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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Launching a Successful Practice

For physicians seeking the autonomy and flexibility that comes with being your own boss, the appeal of private practice is understandable. Branching out from the hospital community to take a step into private practice can be one of the most rewarding, yet challenging experiences of your career. Despite all of the changes happening in healthcare, studies from Physicians Foundation and the AMA have shown that doctors in physician-owned practices are more satisfied than those working for hospitals or larger delivery systems.

There are several locations throughout the U.S. where a private practice could be successful and profitable. Many doctors don’t comprehend the amount of work and effort that goes into starting your own practice. Consider these guidelines as a starting point to launching your own practice.

Covering the Basics

For starters, find a location that is suitable for your personal preference, but is also highly visible and in a heavily-marketed area. In addition to your budget, whether you are looking for a small or large practice could also make certain locations less viable. Take the time to calculate your budget and figure out if you want to slowly build up your practice or purchase everything all at once. If you choose to get the support of a lender, many banks have specialty departments that lend exclusively to doctors and offer attractive rates and terms.

Disability Insurance for Doctors

As a physician, you are probably cognizant of lawsuit risks and property damage that come with running your own practice. Take action well in advance and invest in a business insurance plan that will protect your personal and commercial assets. This plan could include, but is not limited to: general liability insurance, property insurance, malpractice insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, business liability insurance, and personal disability income insurance.

Building a Lively Culture for Your Practice

An essential part of your practice is your medical staff. When the hiring process begins, look for highly-motivated candidates that are as invested as you are. It is common for a private practice to have a receptionist, medical assistants, nurses and legal/financial management. Surround yourself with the right people that will make you and your patients’ experience a positive one.

Having a good accountant is especially important, preferably somebody who has past experience handling business taxes, record keeping and payroll for a medical practice. As a business owner, you’ll likely be entering into multiple contractual agreements at some point. Having a competent attorney at your disposal to review all of your contracts and accommodate any legal issues that may come along is also a wise decision for any business owner.

Standing Out from the Crowd

If you want to establish and develop a successful business, you must sell yourself and your practice. Create a marketing strategy that will pinpoint ways for you to stand out among the rest of private practitioners. Get your name out there by meeting people face to face. Introduce your company to members of the community such as pharmacists, the township and the police department.

Not only is it important to get your business to stand out, you also want to make sure your office has updated décor, supplies and equipment. Furniture and room décor may not seem like a huge factor, but a welcoming environment is actually quite significant for a patient’s overall experience and satisfaction. Up-to-date medical equipment is also just as important.

Through all the work, stress and time you will put into starting up your private practice, be sure to take some time for yourself. Practice management can be exhausting and cause burnout, so it is important you set aside time to do the activities you enjoy. Keep in mind that private practice is not for everyone, that’s why it is best to understand the process of launching your own practice before moving forward with it.

Have Questions?

References:

Advisory Services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.

The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation or advice. Further, this is not an offer to buy or sell securities or other products and services of Larson Financial Group or its affiliates. Please consult an appropriate investment professional regarding your specific needs.

Physicians Still Feeling the Impact of the Affordable Care Act

In early 2010 the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was signed into law by President Obama. Since then, 30 million previously uninsured Americans now have access to healthcare services. There is a variety of different people and organizations that Obamacare has affected, including patients, nurses, hospitals, insurers and physicians in particular. The workload and productivity of physicians has shifted as they adapt to the new regulatory environment since the law went into effect.

Balancing the Benefits with the Flaws

The healthcare industry is still in the process of sorting through the short and long-term implications of Obamacare. This legislation has allowed more Americans to have access to an affordable option for health insurance, with a large percentage of these newly insured people being young adults.

Healthcare Practice Management

From a physician standpoint, it is exciting to see more patients getting the medical care and attention they need. Now that more Americans are regularly attending their appointments, physicians have the opportunity to catch any medical conditions or health problems early on. In the long run, this could save the patient and physician time by reducing the need for extensive medical treatments, since more conditions can be diagnosed before reaching a crisis.

Now that more Americans have access to affordable healthcare than ever before, it’s no surprise that physicians are seeing a substantial increase in their daily workload. In 2015, the Commonwealth Fund projected an average national increase of 3.8% or about 70 additional patient visits to physicians per year. This increase in amount of visits has generated more daily paperwork and unfortunately, does not always correlate with a higher compensation.

The ACA also mandates the use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) as the new form of patient files and requires existing handwritten records to be converted to electronic. While this system overall keeps patient files in the hospital or practice up-to-date, the initial investment of making the switch has been a financial strain for many physicians, especially older doctors with extensive medical records. With this system, doctors have to enter data into a computer while talking to patients and families, which could lead some patients to feel the physician’s attention is more focused on the computer screen.

Patients want to feel important and build a relationship with their doctor. These relationships could be jeopardized because of the reduced time physicians have available during the course of the day to spend with each patient. The excessive workload has had many negative effects, such as doctors not fully discussing treatment options, delaying patient admissions or discharges, unnecessary tests or procedures and poor patient satisfaction. Compounding the frustration for patients is the fact that it is now harder than ever for Americans to find a local doctor who are available to them, because several doctors are not accepting new patients while they cope with increasing demands.

Legislation Faces an Uncertain Future

The workload of physicians has changed significantly since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, which has made it highly controversial despite the positive outcomes. This act is likely to change every year, especially with changes in the healthcare and political field in years to come. Despite being signed into law several years ago, 54% of Americans opposed the act and many groups are still working to repeal Obamacare. Regardless of what the future holds, physicians still face the challenge of balancing their already busy and stressful lives with the demands of increased regulation.

Have Questions?

References:

Advisory Services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.