PODCAST: Financial Planning and Medical Business Management Mistakes of Independent Doctors

By Entrepreneurial MD

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In this episode, host Christopher Hughey talks to Steven Huskey about the financial, management and planning mistakes many independent doctors make when setting up their own medical practice.

PODCAST: https://www.theentrepreneurmd.com/search?query=mistakes

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FINANCIAL PLANNING: Strategies for Doctors and their Advisors

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BY DR. DAVID E. MARCINKO MBA CMP®

SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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REVIEWS:

Written by doctors and healthcare professionals, this textbook should be mandatory reading for all medical school students—highly recommended for both young and veteran physicians—and an eliminating factor for any financial advisor who has not read it. The book uses jargon like ‘innovative,’ ‘transformational,’ and ‘disruptive’—all rightly so! It is the type of definitive financial lifestyle planning book we often seek, but seldom find.
LeRoy Howard MA CMPTM,Candidate and Financial Advisor, Fayetteville, North Carolina

I taught diagnostic radiology for over a decade. The physician-focused niche information, balanced perspectives, and insider industry transparency in this book may help save your financial life.
Dr. William P. Scherer MS, Barry University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

This book was crafted in response to the frustration felt by doctors who dealt with top financial, brokerage, and accounting firms. These non-fiduciary behemoths often prescribed costly wholesale solutions that were applicable to all, but customized for few, despite ever-changing needs. It is a must-read to learn why brokerage sales pitches or Internet resources will never replace the knowledge and deep advice of a physician-focused financial advisor, medical consultant, or collegial Certified Medical Planner™ financial professional.
—Parin Khotari MBA,Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University, New York

In today’s healthcare environment, in order for providers to survive, they need to understand their current and future market trends, finances, operations, and impact of federal and state regulations. As a healthcare consulting professional for over 30 years supporting both the private and public sector, I recommend that providers understand and utilize the wealth of knowledge that is being conveyed in these chapters. Without this guidance providers will have a hard time navigating the supporting system which may impact their future revenue stream. I strongly endorse the contents of this book.
—Carol S. Miller BSN MBA PMP,President, Miller Consulting Group, ACT IAC Executive Committee Vice-Chair at-Large, HIMSS NCA Board Member

This is an excellent book on financial planning for physicians and health professionals. It is all inclusive yet very easy to read with much valuable information. And, I have been expanding my business knowledge with all of Dr. Marcinko’s prior books. I highly recommend this one, too. It is a fine educational tool for all doctors.
—Dr. David B. Lumsden MD MS MA,Orthopedic Surgeon, Baltimore, Maryland

There is no other comprehensive book like it to help doctors, nurses, and other medical providers accumulate and preserve the wealth that their years of education and hard work have earned them.
—Dr. Jason Dyken MD MBA,Dyken Wealth Strategies, Gulf Shores, Alabama

I plan to give a copy of this book written
by doctors and for doctors’ to all my prospects, physician, and nurse clients. It may be the definitive text on this important topic.
—Alexander Naruska CPA,Orlando, Florida

Health professionals are small business owners who need to apply their self-discipline tactics in establishing and operating successful practices. Talented trainees are leaving the medical profession because they fail to balance the cost of attendance against a realistic business and financial plan. Principles like budgeting, saving, and living below one’s means, in order to make future investments for future growth, asset protection, and retirement possible are often lacking. This textbook guides the medical professional in his/her financial planning life journey from start to finish. It ranks a place in all medical school libraries and on each of our bookshelves.
—Dr. Thomas M. DeLauro DPM,Professor and Chairman – Division of Medical Sciences, New York College of Podiatric Medicine

Physicians are notoriously excellent at diagnosing and treating medical conditions. However, they are also notoriously deficient in managing the business aspects of their medical practices. Most will earn $20-30 million in their medical lifetime, but few know how to create wealth for themselves and their families. This book will help fill the void in physicians’ financial education. I have two recommendations: 1) every physician, young and old, should read this book; and 2) read it a second time!
—Dr. Neil Baum MD,Clinical Associate Professor of Urology, Tulane Medical School, New Orleans, Louisiana

I worked with a Certified Medical Planner™ on several occasions in the past, and will do so again in the future. This book codified the vast body of knowledge that helped in all facets of my financial life and professional medical practice.
Dr. James E. Williams DABPS, Foot and Ankle Surgeon, Conyers, Georgia

This is a constantly changing field for rules, regulations, taxes, insurance, compliance, and investments. This book assists readers, and their financial advisors, in keeping up with what’s going on in the healthcare field that all doctors need to know.
Patricia Raskob CFP® EA ATA, Raskob Kambourian Financial Advisors, Tucson, Arizona

I particularly enjoyed reading the specific examples in this book which pointed out the perils of risk … something with which I am too familiar and have learned (the hard way) to avoid like the Black Death. It is a pleasure to come across this kind of wisdom, in print, that other colleagues may learn before it’s too late— many, many years down the road.
Dr. Robert S. Park MD, Robert Park and Associates Insurance, Seattle, Washington

Although this book targets physicians, I was pleased to see that it also addressed the financial planning and employment benefit needs of nurses; physical, respiratory, and occupational therapists; CRNAs, hospitalists, and other members of the health care team….highly readable, practical, and understandable.
Nurse Cecelia T. Perez RN, Hospital Operating Room Manager, Ellicott City, Maryland

Personal financial success in the PP-ACA era will be more difficult to achieve than ever before. It requires the next generation of doctors to rethink frugality, delay gratification, and redefine the very definition of success and work–life balance. And, they will surely need the subject matter medical specificity and new-wave professional guidance offered in this book. This book is a ‘must-read’ for all health care professionals, and their financial advisors, who wish to take an active role in creating a new subset of informed and pioneering professionals known as Certified Medical Planners™.
—Dr. Mark D. Dollard FACFAS, Private Practice, Tyson Corner, Virginia

As healthcare professionals, it is our Hippocratic duty to avoid preventable harm by paying attention. On the other hand, some of us are guilty of being reckless with our own financial health—delaying serious consideration of investments, taxation, retirement income, estate planning, and inheritances until the worry keeps one awake at night. So, if you have avoided planning for the future for far too long, perhaps it is time to take that first step toward preparedness. This in-depth textbook is an excellent starting point—not only because of its readability, but because of his team’s expertise and thoroughness in addressing the intricacies of modern investments—and from the point of view of not only gifted financial experts, but as healthcare providers, as well … a rare combination.
Dr. Darrell K. Pruitt DDS, Private Practice Dentist, Fort Worth, Texas

This text should be on the bookshelf of all contemporary physicians. The book is physician-focused with unique topics applicable to all medical professionals. But, it also offers helpful insights into the new tax and estate laws, fiduciary accountability for advisors and insurance agents, with investing, asset protection and risk management, and retirement planning strategies with updates for the brave new world of global payments of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Starting out by encouraging readers to examine their personal ‘money blueprint’ beliefs and habits, the book is divided into four sections offering holistic life cycle financial information and economic education directed to new, mid-career, and mature physicians.

