Albert Fuchs is a primary care physician and business owner. After realizing that he couldn’t keep up with the pace of his busy practice, his answer wasn’t to simply hire additional staff, but rather to drop the least profitable of his insurance contracts…then another…and another…and another.
Dr. Fuchs kept dropping insurance contracts until he had none left, leaving him with a practice free from the rules imposed upon him by insurance companies, and a practice that provides great care and excellent service.
This won’t work for all medical practices, but this innovative approach to the issue of excessive volume has contributed to a practice that is likely more profitable than if approached by hiring to keep up with the pace of unprofitable contracts. This solution has also provided him with the resources to provide regular free clinics to serve those that can’t afford his services.
Read this article by Dr. Fuchs in today’s LA Times to hear how and why he did it.
Every politician and his Aunt Martha has a scheme to overhaul American healthcare. But not one of them will solve this problem: Most doctors are awful at serving their patients. The typical hair salon pays more attention to customer service than the typical doctor.
Why? Even the best medical schools give short shrift to practice management. So a doctor can emerge as a skilled diagnostician without a clue how to run a business that serves consumers. In fact, many physicians find it distasteful to think of medicine as a business at all. They feel that it’s their mission to serve as many patients as possible rather than to provide the best care possible. Most significant, today’s doctors are preoccupied with the bureaucracy of insurance companies, so much so that they’ve lost the simple logic of the doughnut shop model.