(This is the thirteenth part of a short story which is entirely a work of fiction.)
The next day, both Dr. Som and Vasudha called a meeting of the Administrative team in the conference room. Vasudha told the team that they have decided to do a pilot of the plan. They would try the plan in one department of the hospital for three months and see the results. At the end of the pilot, they would take a call based on the results. The results would include the results of a patient satisfaction survey. This would be necessary as three months would not be sufficient to assess the full impact of the plan.
Vasudha asked the team which department they thought would be ideal for this pilot? Everyone came up with different suggestions based on different reasons. Dr. Som said, “Let’s start with Nephrology.” “Yes”, Vasudha agreed, “let’s start with Nephrology.”
“Manav will lead the pilot implementation and we will have monthly review meetings to discuss the progress.”
“Sure ma’am.” Manav was happy at being given this responsibility.
The meeting ended. Dr. Som walked up to Manav and told him, “Looking forward to working with you Manav.” “Same here, sir”, said Manav. “Come to my cabin. Let’s get started right away.”
Dr. Som was excited as they entered his cabin. He went over to the white board that was put up on one of the walls and wrote the high level plan:
1. High fixed salary for doctors
2. No incentives for investigations and prescriptions
3. No targets for investigations
4. No referral fees to refer to other consultations
5. OP and IP investigations and drugs to be charged at the same rates
6. Medical Representatives to send all new product details to a common email id which would be screened by a Vigilance Committee
7. Outcomes of the patients being treated to be tracked electronically and monitored closely
8. Patients to take a satisfaction survey at the end of their visit
“Sir, this is quite radical, to be honest with you.”
“I know Manav. That is why it is important that we have to make it work. For how long are we going to continue like this? Currently I feel like I have sold my soul to the devil. Someone needs to make a beginning. What I am trying to prove using this model is that doctors and hospitals will both gain at the end of the day. Patients of course will gain. But even doctors and hospitals will be able to make as much money as they do currently and they need not feel guilty about it.”
“Let’s hope we are able to make it work, sir.”
“We don’t have a choice Manav. I want you to get me the payouts to all the doctors in the Nephrology department in the last twelve months. Then also get me a summary of investigations prescribed by doctors and the revenue by investigation per month for the last twelve months. Also send me number of dialysis sessions and payout on that account. We can use these numbers as a baseline and work from there.”
Manav had all this data in his laptop. He opened his laptop and showed the data one by one to Dr. Som.
“Now do this Manav. Come up with the average payout to each doctor, add 10% to that and make that the fixed salary for the doctors from next month. Remove the referral fee from all investigations and procedures including dialysis and come up with a new nephrology tariff keeping the profit to the hospital the same. Also come up with a patient survey on about 3-4 parameters which is very easy to take and captures the most important points related to pricing, time with doctor, NPS and comments.”
“Got it, sir”, said Manav as he noted all these. “Give me time till tomorrow morning, sir.”
“Sure Manav. See you at 9 a.m tomorrow.”