This structure permits one to dip into the book based on personal need to find relief, rather than to overwhelm. Given the complexity of modern domestic healthcare, and the daunting challenges faced by physicians who try to stay abreast of clinical medicine and the ever-evolving laws of personal finance, this textbook could not have come at a better time.
—Dr. Philippa Kennealy MD MPH, The Entrepreneurial MD, Los Angeles, California

Physicians have economic concerns unmatched by any other profession, arriving ten years late to the start of their earning years. This textbook goes to the core of how to level the playing field quickly, and efficaciously, by a new breed of dedicated Certified Medical Planners™. With physician-focused financial advice, each chapter is a building block to your financial fortress.
Thomas McKeon, MBA, Pharmaceutical Representative, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

An excellent resource … this textbook is written in a manner that provides physician practice owners with a comprehensive guide to financial planning and related topics for their professional practice in a way that is easily comprehended. The style in which it breaks down the intricacies of the current physician practice landscape makes it a ‘must-read’ for those physicians (and their advisors) practicing in the volatile era of healthcare reform.
—Robert James Cimasi, MHA ASA FRICS MCBA CVA CM&AA CMP™, CEO-Health Capital Consultants, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri

Rarely can one find a full compendium of information within a single source or text, but this book communicates the new financial realities we are forced to confront; it is full of opportunities for minimizing tax liability and maximizing income potential. We’re recommending it to all our medical practice management clients across the entire healthcare spectrum.
Alan Guinn, The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc., Cookeville, Tennessee

Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™ and his team take a seemingly endless stream of disparate concepts and integrate them into a simple, straightforward, and understandable path to success. And, he codifies them all into a step-by-step algorithm to more efficient investing, risk management, taxation, and enhanced retirement planning for doctors and nurses. His text is a vital read—and must execute—book for all healthcare professionals and physician-focused financial advisors.
Dr. O. Kent Mercado, JD, Private Practitioner and Attorney, Naperville, Illinois

Kudos. The editors and contributing authors have compiled the most comprehensive reference book for the medical community that has ever been attempted. As you review the chapters of interest and hone in on the most important concerns you may have, realize that the best minds have been harvested for you to plan well… Live well.
Martha J. Schilling; AAMS® CRPC® ETSC CSA, Shilling Group Advisors, LLC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I recommend this book to any physician or medical professional that desires an honest no-sales approach to understanding the financial planning and investing world. It is worthwhile to any financial advisor interested in this space, as well.
David K. Luke, MIM MS-PFP CMP™, Net Worth Advisory Group, Sandy, Utah

Although not a substitute for a formal business education, this book will help physicians navigate effectively through the hurdles of day-to-day financial decisions with the help of an accountant, financial and legal advisor. I highly recommend it and commend Dr. Marcinko and the Institute of Medical Business Advisors, Inc. on a job well done.
Ken Yeung MBA CMP™, Tseung Kwan O Hospital, Hong Kong

I’ve seen many ghost-written handbooks, paperbacks, and vanity-published manuals on this topic throughout my career in mental healthcare. Most were poorly written, opinionated, and cheaply produced self-aggrandizing marketing drivel for those agents selling commission-based financial products and expensive advisory services. So, I was pleasantly surprised with this comprehensive peer-reviewed academic textbook, complete with citations, case examples, and real-life integrated strategies by and for medical professionals. Although a bit late for my career, I recommend it highly to all my younger colleagues … It’s credibility and specificity stand alone.
Dr. Clarice Montgomery PhD MA,Retired Clinical Psychologist

In an industry known for one-size-fits-all templates and massively customized books, products, advice, and services, the extreme healthcare specificity of this text is both refreshing and comprehensive.
Dr. James Joseph Bartley, Columbus, Georgia

My brother was my office administrator and accountant. We both feel this is the most comprehensive textbook available on financial planning for healthcare providers.
Dr. Anthony Robert Naruska DC,Winter Park, Florida

MORE: tps://www.amazon.com/Comprehensive-Financial-Planning-Strategies-Advisors/dp/1482240289/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418580820&sr=8-1&keywords=david+marcinko

INVITE DR. MARCINKO: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/dr-david-marcinkos-bookings/

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INVITE: Professor Marcinko to Your Next Seminar or Event

See You Soon

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SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Colleagues know that I enjoy personal coaching and public speaking and give as many talks each year as possible, at a variety of medical society and financial services conferences around the country and world. All in a Corona safe environment.

Avatar of Dr. Marcinko Speaking as MSL

These include lectures and visiting professorships at major academic centers, keynote lectures for hospitals, economic seminars and health systems, end-note lectures at city and statewide financial coalitions, and annual lectures for a variety of internal yearly meetings.

LIVE or PODCAST enabled, as well.

Topics Link: imba-inc-firm-services

Teleconference: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2020/10/14/me-marcinko-and-my-avatar/

My Fond Farewell to Tuskegee University

And so, we appreciate your consideration.

Invite Dr. Marcinko

CONTACT: ANN MILLER RN MHA CMP®

[ME-P Executive-Director]

PH: 770-448-0769

EM: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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What is the “S” Logistics Chart Curve?

SIGMOID CURVE

By Staff Reporters

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DEFINITION

The S curve refers to a chart that is used to describe, visualize, and predict the performance of a project or business overtime. More specifically, it is a logistic curve that plots the progress of a variable by relating it to another variable over time. 

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

The term S curve was developed as a result of the shape that the data takes. Projects on the S curve often experience a slow growth at the beginning, rapid growth in the middle, and slow growth and at the end. The maximum point of acceleration is called the point of inflexion. It is at this point that the project or business returns to the initial slow growth it started from. 

MATH PROOF: https://mathworld.wolfram.com/SigmoidFunction.html

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PHYSICIANS BEWARE: Traditional Financial Planning “Rules of Thumb”

DOCTORS AND MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS BEWARE?

We ARE Different

By Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA CMP®

SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

CMP logo

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  • While financial planning rules of thumbs are useful to people as general guidelines, they may be too oversimplified in many situations, leading to underestimating or overestimating an individual’s needs. This may be especially true for physicians and many medical professionals. Rules of thumb do not account for specific circumstances or factors occurring at a particular time, or that could change over time, which should be considered for making sound financial decisions.
  • Great Health Industry Resignation: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2021/12/12/healthcare-industry-hit-with-the-great-resignation-retirement/

For example, in a tight job market, an emergency fund amounting to six months of household expenses does not consider the possibility of extended unemployment. I’ve always suggested 2-3 years for doctors. Venture capitalist lay-offs of physicians during the pandemic confirm this often criticized benchmark opinion of mine.

As another example, buying life insurance based on a multiple of income does not account for the specific needs of the surviving family, which include a mortgage, the need for college funding and an extended survivor income for a non-working spouse. Again a huge home mortgage, or several children or dependents, may be the financial bane of physician colleagues and life insurance.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

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EXAMPLES: Old/New Rules

  • A home purchase should cost less than an amount equal to two and a half years of your annual income. I think physicians in practice for 3-5 years might go up to 3.5X annual income; ceteras paribus.
  • Save at least 10-15% of your take-home income for retirement. Seek to save 20% or more.
  • Have at least five times your gross salary in life insurance death benefit. Consider 10X this amount in term insurance if young, and/or with several children or other special circumstances.
  • Pay off your highest-interest credit cards first. Agreed.
  • The stock market has a long-term average return of 10%. Agreed, but appreciated risk adjusted rates of return..
  • You should have an emergency fund equal to six months’ worth of household expenses. Doctors should seek 2-3 years.
  • Your age represents the percentage of bonds you should have in your portfolio. Risk tolerance and assets may be more vital.
  • Your age subtracted from 100 represents the percentage of stocks you should have in your portfolio. Risk tolerance and assets may still be more vital.
  • A balanced portfolio is 60% stocks, 40% bonds. With historic low interest rates, cash may be a more flexible alternative than bonds; also avoid most bond mutual funds as they usually never mature.

There are also rules of thumb for determining how much net worth you will need to retire comfortably at a normal retirement age. Here is the calculation that Investopedia uses to determine your net worth:

Compensation in the Physician Specialties: Mostly Stable - NEJM  CareerCenter Resources

RULES 72, 78 and 115: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2022/01/30/the-rules-of-72-78-and-115/

INVITATION: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2021/05/08/invite-dr-marcinko-to-your-next-big-event/

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MEDICAL SCHOOLS: Why They Don’t Teach Business and How it’s Costing Physicians?

