The Power of “ME Inc” for Physicians

Embracing a New Competitive Practice Culture

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™


There are more than 900,000 physicians in the United States. Yet, the brutal supply/demand/demographic calculus of the matter is that there are just too many aging patients chasing too few doctors. Compensation and reimbursement is plummeting as Uncle Sam becomes the payer-of-choice for more than 52% of us. And, the government as payer will likely increase with the Obama Administration. So, going forward, it is not difficult to imagine the following four rules for a new-wave competitive medical care culture for all physicians.

[A] Rule No. 1

Forget about large office suites, surgery centers, fancy equipment and the bricks and mortar that comprised traditional medical practices. One doctor with a great idea, good bedside manner or competitive advantage, can outfox a slew of CPAs, while still serving the public and making money. It’s a unit-of-one healthcare economy where “ME Inc.”, is the standard and physicians must maneuver for advantages that boost their standing and credibility among patients and payers. Examples include patient satisfaction surveys, the rise of evidence-based medicine; outcomes research analysis, concierge medicine, direct reimbursement payment plans, and economic credentialing; etc.

 [B] Rule No. 2

Challenge conventional wisdom, think outside the traditional payer box, recapture your dreams and ambitions, disregard conventional gurus and work harder – and smarter – than you have ever worked before. Remember the old saying, “if everyone is thinking alike, then nobody is thinking”. Do insurance panel members think rationally or react irrationally?

However, you should realize the power of networking, vertical integration and the establishment of virtual medical practices, which come together to treat a patient, and then disband when a successful outcome achieved. Job security in this structure is achieved with successful outcomes, and perhaps not necessarily a degree in the near future. Medical futurists even presume the establishment of virtual medical schools and hospitals, where students and doctors learn and practice their art on cyber-entities that look and feel like real patients, but are generated electronically through the wonders of virtual reality units.


[C] Rule No 3

Differentiate yourself among your medical peers. Do or learn something new and unknown by your competitors. Market your accomplishments and let the world know. Be a non-conformist. The conformity of health insurance plans are an operational standard and a straitjacket on creativity. Doctors should create and innovate, not blindly follow entrenched medical society leaders into oblivion. Seek, and practice, health 2.0 collaboration with all stakeholders.

[D] Rule No 4

Realize that the present situation is not necessarily the future. Attempt to see the future and discern your place in it. Master the art of the quick change and fast but informed decision making. Do what you love, disregard what you don’t, and let the fates have their way with you. Then, decide for yourself if health plans adhere to any of the above rules?

AssessmentKung Fu

Regardless of the future de facto business model of the learned profession of medicine, current practice models are no longer the structure of choice. Rather, a more laissez-faire and highly competitive business model should be pursuedPhysicians have been slow to accept this philosophy.  Remember, as a physician, if you merely want a static job with promised security, pledged retirement benefits, limited goals and structured regulations; join a health plan panel and become their laborer.

However, if you desire more, such as the possibility of a dynamic career, the unlimited security of your brainpower, non-defined retirement contributions, infinite potential with rules you can create along the way; incorporate the power of ME, Inc., in everything you do. Remain a competitive professional and be a physician ... Get fly! 


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