Most people over the age of 40 grew up going to private healthcare facilities. The doctor owned or rented a building or office space in a professional center.
There were no websites and no Google. Unless you found your doctor through an ad or the Yellow Pages, you were probably relying on the recommendation of family, friends, and co-workers.
From the doctor’s perspective, reputation was everything. They took pride in having a private practice. I feel the same way as I walk through Natural Healthcare Center every morning.
There’s nothing more gratifying, rewarding, and humbling than owning and operating a private healthcare practice.
The sad thing is that private practices are few and far between. Private equity and major hospitals are taking over healthcare. This is not new, but I’m starting to hear from my patients that their doctors’ practices have been bought out by private equity and are now part of a big hospital system.
A press release from Bain & Company from January of this year stated that “a near-record-setting pace of healthcare private equity dealmaking, in terms of both deal volume and value, continued last year on the heels of all-time highs registered in 2021.”
According to a Forbes article from about one year ago, nearly three in four doctors now work for a hospital, health system, or corporate entity. That’s a 20 percent increase from 2019 to 2022. More than 36,000 physician practices were acquired by large health systems during the same period.
My fear is that business and technology are taking over healthcare, while empathy and care are becoming afterthoughts.
As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Natural Healthcare Center, I pray that I’ll still be at the helm 20 years from now. I have a lot of career and life left in me.
Ultimately, the level of personal attention and care that we can provide and the difference we make in patients’ lives as a private practice keep me energized.
“Feel better, function better, live longer” isn’t a marketing slogan. It’s an outcome. That’s what we work so hard to help every single patient achieve. Everyone who has ever worked here has shared that commitment.
I’m not willing to give up everything we’ve worked so hard to achieve over the past 20 years. Not now. Not ever.
Natural Healthcare Center will continue to be a private practice, even in the face of pressure and competition from private equity-backed practices.
I approach every new challenge as an opportunity, with optimism and kindness. I learned a long time ago from different cultures that these are longevity qualities. Our patients will tell you that they experience the same optimism and kindness from the entire Natural Healthcare Center family.
I have nothing against business growth and financial success. But businesses have succeeded for decades by being fair, honest, and dedicated to one’s craft. That should never change.
It’s so easy to lose the heartbeat of a business when you lose sight of what made you great in the first place. 20 years later, I haven’t forgotten. We have a culture of loving, caring, and empathetic healing.
Patients see it. They feel it. And that’s what is truly special about Natural Healthcare Center.