[THE MILLION DOLLAR MISTAKE]

By Curtis G. Graham MD

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The fact that every physician in private medical practice, without a business education, leaves approximately a million dollars on the table and is unaware of it is well known to business experts who work with medical doctors experiencing financial difficulties.

Business experts such as Dan S. Kennedy, Peter Drucker, Michael Gerber, Maxwell Maltz, Neil Baum, William Hanson, Huss and Coleman, Steven Hacker, Thomas Stanley, Chris Hurn, Napoleon Hill, and Dave Ramsey, among others, understand the financial problems faced by medical practices and how to solve them.

READ HERE: https://www.kevinmd.com/2023/01/the-million-dollar-mistake-why-medical-schools-dont-teach-business-and-how-its-costing-physicians.html

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INDUSTRY STATURE: Certified Medical Planner®

SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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OUR OEUVRE’ OF TEXT BOOKS IS GROWING WITH OUR INDUSTRY STATURE

We believe that by writing and sharing our experiences in standard textbook, white-paper and new media electronic format, our experts are able to address most areas of physician-focused financial planning, business or medical practice management needs in an understandable and unbiased manner.

But, we recognize that some consultants and financial advisors may appreciate reading current medical business management theory, healthcare economics, technology or financial planning information privately, prior to becoming a Certified Medical Planner® professional.

However, there is a virtual information overload out there, little of which addresses the pragmatic concerns of the modern medical provider or healthcare industry. None imparts the wisdom to become a better financial advisor or medical management consultant. All motivate the purchase of products.

Therefore, as part of the iMBA Research Library for the Certified Medical Planner® program, we highly recommend the following in-house produced books. You may even recognize some of our nationally known contributing authors and CMPs®.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

TEXT BOOKS AND HAND BOOKS

iMBA Inc offers links to these publications, to members, and non-members, alike:

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Alphabet Soup: Financial Designations & Certificates

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financial-designationsjuly

AUTHOR: Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

POSITION: Publisher-in-Chief

dem26

TOPIC: Financial Designations and Certifications [Alphabet Soup of Industry Obfuscation and Self-Promotion, or Real Gravitas – You Decide?]

EXCERPT: “Until recently, most financial advisors were regulated by the NASD, the National Association of Securities Dealers. Now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. It is a self-regulatory agency comprised of the nation’s brokerage firms. Upon completion of a required exam the FINRA will issue a variety of licenses. The most common are the Series 6, 7, and 24.

The Series 6 is essentially a license to sell packaged products, namely mutual funds. It is most commonly held by insurance agents and bank representatives. It is considered a very easy test. Holding such a license allows the holder to collect commission income through its member firm.

The Series 7 exam is a bit more difficult and includes issues relating to individual securities such as stocks, bonds and limited partnership interests. The pass rate is lower than the Series 6. The probable culprit is the extensive questioning on margin and options, topics most are unfamiliar with prior to entering the securities business.

The Series 24 covers issues of compliance and supervision and is required of Branch Managers of brokerage firms. All registered representatives (the proper name for a broker) must be supervised by someone with a Series 24, also known as a principal’s license.

Checking the background of a registered representative, a branch manager or a member firm is easily done through NASD and/or FINRA Regulation, Inc. NASDR/FINRA maintains the Central Registration Depository (CRD). The CRD can be checked for a description of a disclosed event by phone or by Internet. One should request information on an advisor’s firm as well as the individual. A reputable advisor at a disreputable firm has its own set of potentially dangerous implications.

Regardless of the above, these tests produce licenses to sell financial products. They are not educational achievements. There is virtually no academic barrier to entry for them. Stock-brokers today – hate the term – and prefer “financial advisor”; yet the term has no real meaning other than as a sales license.

Some are college graduates, and beyond; while some other experts argue that too many are not!”

Hence, the need to “raise the bar to fiduciary accountability with deep knowledge of healthcare modernity.”

For more info: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

READ JULY HERE: financial-designationsjuly

Conclusion

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.

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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PODCAST: Employee Engagement and Health Plans

By Eric Bricker MD

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

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FINANCIAL RESOLUTIONS: For the New Year 2023

By Staff Reporters

Are you the kind of ME-P reader who makes resolutions on New Year’s Day? If so, here are five steps we encourage all investors to consider taking to boost your financial fitness at any time of the year; according to Charles Schwab & Company. So, why not resolve to take them right now? 

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

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Resolution 1: Create a budget

Committing to a saving and investing program during your working years is generally the best way to boost your net worth and achieve many of life’s most important goals. Of course, first you’ll need to know how much money you’ve got to work with. That’s where a budget and net worth statement can help. Here’s how to think about them.

  • Budget and save. At a minimum, be sure to have a high-level budget with three things: how much you’re taking in after taxes, how much you’re spending, and how much you’re saving. If you’re not sure where your money is going, track your spending using a spreadsheet or an online budgeting tool for 30 days. Determine how much money you need to cover your fixed monthly expenses, such as your rent or mortgage and other living expenses, and how much you’d like to put away for other goals. For retirement, our rule of thumb is to save 10%–15% of pre-tax income, including any match from an employer, starting in your 20s. If you delay, the amount you may need to save goes up. Add 10% for every decade you delay saving for retirement. Once you commit to an amount, consider ways you can save automatically, such as through monthly direct deposits. 
  • Calculate your personal net worth annually. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Make a list of your assets (what you own) and subtract your liabilities (what you owe). Subtract the liabilities from the assets to determine your net worth. Don’t panic if your net worth declines when the market is struggling. What’s important is to see a general upward trend over your earning years. If you’re retired, you’ll want to plan an income and distribution strategy to help make your savings last as long as necessary and support other objectives.
  • Project the cost of essential big-ticket items. If you have a big expense in the near term, like college tuition or roof repair, put the money aside or increase your savings and treat that money as spent. If you know that you’ll need the money within a few years, keep it in relatively liquid, safe investments like short-term certificates of deposit (CDs), a savings account, or money market funds purchased within a brokerage account. If you choose to invest in a CD, make sure the term ends by the time you need the cash. If you have more than a few years, invest wisely, based on your time horizon.
  • Prepare for emergencies. If you aren’t retired, we suggest creating an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of essential living expenses, set aside in a savings account. The emergency fund can help you cover unexpected but necessary expenses without having to sell more volatile investments.
  • Retired? Invest your living-expense money conservatively. Consider keeping 12 months of living expenses—after accounting for non-portfolio income sources like Social Security or a pension—in short-term CDs, an interest-bearing savings account, or a money market fund. Then consider keeping another two to four years’ worth of spending laddered in short-term bonds or invested in short-term bond funds as part of your portfolio’s fixed income allocation. You can use this money to cover expenses in the near term. Having a chunk of savings invested conservatively should allow you to invest a portion of your remaining savings for growth, at a level of risk appropriate for you, while reducing the chances you’ll be forced to sell more volatile investments (like stocks) in a down market.

Resolution 2: Manage your debt

Debt is neither inherently good nor bad—it’s simply a tool. It all depends on how you use it. For most people, some level of debt is a practical necessity, especially to purchase an expensive long-term asset to pay back over time, such as a home. However, problems arise when debt becomes more of a burden than a tool. Here’s how to stay in control.

