You might feel a lot like My Cousin Vinny during the process.
Clinic managers come in all shapes and sizes, so finding the right one for your clinic will require some consideration.
Currently – almost all the managers in the industry are considered “first-generation” clinic managers. They rode in on the tide of employer-sponsored clinics, and typically still run them in the same fashion. In general, they all fall into one of four categories:
LOCAL CLINIC MANAGERS
Small- to mid-sized companies | 250 – 1,000 employees | Very limited service offerings
These are true “Mom and Pop” shops that usually serve companies within a 50-75 miles of their office. They have fewer than 5-6 clients and no plans to grow beyond their region. They rarely offer reporting and do not offer Population Health Management.
REGIONAL CLINIC MANAGERS
Small- to mid-sized companies | 500 – 1,500 employees | Limited service offerings
The next step up from LOCAL managers, these REGIONAL managers are slightly bigger and offer a few more services beyond just providing primary care (i.e. telephonic or on-site wellness services). These managers possess limited reporting capabilities, so they cannot offer Population Health Management.
NATIONAL CLINIC MANAGERS
Large companies & retail chains | 2,500+ employees | Expanded services, no flexibility
For larger companies, NATIONAL clinic managers exist. They do offer a broader range of services, but it is very rigid, and your choices for management end up surprisingly limited… which might make you feel like this:
In other words, they tend to force their clients into one of their preset packages, instead of building a custom plan for each client. They offer minimal reporting capabilities and do not offer Population Health Management.
HOSPITAL-BASED CLINIC MANAGERS
Companies of all sizes
Believe it or not, there are employers who choose to have a hospital run their clinic. We will not even dignify this manager style by listing features, because the bottom-line is this – HOSPITALS ONLY MAKE MONEY WHEN PEOPLE ARE SICK. They have no interest in improving the health of your employee base. In the past decade, hospitals scrambled to buy up tons of primary care practices and hire the doctors… why? So they could force the doctors to send all their referrals to their hospital, whether it was the right choice for the patients or not. Hospitals tend to get employer clinics by throwing lots of money around, and undercutting independent clinic managers’ administrative fees. (Of course they can charge less admin fees… because they know their hospital is going to get ALL the referrals from the clinic!)
Does the expression “fox in the hen house” ring a bell?
OK… those are the four basic categories of clinic managers.
But this was a trick question and a good lesson for those of you looking to choose a clinic manager. All the managers we described in this article are “first-generation” clinic managers. Did you notice that none of them offer Population Health Management? They have not adapted their management and operational processes to reflect the way successful clinics are now being run.
The real answer to this lesson is this – ONLY choose a “second-generation” clinic manager that completely understands Population Health Management and will use it to manage your clinic.
There will be a quiz on Population Health Management, so we recommend you read this: