Whew. Stressful day over, and not as bad as I was expecting. Today we announced to our staff that my partners have decided to sell the practice to our hospital system. I practice at a small, Catholic, community hospital that is owned by the a bigger Catholic health system with a total of 13 hospitals. The health system recently started it's own medical group and is the process of trying to acquire physician practices. Our little practice is doing pretty well, for a small town practice that has a ton of Medicare and Medicaid patients, but for some time it has been getting harder and harder to manage the practice due to the constraints of all the additional paperwork doctors' offices are responsible for, the costs of running the practice, and the increased demands of pay-for-performance type incentives that every insurer is starting (which require us to keep track of a lot of data and give it to various insurance companies, and then keep track of whether they pay us appropriately for this stuff.) Also, from a recruiting stand point, we pretty much can't afford to recruit a decent doctor - the costs of recruiting and starting up a practice are hard to bear in a small office. The partner that left us almost a year ago left 3 years or so after starting, before his practice had broken even, and it was a big financial drain on the practice. So, my partners decided to sell to the health system and we will all become employed by them. Our staff is understandably very nervous about what this will mean for them as we transition over to new management.
A couple of folks from the corporate office were supposed to come and meet with the staff today to help answer questions, and they were supposed to bring lunch for every one. So of course, they were over 30 minutes late, and there was some kind of miscommunication and no lunch appeared. These guys kind of rub me the wrong way - they are suits, and don't seem terribly understanding of how to run a practice (this health system medical group is less than a year old, so there isn't a lot of experience yet.) To further rub me the wrong way, the guy who did all the talking always referred to my partners as Dr. R___ and Dr. W____, but always referred to me as Jennifer. Our office staff is all female, and it rubbed them the wrong way, too (as the only female doc, my staff is always a little protective of me.) Of course the guys (my partners) didn't even notice
. Anyway, the cat is out of the bag now, and we'll see how it all goes down.
On the plus side, becoming employed by a big corporation is going to mean a big raise for me, and better benefits (I essentially have none now - a small profit sharing plan and that's it.) Also, I'll get an extra week of vacation, and more money to pay for continuing medical ed, so that'll be nice. We'll see how I like being employed by a big corporation, instead of my partner who himself has practiced in this same office for 26 years!
RR - I'm trying to work up the gumption to run outside yet tonight. It's only in the high 50s and misting a bit, and I'll have to run after dark. Doesn't sound real appealing, but I have to get some runs in!