Can An Outside Expert Boost Your Practice Profits?
The short answer is yes. Medical practices, like any other business, grapple with business dynamics that challenge their ability to return solid profits. These dynamics may vary from industry to industry but they all affect business in one way or another.
For medical practices, business dynamics include policies such as ICD-10, payer contracts, billing issues including claims follow-ups and AR tracking, patient management, technology implementation costs, etc.
Large practices can hire dedicated business administrators to look after all these issues. However, when you scale down to the smaller practices run by a doctor and maybe a few support staff, it becomes a tall order to expect all these issues to be adequately addressed and profits optimized. This is where bringing in an outsider may be of assistance.
Advantages of bringing in outside help
This is perhaps the biggest advantage. When you bring in someone to look after the business side of your practice, it frees up time for you to spend on your patients. Many doctors running small practices spend between one and three hours a day doing administrative work. This translates to many lost hours that could have been spent seeing either more patients or spending more time with existing patients. With outside help, you have more time to spend on your practice and your personal life. This provides significant reduction in the load that the practice owner has to carry.
You went to medical school to become a doctor. Then you start your own medical practice only to realize that you practically need a business degree to run the practice as effectively as you would like. This is the paradox many doctors face. An outside expert, even part time, could provide experience in managing medical practices. With a focus exclusively on the business aspect of your practice, they will be able to analyse and optimize your practice business to plug any leaks and boost profits. However, consider how much an expert will cost as versus the benefit they will ultimately provide.
As the owner of the practice and the person seeing patients, you probably have a poor perspective of how your overall business is really doing. Think of bringing in an outsider as getting a second opinion of what’s going on with your practice.
While it’s hard to see anything when you are on the inside, being on the outside offers a richer perspective of how things truly are. An outside expert can spot areas that you have been neglecting, areas that are ripe for disruption, areas that are obsolete and must be replaced, etc. This perspective will enable the expert offer you the best advice possible, and in the case anything goes wrong, they will be able to spot the problem quickly and advise you on corrective steps to take.
Turning a good profit as a medical practice requires the same business skills as running any other type of business. Having someone on hand to handle the business side of your medical practice could a smart decision.