What Should the Right Relationship with Your Consultants Look and Feel Like?
Every complex physician platform will at various times need its share of outside experts to support highly technical management disciplines such as payor contracting, financial controls, revenue cycle management, and direct patient marketing, or entirely new business lines such as pathology or radiology. There is no shortage of need for consultants who are dedicated to these niche disciplines.
But what is the best way to incorporate this third-party expertise into your platform operations? Project based, episodic, and fully outsourced? Or is there another, better way? How can this orchestra best be conducted so that your much needed and very individualized results can be maximized?
Ideally, and from a platform management team’s perspective, expert consultants should be fellow/former managers, operators, and peers that are comfortable working alongside management teams, all of whom speak the same execution language of academic theory + practical on-the-ground reality. And yet, more often than not, consultants speak a different language, are distracted by other clients, and struggle to really deliver timely results (the word “consultant” strikes fear in managers for these very reasons).
How can highly reliable delivery of expertise and associated performance be accomplished in a market that consists of fragmented, independent expert consultants?
In our experience, we believe the inclusion of an experienced, dedicated “Generalist” manager working in partnership along-side the “Expert(s)” can form a bridge across the traditional communication gap that consultants and management teams typically encounter.
Through the Generalist’s careful orchestration and coordination of assigned experts, management teams can always expect digestible progress updates and transferable knowledge/training that remains embedded with the MSO organization, not solely with the consultant.
What does this help ensure? Here are 9 examples, based on our approach, of what we believe an ideal relationship between MSOs/PPMs and consultants should look and feel like to ensure sustainable growth and success for your platform:
- Better Communication. We prioritize speaking the same language so management teams can always understand us. Never too technical, too niche.
- Better Business Practices. Our team of experts are often former operators who have built successful businesses as entrepreneurs in their respective fields. We have walked the walked and learned from our successes and failures.
- Customized Roadmap. We always make room for on the ground operational realities so no matter what expert advice we are giving, it’s practical, plug-and-play, tried-and-tested, and specific to the given platform’s circumstances.
- Coordinated Departments. Our expert input is “coordinated” with the broader MSO platform and its respective business verticals, never isolated in a vacuum and potentially unusable. For example, why perfect your marketing message if your call center doesn’t know how to handle the corresponding increase in volume?
- Transparency & Management Empowerment. We focus on knowledge transfer from our experts to the full-time management team – this is critical – we “teach a man to fish”. We don’t hoard knowledge. There will always be more work for us as we gather more knowledge. We share with our management teams all we can.
- Partnership with Expert Consultants. We make life much easier and better for any and all expert consultants. We are a bridge for them, not a transactional relationship. Their work is more valuable, they’re put to work, and results blossom.
- A Strong Network. Our experts interact with each other and us on a regular basis – sharing their knowledge, coordinating their efforts to deliver the best service to management teams.
- Long-term Relationships. Our culture is based on perpetual relationships. We aspire to stick around for the long-run with our clients/partners. We do what it takes to form a true partnership, we don’t believe in episodic engagements where parties are looking to get paid and get out. We want to build and be around for the shared results that will often take months and years to fully materialize.
- Reciprocity. We love to invest our own capital where/when we are invited to participate. Putting our money where our mouth is and eating our shared cooking.
At Scale Physician Group, we believe in building your best team together and achieving greatness for your patients, your platform, and you. Learn more about our comprehensive approach to building successful platforms here.