  • Keep your total debt load manageable. Don’t confuse what you can borrow with what you should borrow. Keep the monthly costs of owning a home (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) below 28% of your pre-tax income, and your total monthly debt payments (including credit cards, auto loans, and mortgage payments) below 36% of your pre-tax income.
  • Eliminate high-cost, non-deductible consumer debt. Try to pay off credit-card debt and avoid borrowing to buy depreciating assets, such as cars. The cost of consumer debt adds up quickly if you carry a balance. Consider consolidating your debt in a low-rate home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC), set a realistic budget, and implement a schedule to pay it back.
  • Match repayment terms to your time horizons. If you’re likely to move within five to seven years, you could consider a shorter-maturity loan or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), depending on current mortgage rates and options. Don’t consider this if you think you may live in your home for longer or struggle to manage mortgage payment resets if interest rates or your plans change. We also don’t suggest that you borrow money under the assumption that your home will automatically increase in value. Historically, long-term home appreciation has significantly lagged the total return of a diversified stock portfolio. And, for any type of debt, have a disciplined payback schedule. Create a plan to pay off the mortgage on your primary home before you plan to retire.

Resolution 3: Optimize your portfolio

We all share the goal of getting better investment results. But research shows that it’s extremely difficult to always invest at the “perfect” time. So, create a plan that will help you stay disciplined in all kinds of markets. Follow your plan and adjust it as needed. Here are ideas to help you stay focused on your goals.

  • Focus on your overall investment mix. After committing to a savings plan, how you invest is your next most important decision. Have a targeted asset allocation—that is, strategically proportioned mix of stocks, bonds, and cash in your portfolio—that you’re comfortable with, even in a down market. Make sure it fits your long-term goals, risk tolerance, and time frame. The longer your time horizon, the more time you’ll have to potentially benefit from up or down markets.
  • Diversify across and within asset classes. Diversification can help reduce risk and can be a critical factor in helping you reach your goals. Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are great ways to own a diversified basket of securities in just about any asset class.
  • Consider taxes.Place relatively tax-efficient investments, like ETFs and municipal bonds, in taxable accounts, and relatively tax-inefficient investments, like mutual funds and real estate investment trusts (REITs), in tax-advantaged accounts. Tax-advantaged accounts include retirement accounts, such as a traditional or Roth individual retirement account (IRA). If you trade frequently, do so in tax-advantaged accounts to help reduce your tax bill.
  • Monitor and rebalance your portfolio as needed. Evaluate your portfolio’s performance at least twice a year using a benchmark that makes sense for you. Remember, the long-term progress that you make toward your goals is more important than short-term portfolio performance. As you approach a savings goal, such as the beginning of a child’s education or retirement, begin to reduce investment risk, if appropriate, so you don’t have to sell more volatile investments, such as stocks, when you need them. 
  • Choose appropriate benchmarks. Lastly, your benchmark to measure investment performance should match your portfolio and your goals. Don’t be tempted to compare your portfolio to what performed best in the market last year or even a portfolio invested 100% in stocks. You should have a portfolio selected to best meet your goals, with an appropriate balance of potential return and risk as well. Progress toward your goals is more important than picking the top-performing stocks each year—which, for any investor, isn’t possible to predict.

Resolution 4: Prepare for the unexpected

Risk is a part of life, particularly in investments and finance. Your financial life can be upended by all kinds of surprises—an illness, job loss, disability, death, natural disasters, or lawsuits. If you don’t have enough assets to self-insure against major risks, make a resolution to get your insurance needs covered. Insurance helps protect against unforeseen events that don’t happen often but are expensive to manage yourself when they do. The following guidelines can help you prepare for life’s unexpected moments.

  • Protect against large medical expenses with health insurance. Select a health insurance policy that matches your needs in areas such as coverage, deductibles, co-payments, and choice of medical providers. If you’re in good health and don’t visit the doctor often, consider a high-deductible policy to insure against the possibility of a serious illness or unexpected health-care event.
  • Purchase life insurance if you have dependents or other obligations. First, take advantage of a group term insurance policy, if offered by your employer. Such programs don’t generally require a medical check and can be a cost-effective way to provide income replacement for dependents. If you have minor children or large liabilities that will continue after your death for which you can’t self-insure, you may need additional life insurance. Unless you have a permanent life insurance need or special circumstances, consider starting with a low-cost term life policy before a whole life policy.
  • Protect your earning power with long-term disability insurance. The odds of becoming disabled are greater than the odds of dying young. According to the Social Security Administration, a 20-year-old American has a 25% chance of becoming disabled before normal retirement age and a 13% chance of dying before retirement age.1 If you can’t get adequate short- and long-term coverage through work, consider an individual policy.
  • Protect your physical assets with property-casualty insurance. Check your homeowner’s or renter’s and auto insurance policies to make sure your coverage and deductibles are still right for you.
  • Obtain additional liability coverage, if needed. A personal liability “umbrella” policy is a cost-effective way to increase your liability coverage by $1 million or more, in case you’re at fault in an accident or someone is injured on your property. Umbrella policies don’t cover business-related liabilities, so make sure your business is also properly insured, especially if you’re in a profession with unique risks and aren’t covered by an employer.
  • Consider the pros and cons of long-term-care insurance. If you consider a long-term-care policy, look for a policy that provides the right type of care and is guaranteed renewable with locked-in premium rates. Long-term care typically is most cost-effective starting at about age 50 and generally becomes more expensive or difficult to find after age 70. You can get independent sources of information from your state insurance commissioner. A sound retirement savings strategy is another way to plan for long-term-care costs.
  • Create a disaster plan for your safety and peace of mind. Review your homeowner’s or renter’s policy to see what’s covered and what’s not. Talk to your agent about flood or earthquake insurance if either is a concern for your area. Generally, neither is included in most homeowner’s policies. Keep an updated video inventory of valuable household items and possessions along with any professional appraisals and estimates of replacement values in a safe place away from your home.

Consider storing inventories and important documents on a portable hard drive. It’s also a good idea to have copies of birth certificates, passports, wills, trust documents, records of home improvements, and insurance policies in a small, secure evacuation box (the fireproof, waterproof kind you can lock is best) that you can grab in a hurry in case you have to evacuate immediately. Make sure your trusted loved ones know about this file as well, in case they need it.

Resolution 5: Protect your estate

An estate plan may seem like something only for the wealthy. But there are simple steps everyone should take. Without proper beneficiary designations, a will, and other basic steps, the fate of your assets or minor children may be decided by attorneys and tax agencies. Taxes and attorneys’ fees can eat away at these assets and delay the distribution of assets just when your heirs need them most. Here’s how to protect your estate—and your loved ones.

  • Review your beneficiaries, especially for retirement accounts, annuities, and life insurance.The beneficiary designation is your first line of defense, to make your wishes for assets known, and ensure that they transfer to who you want quickly. Keep information on beneficiaries up-to-date to ensure the proceeds of life insurance policies and retirement accounts are consistent with your wishes, your will, and other documents.
  • Update or prepare your will. A will isn’t just about transferring assets. It can provide for your dependents’ support and care and help you avoid the costs and delays associated with dying without one. It can also spell out plans to repay debts, such as a credit card or mortgage. Keep in mind that a beneficiary designation or asset titling trumps what’s written in a will, so make sure all documents are consistent and reflect your desires. When writing a will, we recommend working with an experienced lawyer or estate planning attorney.
  • Coordinate asset titling with the rest of your estate plan. The titling of your property and non-retirement accounts can affect the ultimate disposition and taxation of your assets. Talk with an estate attorney or lawyer about debts and the titling of assets, such as a home, that don’t have a beneficiary designation, to make sure they reflect your wishes and are consistent with titling laws that can vary by state.
  • Have in place durable powers of attorney for health care. In these documents, appoint trusted and competent confidants to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
  • Consider a revocable living trust. This is especially important if your estate is large and complex, and you want to spell out how your assets should be used in detail, or if you have dependent children and want to spell in detail how assets should be managed to support them, who will manage the assets, and other issues. A living trust may not be needed for smaller estates where beneficiaries, titling, and a will can be sufficient, but talk with a qualified financial planner or attorney to be sure.
  • Take care of important estate documents. Make sure a trusted and competent family member or close friend knows the location of your important estate documents.

