You might not be thinking about J. Michael Pearson, but he is likely is thinking about your money. Mr. Pearson is the current CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals who recently said that his company’s responsibility is to its shareholders, while making no mention of his customers who rely on his drugs to live.
“If products are sort of mispriced and there’s an opportunity, we will act appropriately in terms of doing what I assume our shareholders would like us to do.”
J. Michael Pearson is part of the new breed of healthcare industry executives, with impressive business educations, and with no personal experience with ground-level patient care. Consequently, they look at people and patients simply as emotionally distant, compartmentalized components of their business enterprise.
Does it matter to Mr. Pearson that Betty, on a fixed income, can no longer afford her life-critical medicine because of Mr. Pearson’s business strategies? Not really, because better healthcare for people is not part of Mr. Pearson’s mission.
The profession of dentistry is in the early stages of being filled with Pearson-like characters as well, people who view dentists, patients, and dental practices as opportunities to be financially exploited. Investment firms from around the world are purchasing and consolidating practices with one purpose only – to make more money for the stockholders and shareholders.
And too often, where does this leave dental patients and dentists? Locked into a co-dependency relationship with a company which at the end of the day, does not have their interests primarily in mind.
Do the right thing? Not so likely.
Hold out for what is in the patient’s long-term best interest? – That interferes too much with the corporate need to hit production goals and therefore make bonus requirements.
It’s an insidiously depersonalizing and de-professionalizing trend. And the truly relationship-based, health-centered practice is the only market alternative. As the contrast grows between these two business philosophies, so too will the opportunities for dentists who have taken the time and made the effort to truly listen and truly help patients on a level much deeper than just another financial transaction.
Paul A Henny, DDS
Thought Experiments LLC, ©2017