Most physicians are aware of our nation’s disintegration of private medical practices. Bailing out of private medical practice for financial or other reasons predicts the takeover of government-controlled employed medical practice as well as the medical profession itself—including medical school education.
One world-renowned marketing and business expert offers important advice for medical care professionals who prefer to remain independent of such medical practice restrictions while we still can do so:
A lot of what I’ll be talking about today has to do with how independent you can be. In terms of money, in terms of client selection, customer selection, in terms of the way you do business, who you wish to do business with, and how you wish to charge for doing business with the people that you do business with right now.
Now there are many of you who are in health care … and your big issue is, is your practice gonna participate or opt out of managed care and be a true cash-for-service practice?
And in all probability, if our health care system is good, we’re gonna have two health care systems. We’re gonna have those of us who pay and get what we want. And everybody else who stands in a bread line somewhere and gets abused by doctors who function like postal workers. And it’s gonna be a big separation in between.
So, what’s going on in dentistry and what’s going on in the chiropractic industry to some degree are practices that literally are completely opting out of the insurance system. And they are saying to their patients, here’s how we do business here. You pay us. And if you can get reimbursed, more power to you, but we’re not going to participate in that part of the process, your problem, not ours. Radical but great independence – if you can do it well, the bottom-line secret, which kind of segues us into marketing. To have great independence is simply to have enough deal flow.
And lastly, if you have your marketing act together and have enough prospective customers, clients, and patients flowing towards you, you can be very independent. You know, as I said, it takes a different mindset to be viciously independent when you have no customers. But if you want to enjoy that attitude, it’s easy to have it when you have more customers than you need and you must win somehow anyway. So, you might as well win out those who do not do business precisely and exactly and totally the way you would love to do business.
Being independent is a fantastic way to run your business how you want to run it, so you get to make the money you want to make, have the clients you want to have, and charge as much as you want.
P.S. Don’t forget, whoever can spend the most money to acquire a customer wins.
There are numerous strategies to avoid government restrictions on medical practice management while remaining in medical practice. Presently, the most advantageous way to do that is called a concierge practice. Does the advice above now ring a bell for you?
However, the most critical and reliable way to ensure your survival in private practice is by learning and using your knowledge obtained through business education. It’s the standard for the survival of all other businesses in the world.
The obvious reason that all medical schools in the U.S. have never intended to provide business education, and still don’t, for medical students and physicians, is the fact that they don’t want physicians to become smart enough to bypass our government’s efforts to control health care and the medical profession.
When our government controls our medical practice business income through dictatorial fee restrictions and practice mandates, we are left with little leverage to improve our personal potential and our increased value to our patients.
The weakness that the government uses to dominate our profession can be traced back to controlling our incomes, the core defect in the armor of the medical education system.
Can you imagine how many thousands of physicians, while lacking a business education, have quit practice, have retired early, have chosen suicide (about 400 per year), have lost their families for financial reasons, have had to move their medical practice elsewhere, have suffered the insults and punishment of the state medical boards for business or behavior problems arising out of the lack of appropriate income for such elite professionals?
Even the wealthy physicians, who happened to pick the highest-paid specialty had family money to grow their practice or gained a business education beforehand, have been forced to tolerate the disappointment and burnout that most physicians today agree is happening.
Why are we short of medical doctors? Why are medical schools having a harder time recruiting quality students? Why do rural private medical practice physicians have to live at the lowest level of the middle class? The truth is hard to acknowledge.
There is no doubt in my mind that all business-educated physicians will never have to tolerate the present practice restrictions put on physicians today and can avoid most of the egregious aspects of our government’s overreach.
Practicing without the business and marketing tools prevents you from ever reaching your maximum potential as a practicing physician. Most physicians don’t believe that because they have never been educated regarding the benefits of a business education, which would astound you if you were to recognize the truth.
You must ask yourself, why would the medical school education scholars and leaders not only never inform you of the benefits of business tools but also never find a good reason to provide that education? Did your medical school tell you those very important factors?
Curtis G. Graham is a physician.