As another year draws to a close, I usually like to pause and reflect on the past. We have endured minor nuisances and major existential threats to the practice, but overall it has been a pretty good year. I was picked as an Austin “Top Doctor” for the 4th consecutive year, patient volume and revenue are at all-time highs, and we opened a 3rd office and are about to open a 4th.
But this year is different, because it is also the end of a decade. A lot has happened in the past 10 years, some good, some bad. Rather than dwell on the past, this time I want to focus on the future, starting with 2020. It is a number that we have all been taught from an early age to associate with perfect vision. However, the future of healthcare is uncertain, especially for us solo practitioners. With healthcare costs skyrocketing, are we really all destined to be hospital employees, under some flawed pay-for-performance model that may exacerbate physician shortages and may raise costs even higher? Or will fee-for-service still be around, where there is still an incentive to see patients while running an efficient cost-conscious practice? The answer is no one really knows, so rather than guess what the future will hold, I turn to the Vision Statement of Greater Austin Urology:
“Our vision is to be known and valued for excellence and innovation in patient care, and to be most trusted for personalized, transparent, coordinated care.”
We want people to know us and value us for how we care for patients. We want to be innovative and to be trusted, but above all, we want the experience to be personalized and fully transparent. I like to think that we try to adhere to those standards every day, and whether I stay solo, hire more providers, go to work with someone else, or join a big hospital system, I intend to keep it that way.
Happy New Year, everybody, and best wishes for continued health and prosperity in the decade to come!