How Much Is Ten Percent Worth?
The temperature outside is dropping, but inside McCormick Center the debates are heating up. I started off my morning with a session on critical issues facing the profession of radiology. I was hoping to hear some tough talk, and I wasn't disappointed. The first speaker, John Patti, MD, asserted that while radiology is facing a host of external challenges, the field is equally under siege from internal challenges: namely, what he called "obsession with lifestyle" and resistance to change. Patti said he sees a bright future for the profession, but stronger leadership is desperately needed to get us there. Okay, okay, but everyone talks about strong leadership. What does it really mean? Patti asserted that it means adopting a collaborative, consultative style that will require sacrificing productivity in favor of better quality to succeed. In fact, he suggested that practices start now by giving up ten percent of their interpreting time - and thus their revenue - and devoting that ten percent to practice building activities such as maintaining an excellent service ethos. For the time being, Patti asserted, radiologists are dealing with reimbursement cuts by attempting to be ever more productive. In his view, however, this strategy is "clearly not the correct path." it represents choosing short term stability over long term growth, Patti said. Practices would be better off sacrificing some of their time and money in return for a sustainable future. Do you agree? Would you work harder for ten percent less revenue if it guaranteed a future for your practice? Or should radiology put its energy elsewhere?