Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Mayo Model

The Mayo model consists of a large group of patient-centered, salaried physicians, specialists and primary care doctors alike, making similar incomes, gathered in one place, with hospitals and doctors under one roof, practicing conservatively , concentrating on outpatient care, working in teams, communicating electronically, keeping hospital care at a minimum, keeping hospital-based care at a minimum, and delivering care at 20% less than the outside world.

R. Reece, Obama, Doctors, and Health Reform (IUniverse, 2009)

February 29, 2012 – What I wrote in 2009 was not completely accurate. Mayo did not practice in “one place” but in three major locations – Rochester, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Florida, and Scottscale, Arizona – and in 135 counties in 70 communities serving 1 million patients in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. And I could not corroborate my statement that Mayo does this at 20% less than the “outside world.”

Nevertheless. let there be no doubt. In 2009 and today, Mayo is an efficient financial operation. So efficient, it plans to invest $700 million in new facilities – including a protein beam center for treating cancer, its ER at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, its Wellness Center in Rochester, and its clinics in Austin, Minnesota and Barron, Wisconsin.

The Mayo Clinic shows the power and potential of a well-organized, centralized physician-led organized multispecialty group.

Still, the Mayo Clinic does not typify the physician culture elsewhere.

As I said in my 2009 book in a chapter entitled “Please Pass the Mayo,”for most independent doctors, the Mayo Clinic is not an apropos setting for them.. These doctors prefer to remain autonomous. They prefer not to work for a fixed salary for a large employer.”

This does not mean we doctors do not admire the Mayo Clinic or hesitate to refer patients to its 3 centers. We admire the Mayo Clinic and refer patients to it without hesitation.

It simply means that multispecialty physician practices with a clear mission for serving the public, are financially efficient, successful and have prominent roles to play in health reform.

Tweet: The Mayo Clinic in Rochester has announced plans to invest $700 million in the next 5 years in a proton beam center and other facilities.

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