Ophthalmology Business

MAY 2013

Ophthalmology Business is focused on business topics relevant to the entrepreneurial ophthalmologist. It offers editorial, opinion, and practical tips for physicians running an ophthalmic practice. It is a companion publication of EyeWorld.

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Make yourself invaluable to your new employers by Michael D. Brown, CHBC W e have now seen the paradigm shift to where many physician practices are being sold to hospitals and/or carriers. We are on the cusp of the MEGA shift in healthcare unlike anything we've seen before. We are also starting to hear from these buyers about some early stage problems they are encountering concerning some of their physician purchases and the attitude displayed therein. To investigate these issues, one must emphasis that you make yourself invaluable to your employer. This is exactly where the concept of maximizing the three "As" is essential and critical. You as physicians must make yourself: • Available • Affordable • Affable Each of these critical "As," when accomplished, will make you invaluable to your employer. Available You must be available to work the hours needed for both patients and your employees. That means work- ing extended hours and/or Saturday hours or simply non-traditional hours. Today patients have choices and demand convenient patientdriven hours. A more flexible schedule is a must in today's healthcare world. Affordable This is the key to a successful business model that will allow you to be price sensitive to patients, carriers, and the market as a whole. In healthcare today, you have to have a price point that is median in the market. More and more patients are having a higher co-share, paying more and higher deductibles, and taking more of the burden of cost on themselves. Your fee schedule and management is critical to today's market. Affable This is essential to survival in today's healthcare environment. It is no longer acceptable to not be on time, pleasant, and knowledgeable of the history of the patient. The expectation of the patient at the minimum is to have a conversation with the doctor—conversation, not a one-way discussion. Having a pleasant personality and knowing the art of communication are demanded today. The number one complaint we see in our surveys is untimeliness of the physician and the lack of conversation; therefore, a lack of understanding leads to poor healthcare. Patients leave practices for two critical reasons: personality and communication (the lack therein from the physician). These concepts are expected in today's healthcare marketplace. Expect your new employer, as well as the patients, will want a physician to be on time, price sensitive, caring, and personable. We are on the verge of the biggest paradigm shift in healthcare we have ever seen. Physicians are being sold every day to hospitals and carriers, and those new buyers will only keep physicians who follow this creed. These rules or guideposts are not new. We have been preaching these concepts for years. You must follow the three "As" to survive and be successful in today's marketplace: affordability, availability, and affability (personality). Don't think that today's new employers are the same old, same old—they are not! They're creative, resourceful, strategic thinkers, and know where they are going. Be invaluable so when the tram leaves the station, you will be on it. Don't miss this one—it's the last one out. OB Mr. Brown is president, Health Care Economics, Indianapolis. He can be contacted at 317-5769600. May 2013 • Ophthalmology Business eZine 23

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