Finally, remember you don’t have to do everything at once. There’s a lot you can do to improve your financial health by taking one step at a time and think of these resolutions as a checklist. This ME-P and our books and posts can help. Make some real progress on your journey this year. 

1Johanna Maleh and Tiffany Bosley. “Disability and Death Probability Tables for Insured Workers Who Attain Age 20 in 2022.” Social Security Administration, December 2022.

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Traditional Reasons for a Medical Practice Financial Valuation

Some economic reasons for a medical practice valuation 

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

The decision to sell, buy or merge a medical practice, while often financially driven, and is inherently an emotional one for these impact investors who went into the profession largely because of a deep seated zeal to help others.

Still, beyond impact investing musings, there are other economic reasons for a practice valuation that include changes in ownership, determining insurance coverage for a practice buy-sell agreement or upon a physician-owner’s death, organic growth meter, establishing stock options, or bringing in a new partner; etc.

Practice appraisals are also used for legal reasons such as divorce, bankruptcy, breach of contract and minority shareholder complaints. In 2002, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued rules that required certain intangible assets to be valued, such as goodwill. This may be important for practices seeking start-up, service segmentation extensions, or operational funding. Some other reasons for a medical practice appraisal, and the considerations that go along with them, are discussed here.

https://www.crcpress.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

Estate Planning

Medical practice valuation may be required for estate planning purposes. For a decedent physician with a gross estate of more than current in-place tax limits, his or her assets must be reported at fair market value on an estate tax return. If lifetime gifts of a medial practice business interest are made, it is generally wise to obtain an appraisal and attach it to the gift tax return.

Note that when a “closely-held” level of value (in contrast to “freely traded,” “marketable,” or “publicly traded” level) is sought, the valuation consultant may need to make adjustments to the results. There are inherent risks relative to the liquidity of investments in closely held, non-public companies (e.g., medical group practice) that are not relevant to the investment in companies whose shares are publicly traded (freely-traded). Investors in closely-held companies do not have the ability to dispose of an invested interest quickly if the situation is called for, and this relative lack of liquidity of ownership in a closely held company is accompanied by risks and costs associated with the selling of an interest said company (i.e., locating a buyer, negotiation of terms, advisor/broker fees, risk of exposure to the market, etc.). Conversely, investors in the stock market are most often able to sell their interest in a publicly traded company within hours and receive cash proceeds in a few days. Accordingly, a discount may be applicable to the value of a closely held company due to the inherent illiquidity of the investment. Such a discount is commonly referred to as a “discount for lack of marketability.”

Discount for lack of marketability is typically discussed in three categories: (1) transactions involving restricted stock of publicly traded companies; (2) private transactions of companies prior to their initial public offering (IPO); and, (3) an analysis and comparison of the price to earnings (P/E) ratios of acquisitions of public and private companies respectively published in the “Mergerstat Review Study.”\

With a non-controlling interest, in which the holder cannot solely authorize and cannot solely prevent corporate actions (in contrast to a controlling interest), a “discount for lack of control,” (DLOC), may be appropriate. In contrast, a control premium may be applicable to a controlling interest. A control premium is an increase to the pro rata share of the value of the business that reflects the impact on value inherent in the management and financial power that can be exercised by the holders of a control interest of the business (usually the majority holders). Conversely, a discount for lack of control or minority discount is the reduction from the pro rata share of the value of the business as a whole that reflects the impact on value of the absence or diminution of control that can be exercised by the holders of a subject interest.

LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Comprehensive-Financial-Planning-Strategies-Advisors/dp/1482240289/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418580820&sr=8-1&keywords=david+marcinko

Several empirical studies have been done to attempt to quantify DLOC from its antithesis, control premiums. The studies include the Mergerstat Review, an annual series study of the premium paid by investors for controlling interest in publicly traded stock, and the Control Premium Study, a quarterly series study that compiles control premiums of publicly traded stocks by attempting to eliminate the possible distortion caused by speculation of a deal.

Buy-Sell Agreements

The ideal situation is for physician partners to put in place a buy-sell agreement when practice relationships are amicable. This establishes the terms for departure before they are required, and is akin to a prenuptial agreement in the marriage contract. Disagreements most often occur when a doctor leaves the group, often acrimoniously. Business operations of the practice decline, employee and partner morale suffers, feuding factions develop spilling over into the office, and the practice begins to implode creating a downward valuation spiral. And so, valuations should be done every 2-3 years, or as the economic circumstances of the practice change. Independence and credibility are provided, and emotional overtones are purged from the transaction.

Physician Partnership Disputes

Medical practice appraisals are often used in partnership disputes, such as breach-of-contract or departure issues. Obvious revenue declinations are not difficult to quantify. But, revenues may not immediately fall since certain Current Procedural Terminology [CPT®] code reimbursements may actually increase. Upon verification however, lost business may be camouflaged as the number of procedures performed, or number of patients decrease after partner departure.

https://www.crcpress.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

Divorce

Physicians getting divorced should get a practice appraisal, and either side may hire the appraiser, although occasionally the court will order an expert to provide a neutral valuation. Such valuations should be done in light of both court discovery rules and IRS requirements for closely held businesses. Generally, this requires the consideration of eight elements:

• Practice specialty and operating history
• Economic and healthcare industry condition
• Estimates of practice risks and future returns
• Book value and financial condition of the practice
• Practice future earning capacity
• Physician bonuses, dividends and distributions
• Intangible assets
• Comparable practice sales

LINK: https://www.crcpress.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

Assessment

Sometimes, the non-physician spouse may even desire a lifestyle analysis to evaluate the potential for under reported income, by a forensic accountant, or appraiser. A family law judge is often the final arbiter of different valuations, and because of varying state laws there may be 50 different nuances of what the practice is really worth.

MORE: Valuation

Conclusion

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.

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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AUTO INSURANCE and the [Rising] Corona Virus Flu

By Staff Reporters

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Here’s what Covid vaccines have to do with auto insurance

A new study of 11 million adults in Canada revealed that people who weren’t vaccinated against Covid were 72% more likely to get into car accidents where at least one person had to go to the hospital.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

Now, that doesn’t mean your jab protects against car accidents, of course, but it does suggest that folks who reject public health recommendations might also reject road rules. The difference was striking enough that the researchers said doctors should discuss road safety with unvaccinated patients, and that car insurance companies might want to factor it into their rates.

BUT ALWAYS REMEMBER :https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2021/02/05/correlation-is-not-causation/

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RISK MANAGEMENT & LIABILITY PROTECTION FOR PHYSICIANS

And … Their Insurance Agents and Financial Advisors

INVITE DR. MARCINKO: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/dr-david-marcinkos-

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By DR. DAVID EDWARD MARCINKO MBA CMP®

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SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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BOOK REVIEW

It is not uncommon for practicing physicians to have more than a dozen separate insurance policies to protect their medical practice and personal assets. Yet, most doctors understand very little about their policies.BOOK REVIR

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™explains to physicians and insurance professionals the background, theory, and practicalities of medical risk management, asset protection methods, and insurance planning.

The book presents information in a manner that is convenient and highly useful for busy medical practitioners. It discusses the medical records revolution and addresses concerns regarding cloud computing, data security, and technological threats.

