Bringing in outside managers to get you through an industry transition assumes that if they're all they're cracked up to be, their job will have not just a beginning but also a successful conclusion, after which there's no reason for them to stick around and cash more checks.
"One way outsourcers can be successful is having a strong sense of when to get out," said Peter Marsh, a consultant with JDA who's been directing outsourcing engagements in the healthcare industry since 1986.
He said health networks and hospitals should always ask whether the outsourcer is helping take the operations to another level. An outsourcing firm's main purpose is "to deliver the catalytic value. When you stop delivering that, it's time to move on."