Group benefits from frank appraoch to business matters
Even before TriValley Primary Care officially opened its doors for business in June 1995, the founding physicians had made an important decision: Every detail, from individual physician patient and procedure volume to salaries and collection rates, would be on the table - readily available and literally accessible to each of the group's 23 physicians.
"Our reporting is very open, so that everybody in the whole group knows what everybody else is doing," says Peter Mertzanis, TriValley's practice administrator. "Our minutes are very explicit, and even the new hires get the same minutes that the founders get."
Honesty may be the best policy in any life endeavor, and it has had a palpable - if not quantifiable or direct - impact on the bottom line at TriValley, Mertzanis says. "As a practice administrator, I feel strongly that there needs to be openness, to keep communication going so that there isn't a hidden agenda or the feeling that somebody is the kingpin. And that's turned out to be an important part of the cohesiveness of the group - that they can trust their leadership."
How that policy, or philosophy, affects the group's financial position isn't known exactly, but because TriValley's doctors have enviable production levels, one can assume that little energy is expended in squabbling or other unproductive activities.
And the group's leadership structure is designed to further foster that productivity, as well as efficiency. The TriValley executive committee includes one physician site representative from each of the offices, the president, and the board chair. The committee is "empowered to act on a wide range of issues on a pure-vote basis," Mertzanis says. "They don't have to go to the board or the shareholders, a key attribute that has helped us make decisions quickly."
A number of other, more tangible factors contribute to TriValley's success. Mertzanis points to the following:
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This article originally appeared in the January/February 2000 issue of Physicians Practice.