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A Different Breed of Healthcare Advisor

The New Financial Planners and Investment Advisors

Staff Writersfp-book4 

The healthcare industrial complex represents a large and diverse industry, and the livelihood of other synergistic financial professionals and consultants who advise doctors depend on it.  These include financial planners and investment advisors who themselves wish to avoid the collateral damage and negative ripple effects of healthcare reform. 

Introduction 

As a financial planner, investment advisor or general securities registered representative, you understand that the financial service sector is going to become the next great growth opportunity of the 21st Century.  Even H & R Block and the Charles Schwab Corporation are trying to build medical professional interest in their respective firms and compete with your independent practice. They are fervently wooing away one group or another to interface with their embryonic management, accounting or advisory programs. As are the banks; like SunTrust.

The Pondering 

Meanwhile, more than 260,000 of the nation’s brokers are moving into the investment advisory and financial planning business because securities sales and transactions are being commoditized by the internet’s World Wide Web.

A survey conducted a few years back clearly demonstrated the dominance of fiduciary consultants and registered investment advisors (RIAs) over stockbrokers, among clients 35-49 years old. With the average Merrill Lynch private client well over 60, it’s easy to ponder the future vulnerability of this business model.  When asked to determine the added value of key industry players, baby boomers in a recent Dalbar study ranked fiduciaries first, followed by financial planners, stockbrokers, CPAs, mutual fund companies, insurance agents, and commercial bankers, respectively.  

Even however, if you are a financial planner or CFP® – and despite the proliferation of investment advisors – evidence suggests that your individual impact is still narrow within the healthcare industrial complex and with individual physicians.

The Realization 

Among the challenges you face to broaden your influence is to offer your physician clients new value-added services, perhaps by establishing your expertise in the medical niche and capitalize on being different. You must not be just another of the more than 250,000 or so individuals who claim to be financial planners, with a collective universe of an additional 700,000 or so who purport to be financial advisors, in some fashion or another. 

The Niche

You must begin to develop the strategic competitive advantage of medical niche practice management knowledge to synergize with your existing financial service and product line. Integrated practice management and true physician-focused financial planning will also become much more competitive among physicians because of the above fusion. 

Now, no one is suggesting therefore that you abandon your core financial advisory business for medical management. It is merely a fact that healthcare has drastically changed during the past decade, and the knowledge that you used yesterday is no longer enough for the future.  

And, medical practice management is the natural outgrowth of traditional financial planning for doctors which is synergistically central to the implementation of a contemporary medical office business plan.

Finally, you realize that the most successful physician focused financial planners therefore, will be those who incorporate practice management services into their truly informed niche practices. 

The Epiphany 

A light then goes off in your head, epiphany! 

Enter the Certified Medical Planner™ professional designation program. 

For more information: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Reformed Accountants

Certified Public Accountants and EAs

Staff Writers           The healthcare industrial complex represents a large and diverse industry, and the livelihood of other synergistic financial professionals and consultants who advise doctors depend on it.  These include financial accounting professionals who themselves wish to avoid the collateral damage and negative ripple effects of the current healthcare reform debacle. 

Introduction 

The nation’s 330,000 or so CPAs and Enrolled Agents [EAs] know little about the new healthcare dynamics and managerial accounting mechanics. Many often feel as though they are laboring away in obscurity and that their doctor clients do not appreciate what they do or how hard they work. 

If you are an accountant, your work-week is ridiculously long, especially January through April; and you often deliver bad news to your clients. You do not earn a generous salary, but you do receive their ire for your efforts.  

The Pondering 

So, you begin to scratch your head and ponder, quietly at first, and then out loud.  Perhaps managing the medical practice(s) of a physician, or providing consulting services to other medical professional is a business and financial planning opportunity that won’t require a new client base? You can keep your accounting practice during the first four months of the year, and supplement your income with something that may actually earn more than you are making now.

However, terms such as capitated medicine; per-member & per-month fixed fees; payment withholds; activity based costing with CPT® codes; utilization and acuity rates; and much more investment and financial nomenclature is quite unfamiliar to you. 

Then you appreciate that MBAs and actuaries may actually be the new denizens of the healthcare bean counting and practice management scene. Rather than present numbers of the historic past, they make logical and mathematical inferences about the future.

The Realization 

Slowly, you realize more precisely that the accounting profession may be loosing its premier advisory position within the medical profession. 

In fact, your research suggests that as a result, there are now several accountant managers and broker-dealers on the investment scene, as well as an increasing number of accounting-financial planning firms.  

The Epiphany 

A light then goes off in your head, epiphany!  Enter the Certified Medical Planner™ professional designation. 

For more information: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

More Docs in the Pipeline

2007: Largest Medical School Class Ever

Staff Writers

 

The 2007 entering class to U.S. medical schools is the largest in the nation’s history, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The number of first-year enrollees totaled almost 17,800 students, a 2.3 percent increase over 2006, while more than 42,300 individuals applied to enter medical school in 2007, an increase of 8.2 percent over 2006. 

Nearly 32,000 were first-time applicants, while the number of black male applicants and Hispanic male applicants both increased by 9.2 percent.

And, the number of black males who ultimately were accepted and enrolled in medical school increased by 5.3 percent, a rate nearly double that of the first-year entrant increase overall. 

So, how will this doctor-pipeline affect – if at all – the current healthcare supply-demand equation?

Practice Revenues Slow

Rising Practice Operating Costs Implicated

Staff Writers

 

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) recently reported that operating costs rose faster than revenue in many medical group practices in 2006. 

 

OB/GYN groups, for example, experienced a 2.3 percent bump in median total medical revenue per full- time-equivalent (FTE) physician, but their median total operating cost per FTE physician rose 7.1 percent.  

 

Multi-specialty practices did about the same – a 7.4 percent cost increase outpaced a 1.8 percent rise in revenue. Several specialty practices watched their revenues decline or flatten.  

 

Cardiology practices posted a 0.7 percent decrease in median total medical revenue and a 3 percent increase in total operating cost, while family practice fared about the same with a 0.65 percent decline in revenue and a 2.1 percent bump in cost.

 

General surgery groups reported a decline in revenue of nearly 2.9 percent and a 1.2 percent increase in cost.

How has your medical specialty and/or clinic or healthcare entity been affected?

For related info: The Business of Medical Practice [Advanced Profit Maximization Techniques for Savvy Doctors]
http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759 

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