Practice Management Consultant
Hiring an experienced practice management consultant is a good idea. It is important to begin working with a consultant during your third year of residency. Lay and physician consultants are available. Consultants can provide the overview you need to coordinate and get the most out of other consultants. They can review practice processes from a functional end-user point of view and can assist in assessing whether the business plan will work in a real-world setting. Consultants are also available to assist with coding and physician profit distribution, staffing, salaries, and marketing. Often, they can assist with drafting documents for later legal review. Consultants are available to help compare electronic health record (EHR) products and practice management software (PMS), negotiate with payers, and construct an office policy manual. Finally, consultants can even help run a new practice until a practice management team is hired.
Health Care Accountant
A good health care accountant is someone who does more than keep the practice’s books. This accountant will help with budgeting, facilitate contacts at local financial institutions, supply advice in financing business practices, and provide frequent reports benchmarking the practice’s performance against other practices in the field using national norms and local experience.
Some practices choose to have everything set up by their legal advisor. While this may be possible with an experienced health care attorney, their time is the most expensive of all consultants. They may be good at what is legal but may not appreciate the day-to-day dynamics of medical practice management and administration. A good legal mind to advise on partnership agreements, corporate structure, leases, contract negotiations, and contracts is absolutely vital. Yet many of these tasks can be started with lower cost consultants, with only a final legal review at the end. Please realize that none of this advice comes cheap, but it is a worthy long-term investment to make sure the new practice is primed for success.