Team work is an essential skill to be successful at any medical profession. From patient intake, billing and collection, to the delivery of the actual medical care itself; the combined input of different specialists is the sole reason for the right medical diagnosis and treatment. But what perhaps eludes the medical profession is the importance of other “supporting” or “professional outsiders”- without who the operations of the medical business would be in jeopardy. Though in a different dimension, these outsiders play just as vital a role as other inbound medical practitioners for the success and profitability, and smooth running of the practice.
The following are the five positions that form the core of your business and must be chosen with care.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
CPAs are involved in diverse practices from providing help with tax preparation and auditing to more robust services such as personal financial planning, and rendering advice on developing effective accounting systems. A CPA well versed in practice is capable of not only effectively handling your finances and taxes but can also aid you in diversifying investments and in determining profitable areas of business. A technically proficient and proactive CPA will be able to offer you far more than mere tax accountant taking care of your paperwork. The CPA will be able to suggest legal ways to minimize payments. Hiring a top notch CPA is crucial in maximizing profit. Search hard to save money as you worked hard to earn it!
A Financial Planner
Risk is involved in every market activity and the medical profession is no exception. You need a financial planner who is proactive yet realistic about taking risk. Such an advisor, in liaison with a CPA, can help you identify investments that are tax advantaged yet protected from market risk and liability induced from outside law. Furthermore, they can rescue holdings in case of emergencies by providing protective wrappers like Limited Liability Limited Partnership (LLLP) to hold them safely and prevent debts encroaching on a person.
Financial advisors together with your CPA can identify opportunities to reduce taxes allowing more of what you have earned to remain with you by examining the costs and benefits of things like defined benefit plans and other legal tax deferment strategies.
In case of exposure to lawsuits and litigation procedures in face of claims ranging from malpractice and misuse of patient information to adverse health effects of prescribed medicines, insurance forms are your first and hence indispensible line of defense against such claims. In many cases these diverse needs can be better served by two officials- one dedicated to handling life insurance planning and the other to handling property and casualty cases such as liability coverage and health insurance. Though some agencies offer both the services but it is better to assign the task to specialists. The advantages are twofold; the tension between the two will bring to light different perspectives as well as more honest criticism of practices from two vantage points. Furthermore, it may be preferable to use multi line agents since they offer a broader range of products and at competitive pricing.
You need a legal advisor. A lawyer you can reach out to and openly discuss your circumstances. Such a legal affiliation can help identify issues and loopholes, and thereby advise you with preventive measures. Find layers who are well connected so that in case one is not able to handle all the needs of your practice (a common case given the diversity of the medical practice) he/she is able to refer you to an expert. Most importantly, every time you consider a business arrangement with another provider you need to have an expert attorney review the terms to ensure you avoid violating Stark, AKS, and other regulations.
Without investing time and effort on these core positions, your practice will face a constant lapse in efficiency and decrease in profitability.
Azzam Elder is a respected attorney and business strategist. Azzam Elder blogs to share business solutions, and empower business owners with practical knowledge. Azzam Elder is founder and CEO of Halo Bloom, LLC a business investment and consulting firm.