Learn How To Create A Budget For Your Medical Practice

In medicine, the mention of the word profit is often viewed or interpreted as a dirty word. It is as if the word does not belong in the lexicon when health care is addressed.
 Broke doctor
I argue (in the context of the private medical practice setting) that profitability is a medical practice’s responsibility for one simple reason. If the medical practice (also known as a business) doesn’t deliver profits, health care providers are unable to provide for those in need.

Why Profits?

Profits pay for infrastructure, technology, education and human resources, all of which translate to superior pediatric care when employed correctly.
Another way I like to put it is by saying,

 

…a broke doctor does do anybody any good.

 

Calling vs Profits

Indeed, our medical businesses differ from other companies in that we care for children. And the notion of withholding medical services or restricting access to a sick child merely by the patient’s parents inability to pay for health care services is simply not in a pediatrician’s DNA.
However, it is important to accept the reality that without a way for a doctor or the practice’s income to outpace expenses, health care providers are unable to provide services of any kind. At least not for the long term.

Is there a solution?

How do we reconcile these two competing issues? On one hand, it is necessary for a medical practice to deliver profits if it wants to remain sustainable. On the other, we have an intrinsic motivation to put the patient’s needs first.
I am glad you asked.
These two dichotomies can co-exist – and even flourish – alongside each other. There is indeed numerous tools and principles rooted in business that can help medical practices manage what otherwise appears to be opposing forces.

A Resource You Don’t Want to Miss

Today, I want to tell you about a resource I’ve been working on to help your office obtain financial success, while simultaneously providing unsurpassed pediatric care to your patients.

To help you succeed in your financial success, I’ve written a comprehensive eBook on budgeting that walks you through the process of creating a budget for your medical practice. The materials also cover basic principles necessary to put the exercise into perspective.

Budgeting is a major component of financial success. Moreover, financial success is essential to the continuity of care.

To read more about this offering, click on the image below.

Medical Practice Budgeting
Click on the image

I do hope that you buy the book, but more important, that you find the eBook helpful, useful and valuable.

Extra, Extra – Now Offering Coaching Services

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 7.56.46 PMPeople always ask me if I do practice management consulting.There was a time when I did. But for the past two or so years, I’ve responded by saying no. I enjoy consulting and love to do it, but I had to stop because of the time commitment.

Recently, I was talking with a loyal reader of PediatricInc about this very topic and she suggested I do remote coaching.

My friend, who owns her practice, explained that she doesn’t necessarily need a comprehensive on-site consult. “I just want to ask a question about my practice or run things by someone familiar with practice management,” she said.

She went on to say, “…you know doctors don’t get training on business, management, marketing, collections…. having somebody to reach out to that has the business and practice management training would be valuable.”

“Like a practice management coach?” I asked. And she said, “ yeah, that is a good way to put it.”

We talked a little while longer. By the time we finished up, my loyal reader and friend had convinced me.

Today I’m announcing a new service on PediatricInc called PMB Coaching for those pediatricians and/or managers that want my perspective on practice management, discuss in detail a blog post, run something by me or provide another set of eyes.

Interested in learning about the PMB Coaching?

Click on this link.

 

Today’s Special Guest is SOAPM Troublemaker, Dr. George Rogu [Pediatric Practice Management AwesomeCast]

For today’s AwesomeCast, we get to talk to Dr. George Rogu. If you have spent time on SOAPM, you know who Dr. Rogu is. A troublemaker. That is right. For those of you that don’t know, Dr. Rogu works for RBK Pediatrics in Long Island, NY.

I think this episode is going to be one of my favorite episodes of all time. I learn so much from Dr. Rogu. I even took notes. Dr. Rogu shares with us his experience negotiating with big payers. You will not want to miss the technique he used to pester executives at the insurance company and how one day he got a call from the insurance company executives asking him to tell his patients to stop calling them. He also gives great advice on how to prepare and execute contract negotiations with insurance payers.

We also spent time talking about technology and the approach Dr. Rogu has taken in order to find the best of the best as it relates to technology.

It is a great AwesomeCast. You should definitely listen or watch the YouTube video below. I think you’ll want to take notes on this one.

Enjoy!

To listen to the AwesomeCast, click below.

You can also download the audio version of the episode on iTunes

#12 How Do You Know When To Hire Your Next Physician? [Pediatric Practice Management MediaCast]

Recently, Chip and I saw a question posted on the SOAPM listserve that addressed this notion of when is it the right time to bring on a physician. We thought it was a great discussion topic so we decided to dedicate an entire episode surrounding some of things one ought to consider when bringing on a new doc. To give you a heads up, below you’ll find part of the email that was submitted to the listserve.

I recently interviewed a potential MD candidate. She looks fine on paper and was nice enough in the interview. But how do you know if someone is going to be right for your practice? My practice is small so bringing in a bad apple would cause a huge problem. Plus, she is the only person I have interviewed. I would love to have more choices from which to select. How does everyone else go about recruiting? I can’t exactly run a want ad in the local paper…

…since I have never done this before nor have I ever been solicited by a practice for employment, how do I structure a new MD package? Salary vs production? Salary for a while and then production? At what point? And how much? What benefits? How specific do I outline work hours, call duties, etc? What happens if I can’t stand the person I hire after 3 months?

Finally, how do I even know if my practice is ready to bring in another MD? What numbers do you look at? Perhaps I should just get a scribe and bust my butt for the next 6-12 months to see if I can absorb the patient load myself without adding someone else right away?

