South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday November 24, 2020
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August 2017 - Volume 14 - Issue 2
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3 Ways to Grow Your Medical Practice in a Scalable Way

What is your vision for your medical practice five years from now? What about 15 years from now? If you want your practice to grow in a sustainable way, there are a few things to consider.

For starters, your operating model needs to be scalable to support future expansion. What works for a $1-million-a-year practice with two physicians might not work for a $5-million-a-year practice with 10 physicians – or for a $25-million-a-year practice with 50 physicians.
 
There are many ways to prepare your practice for the future and many ways to increase revenue, including offering ancillary services, consolidating with a competitor through a merger or acquisition, and participating in alternative payment models.
 
Let’s take a look at three ways that you might consider expanding the scale and scope of your practice with a long-term view.
 
1. Bring on more physicians
Adding providers to your practice can offer several benefits – both for you personally and for your business.
 
On a personal level, one of the most notable benefits is improving your quality of life. How would you like to have the flexibility to keep your practice open year-round and still be able to spend more time with family, take vacation time, or even work fewer days per week? Additional providers can help with that.
 
From a business standpoint, new physicians can bring a book of new patients to your practice, enable you to expand service offerings and help you to distribute capital costs. Overall, having another physician (or two) on your team can help you gain more freedom and give you more options for how you run your practice. And when it’s time to start thinking about retiring or selling your practice, you will have more options – and a more valuable practice – if you are not the only physician on staff.
 
Of course, you need to weigh the pros and cons of any big decision. Before bringing on an additional provider, you should think about how that addition might change the dynamic in your office. Is this person a good cultural fit and a good fit for your existing patient base?
 
Other considerations include:
• What are the risks involved in bringing on a physician with a different specialty?
• What new equipment will you need to purchase to support his or her practice?
• How will you divide patient load, schedules, and responsibilities for managing the practice?
• How will you address compensation?
 
Adding mid-level providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants is another consideration. In some cases, having a variety of provider types might be more cost effective and could help increase operational efficiency.
 
No matter what types of providers you add to your practice, you will want to calculate your expected return on investment (ROI) before moving ahead. A healthcare consultant can assist you with assessing your options and understanding the financial and operational impact of adding providers to your practice.
 
2. Expand clinical space
Increasing your physical footprint can enable you to see more patients, add more personnel and expand service offerings. But it’s not enough to just add a couple of rooms or move to a bigger location. The planning process is important. A qualified healthcare consultant with experience in medical practice expansion can assist you in planning your space to be as efficient and effective as possible, which can help you to maximize infrastructure ROI.
 
Your considerations may include:
• How much space do you really need to serve patients?
• What is the optimal way to divide clinical versus office space?
• What is the most efficient floor plan/layout for your practice?
 
3. Leverage technology and data
Data is the key to better practice management. In order to leverage that data, you need the right technology, training and processes.
 
Your practice management software can help you to better understand, track, and improve performance of your practice over time. With proper reporting, you can discover actionable insights and opportunities related to profitability, revenue cycle, costs, liquidity or productivity.
 
A qualified healthcare consultant can help you determine which key performance indicators you should be measuring at your practice and can assist in designing analytics dashboards and metrics reports to track financial and operational performance.
 
If your existing IT systems are not the best fit for your practice, you may want to engage a professional who can guide you throughout the software selection and implementation process, helping you to avoid common pitfalls and to maximize the value of your technology investment.
 
Ultimately, adding more providers, expanding clinical space, and perhaps most importantly, making better use of your data, can help you grow your practice in a sustainable way and increase the value of your practice in the long run, making your vision a reality.

Kevin N. Fine, MHA, is a director of healthcare advisory services in the Miami office of Kaufman Rossin, one of the Top 50 CPA and advisory firms in the U.S. He can be reached at kfine@kaufmanrossin.com.

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