The book covers modern health law and policy, including fraud and abuse, workplace-violence, Medicare compliance, HIPAA regulations, AR protection strategies with internal controls, P4P and value based care, insurance and reputation management, and how the ARA legislation is impacting physician practices. It also includes case models and examples that provide you with a real-world understanding of how to recognize and reduce personal and medical practice risks.

With time at a premium for all, and so much information packed into one well-organized resource, this book is a must-read for every physician and financial advisor that serves the health care sector. The book will help physicians make better decisions about the risks they face and will help financial advisors improve the value they provide to their clients who are doctors.

MORE = ORDER HERE: https://www.routledge.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

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Physician Medical Risk Management and Insurance Planning Practices of Leading CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNERS®

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SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org 

 Our New Texts – “Take a Peek Inside – Now Available

      Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™  Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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“BY DOCTORS – FOR DOCTORS – PEER REVIEWED – FIDUCIARY FOCUSED”

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SAMPLE: 21. Practice Risks

MORE: Risk Mgmt Leadership

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What is the “5-100” Insurance Rule?

THE 5 -100 “Policy” Rule 

BY DR. DAVID E. MARCINKO MBA CMP®

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SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

With any universal life insurance policy (and certainly all variable life policies), fluctuating rates of return, the actual timing of the premium payments, and potential internal policy changes by the insurance company, all contribute to results that will probably differ substantially from the original illustration. 

RULE: The 5 – 100 Rule states that as a result of accounting for these elements, all initial projections of cash value beyond 5 years, will necessarily be 100 percent incorrect when compared to actuality. 

A prudent policy owner should therefore keep on top of any changes and react accordingly.  If a policy owner ignores his/her policy for even 5 years, any adverse changes could be so drastic as to make rectifying them very costly.

Citation: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

Your thoughts are appreciated.

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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EDRs: Still think going paperless was the right decision, Doc?

(ARE YOU PISSED, YET?)

By Darrell K. Pruitt DDS

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Still think going paperless was the right decision, Doc? (Are you pissed yet?) If you haven’t adopted digital records, now is NOT the time to do so. 

“Just last quarter, U.S. cyber insurance prices increased 79% from a year earlier, according to Marsh’s Global Insurance Market Index…. IBM determined the average ransomware attack cost $4.54 million last year, not including the cost of the ransom, and that 83% of the organizations have had more than one data breach.” (There goes your retirement stash). From “Amid Surge in Ransomware Attacks, More Organizations Are Being Rejected for Cyber Insurance — What Can Leaders Do?”

By Raj Dodhiawala for CPO Magazine, November 28, 2022

LINK: https://www.cpomagazine.com/cyber-security/amid-surge-in-ransomware-attacks-more-organizations-are-being-rejected-for-cyber-insurance-what-can-leaders-do/

QUESTION: So, now that the American Dental Association no longer sells its for-profit digital records system to intentionally uninformed dues-paying members, is the not-for-profit organization still encouraging dentists to go paperless?

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PODCAST: Healthcare Finance [Recorded Live] Q and A Session

By Eric Bricker MD

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INSURANCE: https://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Health-Insurance-Managed-Care/dp/0826149944/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275315485&sr=1-4

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MANUAL MORTGAGE UNDERWRITING FOR DOCTORS: What is it, Really?

By Staff Reporters

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Editor’s Note: FHA manual underwriting guidelines were updated in 2020 and require that, for those applicants with credit scores below 620 or a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio that exceeds 43%, mortgage applications must be manually underwritten. For a fiercely frugal doctor, or debt adverse medical professional with “poor” credit because of little to no debt, this may actually be good for them. But, it may also make it difficult for a modern automated mortgage lender to issue a loan. Our debt ridden and consumer driven society is largely causative.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

Consumption: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2018/09/18/are-doctors-practitioners-of-conspicuous-consumption/

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With many Lenders now making automated lending decisions, much like emerging healthcare A.I. initiatives, it can seem confusing why others are still sticking to a manual process. But, a few physicians with little to no credit/debt history, and hence a low FICO score, may actually find it a bonus.

Banking A.I.: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/this-american-bank-is-closing-the-most-branches/ar-AAT3PvQ?li=BBnbfcL

Automated Decision Making

Many mortgage lenders currently use computer-based systems to assist with their lending decisions. These systems will look at your client’s credit score, borrowing history, etc. to decide whether or not to approve a mortgage application. It can then be argued that the value of an Underwriter is decreasing; much like physicians are slowly being devalued for many emerging reasons.

ORDER: https://www.amazon.com/Business-Medical-Practice-Transformational-Doctors/dp/0826105750/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8& qid=1448163039&sr=8-9&keywords=david+marcinko

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So, Why Manual Underwriting?

Now, understand that not all [minority of clients] applicants will fit into the box that automated decision making systems like. Due to this, there is a need for manual decisions to be made, that will benefit both the Lender and the Borrower (client)!

Manual underwriting allows our Underwriters to look at the bigger picture and get a balanced view on the potential physician and/or client’s ability to repay the mortgage they are applying for. This means they can have a look at the overall risk to the Society and consider what conditions can be used to meet our lending policies. By using manual underwriting in every case, this embeds sensible and responsible decision making within the Society.

A hands-on approach means a look deeper into your financial position, and consider cases where physician clients may have:

  • Low credit scores;
  • Minimal credit history;
  • Self-employed applicants;
  • Applicants in fixed term employment contracts; and
  • Many more; like really a good personal risk profile.

Manual Underwriters

It is clear to see the benefits for the Society, and physicians, retrospectively. Some benefits of manual underwriting, according to experts David Cox and Richard Groom, include;

“I like that we can look at cases that many other high street lenders wouldn’t consider. This doesn’t mean we are risk takers; we just apply common sense”.

“I enjoy the hands-on approach we apply. Every applicant is different, so why should they all be pushed through an automated system?”

“Just because something doesn’t quite fit, it shouldn’t result in a computer says no decision. It’s great to be able to look at an individual’s situation and see what changes we can make to turn the negative to a positive”.

The great thing about manual underwriting is that while our lending policy is the core of what we do, applying a manual approach means we can consider applications outside of this, where it benefits the borrower and the Society”.

MORE: https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/manual-underwriting/

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Medical Managed Care IBNR Accounting Claims

Tax Savings Strategies

Claim Anatomy - ipitome

[By Ana Vassallo] AND [Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA]

Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) that accept capitated risk contracts face a potentially significant tax burden for Incurred but Not Reported (IBNR) claims. It is not uncommon that IBNR claims at the end of a reporting period equal one to two months premiums for MCOs under a fee-for-service model. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has taken a very strong position relative to the deductibility of these claims by saying that an MCO cannot deduct such losses if they are based on estimates.

Incurred But Not Reported [IBNR] Claims

IBNR is a term that refers to the costs associated with a medical service that has been provided, but for which the carrier has not yet received a claim. The carrier to account for estimated liability based on studies of prior lags in claim submission records IBNR reserves. In capitated contracts, MCOs are responsible for IBNR claims of their enrollees (Kennedy, 1). 

For example, if an enrollee is treated in an emergency room, a plan may not know it is liable for this care for at least 30-60 days. Well-run plans devote considerable attention to accurately estimating such claims because a plan can look healthy based on claims submitted and be financially unhealthy if IBNR claims experience is increasing substantially but is unknown.

