That's the question following Tuesday's well-publicized meeting between Wheaton-Franciscan executives and 10 local doctors to discuss concerns about Racine's primary health care provider.
Doctors who are part of a group of 50 to 55 physicians considering a split from Wheaton called the meeting a PR event that did little to address their concerns. They said Wheaton chose who could attend the meeting, and only one member of their group was invited.
"The press conference with (All Saints President Ken) Buser was a farce," one doctor wrote. "None of those physicians are in the group of 50. They were hand-picked by the administration."
But Buser said executives were "encouraged" by the meeting.
"All Saints leaders are encouraged by the spirit of cooperation at the meeting with the group of physicians in Racine," he said. "They came out of the meeting very engaged and ready to work together to resolve issues. We are very hopeful because we all want the same thing, and that's the best possible care for our patients."
Buser and the executives have a way to go to convince at least some doctors to stay. One doctor skeptical of Wheaton's administration described the meeting as "the first shot in a long battle."
They noted not all of Wheaton's approximately 130 doctors are interested in leaving. For example, pediatricians at All Saints make good money and work reasonable hours, giving them little reason to leave, they said.
But surgeons and other specialists have seen drastic pay cuts in recent years as caseloads have dropped. One doctor blamed the decline on Wheaton's efforts to funnel business to its new $89.6 million hospital in Franklin, which opened in 2008.
Specialists are losing patients with health insurance and seeing caseloads pile up with the uninsured, the doctor said. While it's important to treat all patients equally, the doctor said, the hospital as a business can't survive without patients who have a mix of income and insurance sources.
"They have to figure out a way to get people with insurance to come in," they said.
And while Tuesday's meeting looked good for TV cameras, the doctor added, Wheaton is still facing a significant problem. Discontent among Wheaton's doctors has grown quickly.
[Note: Ballentine called to correct the survey numbers. She said Wheaton's survey showed 85 percent of its doctors were very or somewhat satisfied in 2005, compared to 69 percent in 2009. The doctor's numbers referred to a percentile ranking that didn't specifically measure physician satisfaction.]
While All Saints can likely placate 80 to 90 of its doctors, the remaining group of 40 to 50 doctors remains committed to leaving, they said. At least a dozen have already decided to go, and more may soon follow, they said.
"You've got to think outside of the box to solve these problems," the doctor said. "That's why we're frustrated. They (executives) won't think outside the box."