We hope you enjoy this episode and remember, give us feedback.  Positive or negative. We don’t care (well, actually we do care). We’d love to hear from you.

Here are ways you can catch the episode. Enjoy!

Pediatric Practice Management MediaCast

iTunes

Google+ PPMM Community Page

#10 Pediatric Compensation Models [Practice Management VideoCast]

In an amazing feat of timely discussion, Chip cover the topic of compensation models in pediatric practices.

It’s not just about the pay, it’s about the management duties, performance measures, and dissatisfaction that many practices feel with their present methods of paying themselves.

We reference many real-life examples and data from a survey of 100s of pediatricians.

Chip will be covering this topic at the PCC 2013 UC and it has been submitted as a topic for presentation at the 2014 NCE with co-host Susanne Madden of The Verden Group.

During the discussion, I references a book entitled, “Physician Compensation Plans” published by the MGMA that you may want to look into if you are looking for ideas or examples of how practices compensate physicians.

As always, you can find our discussions in many ways:

1. Google+ Community

2. Pediatric Practice Management Mediacast PodCast

3. iTunes

I Don’t Know How Else To Put This, But My Ebook Is Kind of a Big Deal

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably know about my e-book, 101 Ways to Transform Your Practice.

If you haven’t picked it up (it is free by the way) I wanted to give you a little nudge to do so. Not everything in the ebook is going to work in your practice. But at the very least, I think the ebook will spark ideas that you would have not had otherwise.

If you are still not convinced, then let me share this little something that I got from a reader of PediatricInc recently that got the ebook.

Hi Brandon

Thank you soooo very much!

I  shared your book  with my staff, as the template for our practice meeting today, as we are forging ahead to re- engineer our practice, and I must say , afterwards our way forward became crystal clear.

In one day, we have created a Facebook page, developed an email template to thank new patients for visiting our medical home, and created three mini videos using myself and my nurse to welcome patients to Frontier Kids Care!

We have a new excitement about implementing our changes.

We are also looking at recalls, and the financial status of the practice.

We looked at our mission and are working on the charter.

Our improved website is due to be released next week, but we are going to be wasting no time in putting our new status on Facebook etc now.

I invite you to preview our before and after website at frontierkidscare.com

In Trinidad, obviously our needs are much simpler, we definitely do not have practice managers, but my solo practice has a nurse and a receptionist, and we cross train.

I definitely am challenged on  the business side, so I realize I need a business manager in some form or fashion.

So again thanks, and I wonder if your book has been published so I can purchase one.

Your practice is blessed to have you!

Take good care.

Rose Marie

I don’t know how else to put this, but my ebook is kind of a big deal. Pick it up for free by going here.

The Secret to Creating the Best Physician Comp Ever

Recently, we went through an intense round of salary negotiation with one of our docs. Previous employee physician negotiations had gone smooth. But this time, it was much more challenging.

Our approach was to offer well-balanced work and life proposition that not only maximized the physician’s salary, but also created a financially strong, healthy organization. The compensation structure was transparent, rewarded hard work, encouraged initiative, and motivating for the physician.

According to the physician, our plan actually did the opposite.

Back to the drawing board

Being wet-behind-the-ears about physician compensations, there was a need to learn more about this topic in an effort to find a comp structure that met both party’s expectations.

I knew this was a common issue in medical practice, so I assumed that somebody had to have the answers to our question: What is the best compensation model out there for a private practice physician?

I delved into the MGMA’s physician compensation surveys, bought the MGMA’s Physician Compensation Plans: State-of-the-Art Strategies, and reached out to my smarter group of friends I know for advice.

I searched online, probed, inquired, studied and read everything I could find in an effort to address the different issues. Surely someone had already created a physician compensation model that would achieve the results we were looking for. And I was bound to find it. I was confident I was going to find the answer.

Guess what?

I did find it.

I found the best comp package ever.

And I have the secret as to how you too can create the best compensation package ever.

Do you want me to share it with you?

OK, here it is:

The best comp package is the one that you create. Therefore, the secret lies within you.

Insert sad trombone.

Disappointed in the answer? I was too.

KunFu Panda

I felt like the main character in the movie Kung Fu Panda when he finds out that the noodles his dad makes didn’t have a secret ingredient. Po says, “Wait, wait… it’s just plain old noodle soup? You don’t add some kind of special sauce or something? His dad responds, “Don’t have to. To make something special you just have to believe it’s special.”

After spending about six-months on this quest, you know which comp package we selected? The very one we had offered to the doc at the beginning of the negotiations.

Why? Because after this process it became painfully aware that there wasn’t a perfect system. And I realized our comp structure was just as good as any of the ones out there.

I found out that every comp structure has its pros and cons; therefore, everybody tweaks them to address the issues each practice thinks is a concern for them. Consequently, there are probably as many compensation structures as there are doc’s.

Thus, the one we had put together was in fact the best comp package for our practice.

It was necessary

The process challenged me as a practice manager. In fact, I even lost sleep because of it. But the process help me gain a better insight into our practice. I had to further understand our cost, our potential earnings, as well as, our practice’s philosophy, hone our vision, and decide what was important, what were the priorities.

However, although I did find the best compensation package for our practice, that does not mean it will always be the one. I still think it is important to continue to study, to inquire, to discuss and to read all the different resources out there and continue tweaking it. But the lesson I’m taking away here is how I frame the issue. I now know that I’m not going to find a pot of gold, so to speak, at the end of the rainbow. Now I’ll produce our pot of gold and take it to the end of the rainbow.