Community Medical Group and Regal Medical Group of Simi Valley have both been engaged in silent war. Regal finally won me and my family over. It’s a shame, but it’s a matter of simple business practices. Both groups have good doctors, but Community Medical’s customer service is weak and their handling of this well publicized doctor exodus is poor.
Imagine having a long term medical history either with yourself or your children and depending on a doctor for many years to treat and evaluate your treatment. That doctor leaves your medical group and a new doctor is assigned to you. Troubling, right? You’d imagine a solid business would prepare its staff to handle these concerns professionally. You’d imagine that the doctors who step in to replace those who left would research your or your childrens’ file. Instead, you’re presented with these scenarios:
* A doctor says to you, “That medicine your child has been taking for 2 years with effective results… I won’t prescribe it. I’m not comfortable with it.” No explanation is given. Sure, he’s the doctor… but he wants to keep you as a patient, right? So explain!
* A receptionist says to you, “That doctor is out for the entire week and we’re unable to schedule appointments for him in the future.” This is what they say when you schedule an appointment with a doctor who has already left for Regal. Tell us he’s gone so we can schedule an appointment with someone else. We’re sick!
* The Sycamore and Alamo front office staff is brutally rude. Yes, they’ve got some very pleasant people working there, but those one or two rude ones really kill it. Why aren’t doctors offices held to the same customer service standards as other businesses? They want to earn money, right? They’re out to build loyalty and increase profits, aren’t they?
The bottom line is when Community Medical Group lost their doctors, the only thing they had to fall back on was good service… and they don’t seem to have any of that. That shook up my confidence in their abilities to serve me and my family.
Here’s a quote from a recent Ventura County Star article on the topic from Keith Richman, Community Medical’s Regional VP.
“This is a business practice of Regal Medical Group,” he said of the unfolding drama. “Their practice is to go in and recruit the physicians of other medical groups.”
Yep, that’s a pretty good business practice if you’re in the business of providing medical services — get the best doctors you can to offer the best possible service and ensure loyalty and profitability. Regal, here I come!