Lisa Scott's article on Premier Anesthesia's decision to reduce its focus on radiology management (Dec. 20/27, 1993, p. 26) needs some clarification.
Because MODERN HEALTHCARE has devoted issues to contract management in the past, I was surprised at the characterization of these firms, including Premier, which Ms. Scott called contract management services. In fact, they're contract physician services.
In most cases, these companies wouldn't provide a contract to "manage" a radiology department or any other type of department unless it included physicians' professional services.
Hospital-based physicians aren't equipped and shouldn't be expected to manage departments. Their top priorities should be an accurate diagnosis and the best patient care possible. Hospital departments have become extremely complex and very costly to operate, and they now require a wide range of on-site expertise to be effectively managed. Today's department manager often doesn't have the time or the experience and expertise to keep all of the balls in the air and moving forward. Standing still is losing ground in today's rapidly changing marketplace.
MODERN HEALTHCARE should take care not to present physician services as management. This does a disservice to all parties and confuses the hospital marketplace.
ROBERT A. MAIER
Senior vice president, Healthcare Resource Management