I am not trying to be condescending, but I can prove this unsettling nudge with a single question: “What is the median cost of Medications on an NPR% basis in this country?” Go ask any of your Clinical Leaders at random. Go do this now. I will wait…. (Pause)
OK! Did your Clinical Leader know this BASIC bit of information? If they did get it right, was there an uncertainty in their response? Perhaps a slight hesitation? Did you know the answer to this question yourself? This is telling…
Here is my point:
If your managers don’t know the answer to this BASIC/FUNDMENTAL question, HOW in the world can you expect them to manage costs or have even the SLIGHTEST claim of being a professional Hospice manager?
The truth is that most people who like to think of themselves as professional often don’t really know as much about their business or profession as they should. This is one of the reasons why we have so many poor and not even “average” managers. There is a knowledge/training deficit (as well as an integrity deficit to manage resources well). As a CEO, you are the primary teacher. You model the performance and behaviors that you get. You replicate yourself in all that you lead. Your quality and financial results are the evidence of how well you manage. So what are you replicating? Is it good, bad, mediocre or excellent performance (as compared to our movement)?
Do you really (and I mean really) know what it means to be a great manager? As I said, your quality and financial numbers and scores are proof of your expertise in management. And be assured, you are doing the best job you can…you are performing at the level of quality and profit you know how to do at this point in your life. And if you are not, then you should be fired! A professional manager has perspective. Enough perspective that you can go to ANY Hospice and
- Know exactly what to ask for,
- Know how the measurements are calculated,
- And be able to render a “professional” judgment without any “trend” or other analysis! Right then and there, you should be able to look at the data and say “Good, Bad or Mediocre” and it would be the reality because you KNOW!
That is a professional! Now where do you get this “business perspective” that helps make you a professional? From BENCHMARKING!!! Benchmarking gives you this professional perspective! And the cool thing about it is that it doesn’t take that long! A few hours of concentration will elevate a manager’s professional knowledge by magnitudes! I expect ALL managers to know the major Hospice business measurements by heart….and I verify that they do!
Here is one of many real-life illustrations of the power of perspective: A new CFO came to the CFO Program. The person learned in a couple of days what things cost at a typical Hospice as well as the level at which the 90th percentile perform. The person went back with this knowledge and realized that the Hospice they were working at had horrendous costs problems with losses around 20%. WITH this professional perspective, they almost erased this deficit in 9 months and are now moving towards the profit numbers we suggest. Why this turnaround? This ONE person had the INTELLIGENCE to understand “perspective” as well as what was possible and made practice changes! There is a “humility factor” in this turnaround as well. I have found that extreme profitability involves extreme humility as one has to surrender ego positions for the “best known” practices from “wherever” they may come. Then one must have the INTEGRITY to act. Most leaders will not do this. If they did, our movement’s numbers would be much better…
The CEO’s and any manager’s JOB is (1) to train and develop the people they lead, (2) to cast a captivating vision to unite a team and (3) to allocate resources to maximize benefit or ROI. All managers are hired with the basic assumption that they can manage costs. A manager is being PAID to allocate and direct resources. If you hire managers to manage costs, then why don’t they get better results? Why do Hospices actually struggle financially? Much of this comes from lack of Self-Control.
It takes no special talent to spend money or eat all your nuts…
A manager’s job is to perform a function at a cost level that is within a Hospice’s Model. That is, within the cost constraints of the resources allotted to that function. That is it!!! So my counsel is, “Become a real student of the business of Hospice and of your profession!” Learn all you can about it! Be interested in being a top manager! Be a true PROFESSIONAL Hospice manager and achieve quality and profit levels far beyond what is typical! This is your “evidence” that you are a great manager! The numbers don’t lie…they really don’t… Spend some time with your Benchmarking and contemplate what you can do to create better managers. MVI can help with this greatly. But know that this always starts with the CEO…
Serving from a place of Love for all ~ Andrew