Building the Bridge in Medical Care
I was on a good run in the kitchen. After all these years, I had never injured myself so bad that it required stitches. The odds that nothing was ever going to happen was too good to be true. I sliced open my finger on a recently sharpened knife while cutting an onion. It was a nice slit and the bleeding did not cease so I finally made my way over to the Insta-Care Facility in Park City.
I am a huge fan of these businesses. They are a bridge between your regular doctor and the emergency room. I have found them to be efficient (been to others for different reasons) and in general they work. I was in an out of this one in less than an hour with four stitches in my finger.
The most interesting part of the visit was my conversation with the doctor. He was from the Newport News area of Virginia. 26 years ago, with two other emergency room doctors he had worked with, they started an Insta-Care type storefront. Their thesis was to treat emergency room patients. They had prices for each procedure, it was a for-profit business, they charged everyone the same amount regardless of insurance or not (that is an entirely different conversation). Everyone in the medical community told them that the thesis wouldn’t work that they would have to provide annual patient care. They shrugged their shoulders and buil the business.
Fast forward they had six of these facilities, had been in the business for 18 years and was doing quite well. A bill is passed in Virginia that hospitals must add certain facilities to their institutions and Insta-Care was part of it.
The local hospital knocked on their door. They gave the hospital the price they believed the business was worth based on profitability, annual revenues, etc. The hospital gasped. That was way out of what they thought the price would be. The founders/doctors shrugged their shoulders again and returned to business as usual. Six months later the hospital returned and bought the business for the price they wanted. They stayed 5 years which is much longer than the norm for vesting but the hospital made it well worth their while to stay. They also loved what they were doing and essentially ran the business separate from the hospital.
After 5 years the hospital took over and asked my doctor if he would continue to stay on and work HR for the units. He knew that the hospital would not pay the workers what his partners did and they would not treat them in the way that they were used to and more than probably run on less capital with
He passed on the HR opportunity and left, moved to Park City with his wife, and took a job at the facility I went to for my finger. He said the first two years were extremely hard because he wanted to fix everything in the system yet he held back putting his entrepreneurial instincts in check, working 3 days a week and enjoying his next stage of life instead.
I so loved his story. Entrepreneurs are in every field and as a doctor, he saw a void and filled it. We are seeing more of these such as Ask Tia, who was on the podcast this week. The medical world is going to look significantly different in the next decade and these type of facilities will continue to grow as they fill a void in the market of patient care.