Own or be Owned: Why Physicians Should Open a Medical Practice in 2014

The Healthcare industry is pushing toward outpatient/ambulatory services.  What better time to open a medical practice business providing outpatient/ambulatory services than when that model has been determined to be the most effective in improving patient care and lowering costs.  Not to mention that regulatory agencies and third party payers are encouraging the decrease of inpatient services and pushing care to outpatient facilities.  Hospitals are buying practices to ensure that they secure those physicians to see their patients and refer to their hospitals.  You have a choice of being the employer or the employee. Here are reasons why physicians should decide to Own, instead of be Owned.

On an education level you’re in the top 3% of the population

Starting in high school, you took steps to prepare to be a physician.  AP classes, community service, work experiences, and athletic endeavors.  At that time, your undergraduate degree most likely was in one of the sciences with the expectation that your GPA would be edging up against a 4.0 in order to get in to medical school.  This required intellect, exemplary time management skills, focus and preparedness capabilities.

Then came medical school with its arduous and difficult application and acceptance process.  You earned your place in the top 10% of the applicants actually enduring this process and being offered acceptance in to Medical School.  Your education continued and included the ability and willingness to work long hours, some at the pace of an X-43 scramjet and some at a sloth’s pace.  You experienced and learned how to effectively handle situations that were extremely uncomfortable, unfamiliar and downright scary, with grace.  Conversely, you were fortunate enough to reap the benefits of contributing to the health and welfare of others.
After several more years and completing your internship and residency, your medical, social, time management, focus, preparedness, working long hours at a painfully fast or painfully slow pace, and learning how to handle difficult and rewarding situations effectively were set in stone.

Only a certain percentage of physicians innately possess the characteristics of a successful business owner

Successful business owners are passionate about the products or services they sell.  They are energetic and committed to making decisions that ensure the business’s viability.  They possess the most important marketing skill and that is the ability to create positive relationships.  They conduct themselves with honesty, integrity and transparency 100% of the time.  Customer service is paramount to anything else.

They recognize where they lack expertise and seek the support of lawyers, financial advisors and business subject matter experts, without hesitation.

Many states require that a medical business be owned by a licensed physician thus preventing ownership by businessmen or corporations

So, if this isn’t testament to the fact that physicians can own and operate their own practice, not much is.  It’s happening everywhere.  The law is meant to ensure that no medically related decisions can be made by a non-licensed physician, for the safety of the patient.  Unfortunately, there is so very much more that impacts the quality of care and the patient experience than what is between the patient and the physician and has to do with the business of medicine.

Any physician that possesses the innate qualities of a successful business person just has to surround him/herself with the subject matter experts to get started.  The healthcare arena is prime and pushing for outpatient services and your state may require it.  So, Own It Doctor, Own It.