Chandresh Shah

Are Physicians ‘Cheap’?

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This goes back to the days in 70’s up to early 90’s. Doctors could make good money without having to bother about things that you and I do. They did not have to delve into book keeping and financial aspects of Balancing Books. 

Finances were always in the Positive. There was no need to balance. Despite money being left on table, billers not doing their jobs well, and expenses leaking out, the inflow of cash was enough for the doctor to live a good life.

Operating costs were in control, they could scribble notes and not have to worry about technology, EMR software, or reporting.

Throw into the mix how Pharma companies treated Doctors like kings – showering them with gifts, wining and dining them without restrictions.

Fast forward to the 2000’s

  • Pharma Companies can no longer stroke Doctor’s egos, no more ‘gifts’.
  • Economy starts declining, costs start rising
  • Reimbursements drop year over year
  • New regulatory requirements including EMR and Healthcare IT start pressuring Doctors

Put it all together, Doctors suddenly realize they are Unprepared.

  1. Doctors as medical practitioners are not economics majors and have no idea how to run a business (they think they do, because of their egos, but majority of them don’t).
  2. Doctors are under tremendous pressure which is getting worse day by day – no time to learn about ‘balance sheets’ – they don’t even have time to learn about ICD-10 or Meaningful Use.
  3. They don’t even know how to manage people, which is why you see such high employee turnover in medical practices.
  4. Doctors still live in the past where they don’t want to learn about being business owners.
  5. Very few doctors know the meaning of ROI or even ‘Aging Report’.

So, while it seems doctors are ‘cheap’ because they nickle and dime in selecting an EHR system, reasons seems obvious. 

Let’s share some blame

It is our responsibility to educate them that they are making a critical business decision, not just a ‘regulatory check-box’ decision. If we can’t connect with their future aspirations and current afflictions, then I think it is partly our fault.