Over a 40-year career in healthcare, I have spent significant time in health care organizations both as an administrator and as a consultant. I’ve had more difficult conversations than I can count; frankly, those often lead to some of the greatest improvements.

From the consultant’s perspective, the most difficult conversations can stem from dealing with a client who will only be satisfied if you validate their thinking. For instance, a few years ago I was working with a private physician practice that wanted to establish an affiliation with a local hospital. The hospital was more than receptive to the idea – so much so that they picked up the tab for my work to develop a valuation for the practice.

I learned quickly that another firm had already gone through similar work and that the managing partner of the practice was essentially shopping for a higher price. I was adamant about not seeing the other firm’s work until after my valuation was complete.

Long story short: I came up with a value close to (actually a little less than) what the first consultant derived and ended up with a fairly scathing evaluation from the client, who thought the practice was worth something in the order of four-times my recommendation.

The moral here is that when you engage any consultant from Stroudwater, you can be guaranteed an honest and unbiased assessment – and we’re incredibly proud to uphold that standard. We’ve never been interested in winning the popularity contest – just in doing our work the right way and developing a level of trust that establishes long and meaningful relationships with our clients.

If you’re looking for a company to validate your data in spite of reality, there’s probably a firm for that, but it’s not Stroudwater. If you are looking for a partnership to find what’s best for your hospital or physician group, call me at 770-913-9094.


Mike Fleischman is a Principal at Stroudwater and a leader in our Physician-Hospital Alignment practice.