ADVISORY e-ALERT     February 22, 2011 
Advisory Law Group, a Professional Corporation



Let's call it the Magic Mountain Model:  A lesson from a high school summer job at an amusement park that provides a concept important to your success.
I quickly observed the stark contract between what went on in the park's public areas of roller coasters, restaurants and games, and what went on "back stage," the name applied to the huge walled off area never seen by the paying customers, or "guests" in Magic Mountain terms.

Back stage was where all of the support, from administration, to food storage, to maintenance were located. Back stage was a world apart from the other side of the wall - the world of "on stage," the place where guests came to be entertained. What goes on back stage must stay back stage in order for the magic to happen on stage.


The Magic Mountain, or theatrical, model is particularly apt for physician practices.  Office based physicians can apply the model for patients in their offices. Hospital based physicians can apply a more complex variation in which the stage has multiple sets, one for each of their audiences:  the hospital, referring physicians, patients and their families.


For physician groups, the back stage concept means that all of the drama within the group, the politicking, internal squabbles and operational issues can never be allowed to seep into the world experienced by the hospital, referring physicians, patients and their families, as it will destroy their perception of your on stage performance. And, just as important, your on stage performance must rise to the level of the other great experiences that your audience members use as reference points. 


In ranking on stage performance, your audience uses two types of reference points.  The less significant, in relative terms, involves comparisons between the experience you provide as a physician and those provided by other physicians.  The more important, and the one toward which you must aim your performance, involves comparisons with the audiences' other great experiences. 


With both internal problems and all support required to deliver the experience kept in the world of back stage, your group's interactions on stage - your physicians' interactions with administrators, other physicians, nurses and other hospital support staff, and patients, focus on the quality of the experience delivered and are not simply mechanistic.  You no longer just "do the case" or "read the film" or "meet" with the hospital CEO - each interaction is an opportunity to deliver both your service and the audience's experience. 


The essential elements of your physicians' on stage performance must be trained, measured and improved.  The same concept applies to the way that support staff - both employed and contracted (and this includes outside service providers, such as billing company personnel) - interact with your audience.  All other elements seen or experienced, such as materials provided to patients before and after procedures, and reports delivered to administrators, must be consistent with the quality of the experience you aim to provide. 


Among other things, this means that your partnership or shareholders agreement, your employment agreements and subcontracts, your agreements with outside service providers, and your documented policies and procedures must incorporate mechanisms to encourage and enforce the back stage/on stage distinction and the overall quality of the experience delivered. 


In conclusion, you are not competing with other physicians in your specialty or even with all other physicians - you're competing with other experiences, for example, with the experiences your audience received at a Four Seasons hotel or at Disneyland.  In other words, don't conceive of yourself as selling a service; rather, you provide an experience in which you wrap your service.


As Shakespeare wrote, "all the world's a stage." You have a chance to write your own part.  Make it a starring one.


To learn more about creating an experience monopoly for your practice, contact Mark F. Weiss now.





All Things Personal


Customers, whether or not you call them patients, expect service.  You might provide them with the world's best medical care, but if you piss them off they probably won't be back, and they will probably let others know about it.  If you piss them off before they become customers, it's even worse.

So let me tell you a story.

I called a medical group during my search for a new internist.  I was transferred from person to person three times within the multi-physician office before reaching the woman who schedules appointments.  Each time I had to listen to the same recording about hanging up and dialing 911 if it were a medical emergency.

When I finally reached the scheduler, I gave her my name and told her that I had received Dr. X's name from my insurance carrier's online provider lookup, which indicated that he is taking new patients, and told her that I would like to make an appointment.

Her response: "Date of birth."  I said, "Excuse me?"  She deadpanned, "Date of birth."

My initial inclination was to say goodbye, but I was intrigued at how much worse it could get, so I gave her the information.  I suppose she was just trying to screen out Medicare patients contrary to all the warm and wonderful things it says about their group on their website.

She then informed me that Dr. X wasn't taking any new patients regardless of the fact that my carrier reports he is.  She told me my only choice was to see Dr. X's new associate, Dr. Y.  Wrong.  I had another choice - I hung up.

Of course, the "personal" part of me gets upset over these types of events.  But the "business" part of me couldn't be more pleased, for its just another reminder of how some people make it so easy to compete with them - like shooting fish in a barrel. 

I don't care how wonderful your claims of expertise are or even how wonderful your claims of providing caring service are, if you can't properly treat your customers - and this goes beyond patients to referral sources and other third parties -- someone else will.  This is the case whether you're a solo office practice physician or the leader of a 100 member hospital-based group.

Don't fret if you don't get it, someone else will.




Negotiation Ploys:  From Autos to ACOs, published on on January 31, 2011. 
To read other recent articles, click here.



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ADVISORY LAW GROUP, a Professional Corporation

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In This Issue
The Magic Mountain Model
Videocast: No We Won't Renew - Here's an RFP
All Things Personal
Recently Published Articles
The e-Alert Archive
Teleseminar: Extract Strategic Value
The Immediate Leader Experience
Mentor Program
The Wisdom. Applied. Blog

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March 15, 2011
Healthcare compliance demands fair market valuation -- but the concept of FMV leaves significant dollars on the table because it does not address the value inherent in the specific deal, it's strategic value.

Valuation consultants will tell you that strategic value can't legally be considered. 

Stop asking the wrong people the wrong question.

Join Mark as he discusses the concept of strategic value, how it differs from fair market value, how it exists in the context of healthcare deals, and how you can profit from it.
Attendance is limited as individual questions will be addressed.

Date:  March 15, 2011
Time:  4:00 PST
Approximately 1 hour in length
Cost:  $197 per person
The deadline for registration is March 10, 2011.
Contact to register.



Overhear Mark's response to a question about the required coverage of a new service area at a loss, as condition to renewal of an exclusive contract.
Follow this link to the Q & A video page.


You're a physician who wants to form a medical group and, among other things, subcontract with or employ other physicians, enter into exclusive contacts, obtain significant stipend support money, create related entities to increase protection and the like. And you want to come up to speed on all of this immediately.

Or, you're the new leader of an existing group with complex practice and business operations -- you need to understand how to master the group's organizational, operational and leadership issues -- and you need to be brought up to speed immediately.
After having regularly dealt for many years with physicians in both of these contexts, we've designed a process to deliver immediate results: The Immediate Leader Experience™.
The Immediate Leader Experience™ takes place over a weekend in Santa Barbara, California and includes two nights accommodation at the Four Seasons Santa Barbara Biltmore Hotel. 
In two short days, you'll be entirely up to speed, totally prepared and confident.  You'll be armed with tools and sample documents.
Due to the nature of this program, admission is upon interview only -- there is extremely limited availability.
For further information on The Immediate Leader Experience™ follow this link.  
For information on Mark's mentor program, click on the following link:  The Advisor Program.
Follow this link to Mark's blog, Wisdom. Applied.
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