Professional HR Options for Physicians

Understanding Professional Medical Employer Organizations

www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com

By Eric Galtress

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“In-house service and support activities are monopolies.  They have little incentive to improve productivity. In fact, they have considerable disincentive to improve their productivity. Clerical, maintenance and support work, do not make a direct and measurable contribution to the bottom line.”

–“Sell the Mailroom” by Peter F. Drucker

As a medical practitioner, labor Law compliance begins with the hire of your very first practice employee. Thus, a well managed human resources (HR) function should be an area of strategic focus by the medical executive, regardless of practice size or the number of employees. Consideration of this vital role can help contribute to an efficient, highly effective and productive professional staff committed to the goals of the practice encompassing a positive and nurturing culture evident to your patients, while maintaining your competitive edge.

Costly HR

HR is the major expense driver of today’s medical practice and addresses staffing requirements, wages and other compensation, payroll and tax compliance, labor law compliance, employee benefits, training, employee turnover, safety, risk management and workers’ compensation. These responsibilities must be performed in accordance with State and Federal guidelines, beginning with the hire of your very first employee.

Employer Requirements

At specific employee level thresholds, employers are required to comply with a growing number of employee-related requirements including State and Federal Laws.  A partial list is shown even though the total number is vast considering each and every State has its own extensive regulatory and compliance burden. These laws govern the proper method of how employees must be treated and paid, as well as ensuring that their rights in the workplace are protected. State and Federal Regulators each create vast amounts of workplace legislation every year, many of which become law. In most cases, the specific requirement (either State or Federal) that affords the employee the most workplace rights and/or protection and benefits takes precedence over the other.  Non-compliance can subject the practitioner/business owner to hefty fines, penalties, business interruption, litigation, and in some cases, even practice failure.

In most cases, these HR efforts are backed by labor attorneys, service providers, brokers and other consultants. Given the typical size of a medical practice, this presents a compelling argument that practices should consider taking advantage of an innovative alternative:  being able to delegate (outsource) part or most of the HR burden as well as the employee/employer related liabilities.

Outsourced Services

Simply put, instead of the practitioner/staff performing the HR requirements, part or most of this responsibility can be outsourced to an off-site HR services provider that specializes in labor law compliance, employee management and cost control. The practitioner retains functional control of the employees and the service provider handles the HR issues. Added value is achieved by the practice in receiving these services more cost effectively since their needs are combined with those of the many other practices and businesses the provider already serves. Outsourcing is a matter of simple economics, enabling the practitioner to gain relief from cumbersome employee administration, while enhancing productivity and benefits for the staff members.

Link: Front Matter BoMP – 3

Assessment

The HR outsourcing relationship is not to be confused with a Physician Practice Management Company (PPMC).  The HR services provider has no financial interest or ownership whatsoever in the practice.

Conclusion

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