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    As a former academic Dean, Scholar and appointed Distinguished University Professor and Endowed Department Chairman, Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBBS DPM FACFAS MBA MEd BSc CMP® was a NYSE broker and investment banker for a almost decade who was respected for his unique perspectives, balanced contrarian thinking and measured judgment to influence key decision makers in strategic education, health economics, finance, investing and public policy management.

    Dr. Marcinko is originally from Loyola University MD, Temple University in Philadelphia and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in PA; Oglethorpe University and Emory University in Georgia, the Atlanta Hospital & Medical Center; Kellogg-Keller Graduate School of Business and Management in Chicago, and the Aachen City University Hospital, Koln-Germany. He is one of the most innovative global thought leaders in health care entrepreneurship today by leveraging and adding value with strategies to grow revenues and EBITDA while reducing nonessential expenditures and improving operational efficiencies.

    Professor Marcinko was a board certified physician, surgical fellow, hospital medical staff Vice President, public and population health advocate, and Chief Executive & Education Officer with more than 425 published papers; 5,150 op-ed pieces and over 135+ domestic / international presentations to his credit; including the top ten [10] biggest drug and pharmaceutical companies and financial services firms in the nation. He is also a best-selling Amazon author with 30 published text books in four languages [National Institute of Health, Library of Congress and Library of Medicine].

    Dr. Marcinko is past Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious “Journal of Health Care Finance”, and a former Certified Financial Planner® who was named “Health Economist of the Year” in 2010, by PM magazine. He is a Federal and State court approved expert witness featured in hundreds of peer reviewed medical, business, economics and trade publications [AMA, ADA, APMA, AAOS, Physicians Practice, Investment Advisor, Physician’s Money Digest and MD News] etc.

    Dr. Marcinko is also an early-stage investor with a focus on finance, economics and business IT. He was on the initial team for Physicians-Nexus®, 1st. Global Financial Advisors and Physician Services Group Inc; and a mentor coach for Deloitte-Touche, venture capital and other start-up firms in Silicon Valley, CA.

    As a licensed life and health insurance agent, RIA – SEC registered representative, Dr. Marcinko was Founding Dean of the fiduciary niche focused CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER® online chartered designation education program; as well as Chief Editor of the HEALTH DICTIONARY SERIES® Wiki Project.

    Dr. Marcinko’s professional memberships included: ASHE, AHIMA, ACHE, ACME, ACPE, MGMA, FMMA and HIMSS. He was a MSFT Beta tester, Google Scholar, “H” Index favorite and one of LinkedIn’s “Top Cited Voices”. Marcinko is “ex-officio” and R&D Scholar-on-Sabbatical for iMBA, Inc. who was recently appointed to the MedBlob® [military encrypted medical data warehouse and health information exchange] Advisory Board.



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“Rules-of-Thumb” and Medical Practice Valuation Benchmarks

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Busting another Myth of Medical Practice Appraisal

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™]


For doctors, buying or selling a practice may be the biggest financial transaction of their lives. 

Reasons for appraising practice worth include: succession, retirement and estate planning; partnership disputes and divorce; or as an important tool for organic growth and strategic planning.

However, the transaction is fraught with many pitfalls to avoid and no medical specialty seems immune. 

Valuation Difficulties 

For example, we recall the MD who asked her accountant for the “value” of her practice and was correctly given its lower “book value”, rather than its higher “fair-market-value” as a profitable ongoing-concern. The doctor lost tens-of-thousands-of-dollars in a subsequent attorney-driven sales transaction.

Although her CPA produced correct figures for exactly what was requested, the doctor and attorney did not differentiate between the two terms-of-art.  Later legal mediation determined that neither was responsible for the linguistic error, as both parties acted in good-faith.

Of course, it was the doctor who paid dearly for her mistake in communication and business acumen.  

“Rules-of-Thumb” [aka: benchmark formulas or calculations] 

And so, in the stable distant past, physicians occasionally used “rules of thumb” formulas to value their medical practices. 

“Rules” typically were expressed as benchmark calculations, formulas or multipliers (e.g. “one times revenues” or “five times cash flow”).  

Today, because of the economic volatility in the healthcare industrial complex, “rules of thumb” should not be used to value any medical practice (other than as general internal managerial sanity checks).  

Moreover, they are fraught with legal liability should the deal sour, and such benchmarks general hold little to no weight with the IRS. 

Case example [the tale of two identical medical practices] 

Economically, for example, consider two medical offices, each earning $1 million in gross revenues; both worth $1.5 million (according to a “rule of thumb” that a medical practice is worth 1½ times annual revenues).  Yet, in reality Medical Office #1 is worth twice Medical Office #2.   

How is this possible?   

The answer is because Medical Office #1 is a newer practice in a hot neighborhood that did $500,000 last year, $1 million this year; and projects to do even more next year.  Its property, instruments, HIT and medical equipment is new; aggressive young physician-executive management and medical training is excellent.   

Medical Office #2 is an older practice located in a low-income area, revenues were $2 million a few years ago and have fallen to the current level; the practice has a leaky roof, old equipment and lots of deferred maintenance, etc.  HMO patients abound, with declining reimbursement rates and an older practitioner.  

Assessment biz-book2

So, although much more complicated than the above simple example, we can now see how “rule-of-thumbs” can mislead more often than inform. 

Yet, we might also ask why they are still used by some misinformed doctors?  

Simplicity and inertia is the answer, according to Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA a valuation professional and Certified Medical Planner™ from the Institute of Medical Business Advisors Inc, in Atlanta GA www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com 

And, the cost of a benchmark “rule-of-thumb” valuation is hard to beat; $0. Keep in mind that in most cases, you will want to ensure the value determination will stand up to IRS scrutiny, so the $0 rule-of-thumb is not really an option  

The Case of Edgar versus Berg 

Legalistically, a landmark legal case in business valuation was the Estate of Edgar A. Berg v. Commissioner (T. C. Memo 1991-279). The Court criticized the CPAs as not being qualified to perform valuations, failing to provide analysis of an appropriate discount rate, and making only general references to justify their “Opinion of Value.”  

In rejecting these experts, the Court accepted the IRS’s expert because he possessed the background, education and training; and developed discounts, and demonstrating how reproducible evidence applied to the assets being examined.  


The Berg decision marked the beginning of the Tax Court leaning toward the side with the most comprehensive appraisal. Previously, it had a tendency to “split the difference.”  

Now, some feel the Berg case launched the business valuation profession.


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


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One Response

  1. Medical Practice Valuations and Appraisals

    The http://www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com practice valuation and transition team can help you appraise your medical practice, develop a new associate/partner transition plan, and even help transition your patients.

    A Profitable Transition

    You can also choose how to “wind-down” or transition out of practice gracefully and economically, as you work with only select patients, on-board a new associate / partner, or sell your practice outright.

    Your Practice Business Equity

    Either way, we can help you unlock the hard-earned equity in your medical practice and ensure that your patients, and life’s work – are taken care of professionally.
    Purchasing and reviewing our books and white-papers is a great way to start. Otherwise, call or email us. today?

    Let’s Talk or e-mail

    MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com for a free white paper.

    Ann Miller RN MHA


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