Navigating Growth and Scale for Your Medical Practice
You’ve invested the time and money into going to medical or dental school. You worked for years for other healthcare providers, with the eventual goal of opening your own private practice. You finally achieve that goal, build a patient-base, and now you’re realizing it’s more about being a business owner than a clinician. You want more growth, but at what cost, and what scale is appropriate? If the above sounds like you, you’re in good company. Like any business, choosing when and how to scale your practice can be a challenge, and there are no perfect answers. Today we’ll discuss some of the various ways in which you can invest in your practice or agency.
It’s about the people.
The clinicians and care providers you hire are the cornerstones of your business. On the front lines with your patients every day, they set the tone for your culture, efficiency, and overall patient experience. While technology can help your practice run more efficiently, you still need to invest in the people to keep the operation running smoothly while providing quality care for your patient base, which often includes nurse practitioners and physician assistants. A 2017 MGMA DataDive Cost and Revenue survey found that practices with a non-physician provider to physician provider ratio of .41 or more NPP’s per full-time physician brought in more revenue after expenses than practices that had fewer. Something to keep in mind when determining what the right mix of clinicians should be for your practice.
It’s about having enough space.
While your employees and care providers are maybe most important, oftentimes you need more space to expand into. As with hiring decisions, figuring out the right amount of space that works for the present as well as the foreseeable future is difficult. Medical build-outs can easily run $80 to $140 per square foot (costs can vary widely depending on location), making space an expensive decision. The optimal choice is to maintain as much flexibility as possible, increasing your footprint in stages as you need it to grow. Developing good relationships with a building owner (if leasing space) can be key, as you may be able to negotiate something that is logical for both parties.
It’s about the technology.
While technology may be changing the way healthcare services are provided and absorbed, it also comes with a price tag. In the same MGMA survey referenced above, physician-owned practices spent approximately $2,000 – $4,000 more per FTE physician than they did the year before. Translated to overall dollars, this represented a total expenditure of $14,000 – $19,000 in IT operating expenses in a year, per physician. It’s critical to stay up to date, in balance with what’s truly necessary to provide the best patient care and experience.
Is your practice in need of funding to grow? Aquina can help. Offering funding programs for both operating and capital expenditures, we can provide the dollars you need at a reasonable cost to you. Contact us today for more information, and find out how to get started.