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    Professor David Marcinko was a board certified surgical fellow, hospital medical staff President, public and population health advocate, and Chief Executive & Education Officer with more than 425 published papers; 5,150 op-ed pieces and over 135+ domestic / international presentations to his credit; including the top ten [10] biggest drug, DME and pharmaceutical companies and financial services firms in the nation. He is also a best-selling Amazon author with 30 published academic text books in four languages [National Institute of Health, Library of Congress and Library of Medicine].

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    Later, Dr. Marcinko was a vital and recruited BOD  member of several innovative companies like Physicians Nexus, First Global Financial Advisors and the Physician Services Group Inc; as well as mentor and coach for Deloitte-Touche and other start-up firms in Silicon Valley, CA.

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The Increased Competition of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) to US Hospitals

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The Competition Heats Up!

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

[Editor-in-Chief]

Over the last 10 years, Ambulatory Surgery Centers’ (ASCs) footprints have increased dramatically.

As hospitals and health systems accelerate towards population health/ global payment models, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), lower priced ASCs will become more critical competitors to hospitals.

Assessment

I acquired the Certificate-of-Need [CON], co-founded and operated an ASC for 15 years before sale in 2000 to a public company. My local hospital fought me tooth and nail. I likely would not do so, again, today!

Conclusion

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Barriers to Free Market Competition in Healthcare Delivery

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Why Supply and Demand Doesn’t Work in Medicine

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA

[Publisher-in-Chief]

Much has been written here, and elsewhere, about free market competition in healthcare; especially in light of the current national political debates. Yet, these markets are not free.

Like Evolution – Healthcare Competition is Only a Theory

Perfectly competitive healthcare markets are not free; they exist only in economic theory as a useful comparative artifice. In reality, industries and markets have varying constraints on competition. The healthcare industry has often been characterized as unique with its many significant barriers to free market competition, such as market controls on price and quality.

According to colleague Robert James Cimasi, of Health Capital Consultants LLC, in St. Louis MO; there are three main reasons for these barriers in healthcare:

Competitive Healthcare Barriers 

  1. The nature of healthcare creates an unpredictable, urgent, and “infinite” level of demand.
  2. The ubiquitous involvement of insurance companies, private and governmental, as intermediary organizations in the purchase of healthcare interferes with consumer motivations and consequently their choice of providers and services.
  3. The difficulties in measuring healthcare quality and beneficial outcomes (both of quantifying and qualifying them) and the lack of information on the relative costs of healthcare providers and services also inhibit consumer selection, further removing incentives to providers to increase quality and lower costs. 


Barriers to Healthcare Competition               

Included among the many other barriers to competition in healthcare delivery are the following:

  • Patients don’t purchase services directly from providers;
  • Patients don’t compare prices between providers;
  • The government is the largest purchaser of healthcare;
  • Private purchasers often lack market power;
  • Patients, purchasers and providers lack information;
  • Occupational licensing;
  • Many providers have monopoly or near-monopoly power (yet antitrust laws prevent some potentially beneficial integration);
  • Providers are rewarded for increasing costs;
  • Capital investments are overly subsidized (It should be noted that Stigler argues that an industry will not use its power to collect money from the government unless the list of beneficiaries can be limited, due to the fact the amount of subsidies will be divided among a growing number of rivals.*
  • Certificate of Need (CON), regulation, and licensing laws are an entry barrier to competing and substitute providers and services; and
  • Exit barriers protect low-quality providers.

Assessment

Of course, the supply side is also flagrantly encouraged by excessive medical testing, procedural interventions and surgery; mostly excused by malpractice phobia as a well as the personal financial interests of involved stakeholders.

References

Stigler, George J. “The Theory of Economic Regulation.” The Bell Journal of Economics and Management Science. Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring 1971): 5.

Conclusion

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On Growing Tensions in Healthcare Services Markets

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Stressors Affecting all Stakeholders

[By Robert James Cimsai; MHA, AVA, ASA, CMP™]

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The changes in reimbursement for Medicare services through the introduction of prospective payment systems and physician reimbursement cuts for professional services, as well as the increased focus on patient quality and transparency initiatives and health 2.0 collaboration have forced healthcare providers to look for more efficient ways to provide services, as well as additional sources of revenue and margin-producing business.

Additionally, with the rise of corporate healthcare provider networks and health systems, together with rising healthcare costs, competition among providers has become prevalent in the healthcare industry.

Assessment

Strict control of reimbursement costs from payers and consistent decreases in physician professional component fee reimbursement yields; reduction in traditional hospital inpatient use; and higher costs of capital have all contributed to the trend of physician investment in outpatient (and inpatient) specialty provider enterprises [ASCs, specialty hospitals and clinics, etc] , which often compete with general acute care community hospital providers.

Conclusion

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The Power of “ME Inc” for Physicians

Embracing a New Competitive Practice Culture

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]dem21

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.

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HOFMS

[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! 

Conclusion

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Defining Hospital Competitive Markets

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Clarifying Often Nebulous and Contentious Terminology

[By Staff Reporters]

According to Robert James Cimasi; MHA, CMP™ of Health Capital Consultants LLC in St. Louis, MO; the definition of a hospital’s “market” is often nebulous.

Ambiguous Terms

Some entities are defined by terms as ambiguous as “acute care inpatient hospitals,” “specialty hospitals,” or “anchor hospitals.” This ambiguity occurs because healthcare is increasingly provided on an outpatient basis, and general acute care inpatient hospitals face competition from a range of allied healthcare providers for the medical services they deliver.

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US Supreme Court Explains

For example, none other than the US Supreme Court has explained that the determination of relevant hospital product and geographic markets is “a necessary predicate” to deciding whether a hospital merger contravenes the Clayton Act (antitrust).

Assessment

For additional information, please see United States v. Marine Ban Corporation Inc., 418 U.S. 602, 618 (1974) (citing United States v. E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co., 353 U.S. 586, 593 (1957); Brown Shoe Co. v. United States, 370 U.S. 294, 324 (1962).

Conclusion

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