'm not simply talking about the charade of Nicolás Maduro.

Instead, I'm talking about the employees or subcontracted members of your group who, even though they are being paid every penny due to them pursuant to their employment agreements or subcontracts, have the misguided mindset that "there is money missing" or that the partners are "stealing money," as if any purportedly "missing" or "stolen" money would, in any event, be theirs.

Perhaps this is simply a symptom of a larger societal problem: the cancer of so-called “social justice,” which is simply a pig-in-a-skirt term for an entitlement attitude magnified to the level of socially acceptable theft.

But there are other contributing factors totally within the control of the group and its leaders:

• Strategy: Groups often have no actual business strategy which in many cases fosters a collegial approach to the business of medicine. We're all in this together morphs into we're all in business together. If so, where's my money?

• Poorly documented relationships: The world in which the difference between a $2,000 employment agreement and a $15,000 one is often millions in damages to your “partners.” Oops, you meant subcontractors. Have you created a de facto partnership?

• Actions: Even if the agreement between the group and its employed or subcontracted physicians is properly structured and documented, it doesn't help if it’s not signed or if the group takes action, or its leaders make statements, inconsistent with its provisions. These gaffes provide the toe holds disgruntled physicians use when climbing into your bank account.

The impact of this thinking, whether resulting simply from the employees’ or subcontractors’ misguided mindset or fostered by errors on the part of the group, is cancer-like. If allowed to grow, it will, at best, cause dissension within the ranks. At worst, for hospital-based groups, it will result in employees and subcontractors running off to hospital administration to complain about their "unfair" treatment, the likely result of which will be their use by the administrator as weapons to destabilize your group's leadership structure.

Yes, to use another socialist analogy, this time from the other side of the ideological coin, your employees and subcontractors will be used as useful idiots to destroy your leadership and, in the long run, to destroy the idiots themselves.

Wisdom. Applied. 109

Wisdom. Applied. 110: Bedless Hospitals and Physician Opportunities

If, as I’ve written before and as we’re now beginning to see, a hospital need not have beds, then what’s the difference between a hospital (which physicians can’t develop as a Medicare facility) and an ASC?


All Things Personal

I promise I won't joke about the fact that we all think we're great drivers, much better than average, when, of course, someone's got to be in the bottom 50%.

But, when driving, nearly all of us are situationally aware. We check our mirrors every 10 to 15 seconds, we're constantly scanning for a car that might drift into our lane, and we notice the kids playing on a lawn up ahead -- they might come running into the street.

On the other hand, just as many of us lose that situational awareness in connection with business. We simply focus straight ahead, not in an, "I'm rush, rush, rushing ahead to meet my goals!" kind of way, but, rather, in the sense that we don't pay much, if any, attention to what's going on around us.

For example, your medical practice has ties, or even an exclusive contract relationship, with one hospital only. The facility dies, so does your practice. The facility gives the contract on which you bet your group's existence to another group, and your business ceases to have any reason to exist. You get the idea.

Check your business' metaphorical mirrors, and scan the route for potential threats and dangers, just as often as you do when you're driving from your home to the market.

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Books and Publications


We all hear, and most of us say, that the pace of change in healthcare is quickening. That means that the pace of required decision-making is increasing, too. Unless, that is, you want to take the “default” route. That’s the one is which you let someone else make the decisions that impact you; you’re just along for the ride. Of course, playing a bit part in scripting your own future isn’t the smart route to stardom. But despite your own best intentions, perhaps it’s your medical group’s governance structure that’s holding you back. In fact, it’s very likely that the problem is systemic. The Medical Group Governance Matrix introduces a simple four-quadrant diagnostic tool to help you find out. It then shows you how to use that tool to build your better, more profitable future. Get your free copy here.

Learning opportunity: Mark will be presenting the key concepts of the Matrix as a part of his presentation at the Advanced Institute for Anesthesia Practice Management, April 28 – 30, 2018 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.


Whenever you're ready, here are 4 ways I can help you and your business:

1. Download a copy of The Success Prescription. My book, The Success Prescription provides you with a framework for thinking about your success.

2. Be a guest on “Wisdom. Applied. Podcast.” Although most of my podcasts involve me addressing an important point for your success, I’m always looking for guests who’d like to be interviewed about their personal and professional achievements and the lessons learned. Email me if you’re interested in participating.

3. Book me to speak to your group or organization. I’ve spoken at dozens of medical group, healthcare organization, university-sponsored, and private events on many topics such as The Impending Death of Hospitals, the strategic use of OIG Advisory Opinions, medical group governance, and succeeding at negotiations. For more information about a custom presentation for you, drop us a line.

4. If You’re Not Yet a Client, Engage Me to Represent You. If you’re interested in increasing your profit and managing your risk of loss, email me to connect directly.


The Mark F. Weiss Law Firm 1227 De La Vina St. Santa Barbara, California 93101 United States (310) 843-2800