Today’s medical business environment couldn’t be more representative of our times: It’s technologically advanced and supply challenged. It’s increasingly specialized, yet in need of staffing. It reaches new heights in public transparency even as it continually strives to attain equity in care.
Explore This IssueSeptember 2022
To better understand the key shifts and sweeping trends impacting otolaryngology, we turned to three prominent medical business leaders: Eric Gantwerker, MD, MMSc, associate professor in the department of otolaryngology at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Uniondale, N.Y., and vice president/medical director at medical technology start-up Level Ex; Larry Simon, MD, MBA, medical director for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana in Baton Rouge; and Marion Couch, MD, MBA, PhD, senior health advisor of Whole Health Institute, Chapel Hill, N.C., and former senior medical advisor to the administrator of the CMS. Here, they offer their analyses of today’s unique business climate and their advice on how otolaryngologists can address challenges and maximize opportunities.
Trend: Advanced Education and Training
Dr. Simon: “As otolaryngologists try to keep up with the vast array of knowledge now available in digital medicine, additional therapeutics, and specialized surgical instrumentation, the more attractive fellowships become, especially if they want to be experts in something. We also see more people doing fellowships for job hunting purposes. Although this is probably a less prominent or significant reason for fellowships, it can be a benefit, but it also depends on your chosen market. To practice in a small rural community, you’re less likely to do a fellowship because you’ll want to focus your residency training on having as broad a scope as possible. If you want to go to a large urban area like Houston or New York City, you’ll want to differentiate yourself more by seeking a fellowship in the most common service you plan to offer.
In the current fee-for-service payment world, most otolaryngologists are revenue generators. And I think that as more health systems and insurers and the CMS payment models go to value-based care, these surgeons might be considered an expense. —Marion Couch, MD, MBA, PhD
“I think we’ll start seeing more physicians obtain degrees beyond the MD, such as an MBA, MMM, or MPH, as a way of gaining extra skills to function in today’s medical world. Otolaryngologists and surgeons today must consider public health issues in ways they’ve never had to. If you’re going to thrive in 21st century medicine, you must understand pandemics, supply chain issues, and even different leadership styles.”