In a recent poll from Medical Economics magazine, 80 percent of respondents found it difficult to maintain their dual roles as physicians and business owners, and 76 percent expect that this challenge will become more difficult over the next several years. Reed Tinsley, a Houston CPA and practice management expert, discussed the survey results in his recent newsletter. He wrote:
The following were the most common practice management challenges listed in the poll and the percent of physicians citing each:
56% Automating patient records
54% Managing slow third party reimbursement
48% Managing malpractice insurance costs/coverage
42% Collecting payments directly from patients
36% Expanding the patient base
36% Managing accounts receivable
31% Adding and updating medical equipment
22% Earning adequate net income to compensate partners
22% Finding the right providers or additional providers
12% Finding financing for expansion
Tinsley went on to look at each of these challenges. To sum up: income is declining, expenses are up, demand for capital to invest and for expansion are up. Physicians are caught in this squeeze, and it is hurting. The pressure can be overwhelming, to the point of management paralysis – nothing happens. This is where you need to step back, and work on your business plan – an orderly action plan to work through the next 3-5 years to put your practice in the best position for the future.
These concerns are just the reason why I started this blog in 2005, and why All Business.com selected medical practices as one of the six industries to expand coverage and resources for our readers. I’m always willing to speak to physicians and managers on how to confront these challenges are continue to thrive in these difficult times. I wrote along a similar vein a few months ago in a longer article here. The challenges are similar, and the action plan I proposed then would be a solid basis for your plan. I’m planning on more discussion on these topics in the weeks and months to come.
In the meantime, enjoy Independence Day, and come back to tackle the challenges head on.