Selecting Practice Management Consultants Wisely
[Deep Knowledge and Medical Specificity Required]
By Hope Rachel Hetico
By Rachel Pentin-Maki
By David Edward Marcinko
While the doctors consult, the patient dies – English Proverb
There are many self-help publications, online resources and management guru’s purporting to impart business information to their physician clients. Within the current managed care climate, economic malaise, and specter of nationalized healthcare, medical business consultants and advisors are all the rage.
However, in the same vein, physician bankruptcies are mounting, medical student loan delinquencies are increasing and medical and ancillary practices are closing at record numbers. What gives?
Perhaps the answer lies in the lack of real business, accounting, financial, IT and managerial acumen by the average practitioner? This growing concern is prompting more and more doctors to seek the help of a healthcare consultant. But just what does a practice management consultant do, what credentials are needed to be in the business, and how can a healthcare advisor help you coordinate all aspects of your practice’s life?
Example of a Fiasco
Consider the personal situation of a Southern primary care physician who learned an accounting lesson the hard way when he asked his CPA to appraise his business. Upon sale, his attorney brother-in-law drew up the contract, as he was pleased the practice quickly sold for its full asking price. What he didn’t know, but would soon discover, is that accounting value or “book” value — the figure his accountant gave him — is far different than the fair-market value that he could have received for his long years of toil.
Was the CPA wrong? Not really. Was the doctor incorrect? No. Both were merely operating under a different set of practice management terms, and accounting definitions, without communication or knowledge of each other’s perspectives.
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Courtesy Health Capital Consultants LLC; St. Louis, MO.