Why a Problem for HMO’s/MCOs 

Section 809(d)(1) of the Code provides that, for purposes of determining the gain and loss from operations, a insurance company shall be allowed a deduction for all claims and benefits accrued, and all losses incurred (whether or not ascertained), during the taxable year on insurance and annuity contracts.  Section 1.809-5(a) (1) of the Income Tax Regulations provides that the term “losses incurred (whether or not ascertained)” includes a reasonable estimate of the amount of the losses (based upon the facts in each case and the company’s experiences with similar cases) incurred but not reported by the end of the taxable year as well as losses reported but where the amount thereof cannot be ascertained by the end of the year. By taking into account for its prior years only the reported losses but not the unreported losses, the taxpayer has established a consistent pattern of treating a material item as a deduction. The effect of the taxpayer’s claim for the first time of a deduction for an estimate of losses incurred but unreported under section 809(d)(1) of the Code, was to change the timing for taking the deduction for the incurred but unreported losses.

Due to the taxpayer consistently deducting losses incurred in the taxable year in which reported, a change in the time for deducting losses incurred under section 809(d)(1) is a change in the method of accounting for such losses to which the provisions of section 446(e) apply (IRS, 14-30). 

In order to qualify for an insurance company under the current IRS regulations, the MCO must have the following criteria (Kongstvedt, 235-256):

· At least 50% of the MCO must come from insurance related activities.

· The MCO must have an insurance company license.

If an MCO did not have these two criteria, the IRS will not deem the manage care company as an eligible insurance company.  Therefore, the MCO would not be able to file for IBNRs with the IRS.

How MCOs/HMOs Intensify IBRN Claims

There is a high degree of uncertainty inherent in the estimates of ultimate losses underlying the liability for unpaid claims.  The only reason the IRS would not allow an MCO to deduct IBNR because the financial statements is based on an estimate (IRS, 134-155).

Except through the insurance company exclusion IRS does not allow any taxpayer to deduct losses based on estimates. There has been some precedence set that the IRS will accept an amount for incurred but not reported claims if the amount is supported by valid receipts of claims that the company has in-house prior to the filing of the tax return.

There has been some controversy as to how long of a period of reporting time the IRS will allow you to include in those estimates. There are ranges from 3-6 months to file a claim (IRS, 137). The process by which these reserves are established requires reliance upon estimates based on known facts and on interpretations of circumstances, including the business’ experience with similar cases and historical trends involving claim payment patterns, claim payments, pending levels of unpaid claims and product mix, as well as other factors including court decisions, economic conditions and public attitudes.

There has been no clear indication from the IRS that it will accept an accrual for these losses and entities. Therefore, companies deducting such losses may eventually find themselves in a position where the IRS may challenge the relating deductibility of those losses.

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Evaluating IBNRs from a New Present Value Perspective

The best measure of whether or not a stream of future cash flows actually adds value to the organization is the net present value (NPV).  The best decision rule for NPV to accept or reject a decision problem is if the NPV is greater than zero, the project adds value to the organization.  Although – if the NPV is exactly zero it neither adds nor subtracts value from the organization (McLean 193).  In either case, the project is acceptable.  In addition, if the NPV is less than zero, the project subtracts value from the organization and should not be undertaken (McLean, 193).

The provision for unpaid claims represents an estimate of the total cost of outstanding claims to the year-end date. Included in the estimate are reported claims, claims incurred but not reported and an estimate of adjustment expenses to be incurred on these claims. The losses are necessarily subject to uncertainty and are selected from a range of possible outcomes (Veal, 11). During the life of the claim, adjustments to the losses are made as additional information becomes available. The change in outstanding losses plus paid losses is reported as claims incurred in the current period.

All but the smallest organizations have predictable and unpredictable losses. It is important mentally to separate the two since predictable losses are not risks but normal business expenses. Risk is the degree to which losses vary from the expected. If losses average $85,000 per year but could be as much as $20 million, the risk is $20 million minus $85,000. The $85,000 figure represents reasonably predictable losses (Veal, 12).

IBNR Challenges and Solutions

While I was unable to find an actual amount of the cost of the penalties that can be incurred, the IRS is able to impose penalty fees under Section 4958 of the IRS code (IRS, 255). While penalties differ depending on individual bases, MCOs will be penalizing for any misconduct either by IRS Codes or Court Jurisdiction.

It is prudent that MCOs ensure their organization that they will not incur a financial “meltdown”. They further need to ensure IBNR is funded for period of at least 2-3 months. In some states, the state laws make the MCO financially responsible to pay the providers for a second time if the intermediary fails to pay or becomes insolvent (Cagle, 1).

Paid losses, paid expenses and net premiums are usually deductible; reserves for incurred-but-unpaid losses generally are not, unless the taxpaying entity is an insurance company. Consequently, if a corporation has a high effective tax rate and concedes that it cannot deduct self-insured loss reserves, some of its more cost-effective options may be a paid-loss retro (if state rules are not too restrictive), a compensating balance plan, or the formation of a pool or industry captive. Even these plans may be subject to IRS challenge. To qualify as a tax-deductible expense, a premium or other payment must satisfy two criteria (Cagle, 2):

 

  • There must be transfer of risk: an insurance risk. This differs from investment risk, but there is no authoritative definition of “risk transfer” other than various court decisions (primarily Helvering v. Le Gierse, 312 US 531 — U.S. Supreme Court 1941).
  • There must be both risk shifting and risk distribution. “Risk shifting” means that one party shifts the risk of loss to another, generally not in the same corporate family. “Risk distribution” means that the party assuming the risk distributes the potential liability, in part, among others.

The deductibility of an insurance expense may also be questioned if it is contingent upon a future happening, such as a loss payment, right to a dividend or other credit, or possible forgiveness of future loans or notes (Cagle, 3). This may seem a broad statement, but the Cost Accounting Standards Board states in its Standards for Accounting for Insurance Expense that any expense which is recoverable if there are no losses shall be accounted as a deposit, not an expense. This is essentially the IRS position (IRS, 145).

Assessment

While there are a few solutions to this matter, the IRS is making sure that MCOs will be penalized if MCOs improperly handle IBNRs.  It is also important for organizations to understand the MCO’s policies regarding IBNR reserves and their contractual obligations. And, while the IRS has set limitations for MCOs to file their IBNR claims, MCOs have the major responsibility of allocating these IBNR claims appropriately.  There are severe penalties for not properly filing the IBNR claims appropriately.  However, there is several tax saving strategies to help MCOs properly file their IBNR claims with the IRS.  It imperative that MCO executives and accounting manager consult an expert to properly plan an ethical strategy that will help them build a stable business that is trustworthy and reliable.

Bibliography

1. Cagle, Jason, Esq., Interview, June 8, 2004, interview performed by Ana Vassallo.

2. McLean, Robert A., Net Profit Value, Pages 193-194, 2nd Edition, Thomson/Delmar Learning, Financial Management in Heath Care Organization, 2003.

3. Patient-Physician Network, Managed Care Glossary, Printed 6/11/04 http:/www.drppg.com/managed_care.asp.

4. Internal Revenue Services, IRS.Gov, Printed 6/12/04, http://www.irs.gov/

5. Internal Revenue Services, Revenue Ruling, Printed 6/11/04, http://www.taxlinks.com/rulings/1079/revrul179-21.thm

6. Kongstvedt, Peter R., Managed Care – What It Is and How it Works, Pages 235-256, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003.

7. Veale, Tom, The Return of Captives in the Hard Market, Tristar Risk Management Aug. 22, 2002, San Diego RIMS.

Conclusion

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APPLE: Health Insurance?

By Bertalan Meskó, MD PhD

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Ben Wood, chief analyst at European CCS Insights predicts that Apple will enter the US health insurance market in partnership with a major insurer in 2024 – Forbes reported

The company already collects heaps of health data, such as blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, ECG readings and body temperature from the Watch, and through phone apps that help people regulate their medication or manage chronic conditions like diabetes. 

I hope you find the report useful!

Best regards,
Bertalan Meskó, MD
The Medical Futurist

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RELATED: https://www.kevinmd.com/2022/10/amazon-cvs-and-walmart-are-playing-health-cares-long-game.html

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ORDER: https://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Health-Insurance-Managed-Care/dp/0826149944/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275315485&sr=1-4

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COLONOSCOPIES: Statistical Update

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA

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DEFINITION: A Colonoscopy and/or sigmoidoscopy are procedures that let your doctor look inside your large intestine. They use instruments called scopes. Scopes have a tiny camera attached to a long, thin tube. The procedures let your doctor see things such as inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, and ulcers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The ME-P does not normally discuss medical or clinical matters. But, this report is noteworthy to all.

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About 15 million colonoscopies are performed in the US yearly as part of standard preventive care for adults over 45, but a new study has called into question whether all the footage from those tiny cameras is really necessary.

Over a 10-year period, people who had the screenings were 18% less likely to develop colon cancer than people who didn’t, according to the study in the New England Journal of Medicine. However, the risk of death from the cancer for both the screened and un-screened was about the same, hovering around 0.3%.

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Annuities and their Associated Costs

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Another Look at Expenses

By Rick Kahler MS CFP™

Rick Kahler MS CFPAnnuities are popular investments; almost every new physician or other client I see has one. Part of any investment adviser’s due diligence is to understand the history and intentions of the investments in a portfolio.

When I ask why someone purchased an annuity, the most common responses are: “We didn’t have to pay any fees or commissions.” “There are no ongoing expenses.” “All my money is working for me.” “The principal is guaranteed.”

Warning … Warning!

Any time you read or hear “no fees,” “no commissions,” “no expenses,” “free,” or “guaranteed” used in conjunction with an investment, it’s a red flag. All investments, including annuities, have costs associated with them. You need to ask some probing questions about those costs before proceeding.

Fixed Annuity Example

Let’s look at the costs for one popular type of annuity, the fixed annuity. This simply gives you a stated rate of return that often can change annually, similar to a bank certificate of deposit.

Suppose Investor A is sold a fixed annuity with a guaranteed return of 3.5%. Investor B invests her money in a plain vanilla portfolio of mutual funds holding 60% stocks and 40% bonds, which has a long-term projected return of 6%.

The insurance company selling the annuity must earn enough of a return on Investor A’s money to cover their expenses, pay commissions, and return something to Investor A. There is no magic formula on how that’s done. The insurance company invests the money in the same asset classes available to anyone. For the sake of this example, it’s reasonable to assume the insurance company would hold the same 60/40 portfolio as Investor B.

The annuity incurs internal costs for administration, managing the money, insuring the return of principal, and commissions paid to salespeople. While these vary somewhat from company to company, a cost of 2.5% isn’t unreasonable.

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business-insurance

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If the company earns 6% and deducts 1% to recoup the upfront commission paid to the salesperson, 1.0% for management costs, and 0.5% for administrative fees, they pay out the remainder as a “fixed” return of 3.5%. Investor A only sees that 3.5% fixed return. If Investor A wants out of the policy before the cost of the up-front commission is fully recovered (usually 4 to 15 years), he will also incur a “surrender penalty” that is approximately equal to the remaining amount of commission paid to the broker selling the policy.

Investor B’s 60/40 portfolio will have the same 6% gross return as the insurance company’s portfolio. If Investor B purchases index funds from a company like Vanguard, her costs could be as low as 0.10%, leaving her a return of 5.9%.

Suppose Investors A and B each accumulates $1 million in retirement funds. The difference between Investor A’s guaranteed 3.5% return and Investor B’s average and unguaranteed 5.9% return is potentially an extra $2,000 a month in retirement income. Guarantees come with a cost.

Why Bother?

Given these numbers, you may wonder why anyone would purchase a fixed annuity? Why bother?

One reason is that many buyers don’t have the confidence that they can invest the money wisely or the stomach to watch the portfolio’s inevitable peaks and valleys.

Another reason is that most buyers don’t fully understand the costs.

Assessment

Unlike stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, most annuities are sold, not bought. I have never had a new client who independently purchased a no-load annuity. The annuities I typically see were sold by someone who received a commission. Commissions are not inherently bad, but in most cases they do inherently create a conflict of interest.

There are always fees associated with any investment. In my experience, the less transparent those fees are, the higher they are.

More:

Even More:

Conclusion

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Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)

PODCAST: About the Mathematical WOLFRAM ALPHA Computational Knowledge Engine

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What it is – How it works

SMART CONTRACTS

[By Staff Reporters]

Wolfram Alpha is an online mathematical search engine launched in March 2009 and developed by Stephen Wolfram. It seeks to answer factual queries directly by computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of web pages that might contain the answer.

In this way, WA differs from traditional semantic search engines, which index a large number of answers and then try to match the question to one. Wolfram Alpha has many parallels with Cyc, a project aimed since the 1980s at developing a common-sense inference engine. Wolfram Alpha is built on Wolfram’s earlier flagship product, Mathematica, which encompasses computer algebra, symbolic and numerical computation, visualization, and statistics capabilities.

With Mathematica running in the background, WA is suited to answer mathematical questions. The answer usually presents a human-readable solution.

Link: http://www.wolframalpha.com/

Technology

Wolfram Alpha is written in about 5 million lines of Mathematica (using webMathematica and gridMathematica) code and runs on 10,000 CPUs. As well as being a web site, Wolfram Alpha provides an API (for a fee) that delivers computational answers to other applications. One such application is the Bing search engine.

Capabilities

As an example, one can input the name of a website, and it will return relevant information about the site, including its location, site rank, number of visitors and more. The database currently includes hundreds of datasets, including current and historical weather, drug data, star charts, currency conversion, and many others. The datasets have been accumulated over approximately two years, and are expected to continue to grow. The range of questions that can be answered is also expected to grow with the expansion of the datasets.

Audio: http://www.wolframalpha.com/screencast/introducingwolframalpha.html

Utility and Usefulness

Wolfram Alpha is ideal for use by all readers and subscribers of the ME-P. It may be used by doctors, nurses, financial advisors and insurance agents, economists, mathematicians, editors, and publishers, teachers and students of all academic levels. The graphical nature of output is particularly helpful.

Assessment

Wolfram Alpha has received mixed reviews, to date. Advocates point to its potential, some even stating that how it determines output result is more important than current usefulness.

Note: Info courtesy wikipedia.org

PODCAST: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=stephen+wolfram&docid=608027542444182789&mid=7432EA16AEF1CDF4FCDD7432EA16AEF1CDF4FCDD&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Give Wolfram Alpha a click, listen to the audio-cast, and tell us what you think. 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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PODCAST: Dental Insurance Doesn’t Exist?

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Don’t be Fooled?

By D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

1-darrellpruittDowney, California dentist John McCallister DDS has produced a splendid video which blows apart myths which keep dental “insurance” companies in business.

The more appropriately called, “discount dentistry brokers” – who casually hide dentists’ concerns – simply cannot survive transparency.

The Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPo4XsYhHPk&feature=youtu.be

Quality?

Let’s face it. Purchasing rushed dental work which Delta Dental discounts more than 30% – or even faster dentistry that is discounted up to 65% by Brighter.com – will always be a foolish investment in one’s health simply because managed care dentistry has NO QUALITY CONTROL.

What’s more, neither Steve Olson, CEO of Delta, nor Brighter.com CEO Jake Winebaum can ever be held accountable for the shoddy work they sell.

Share the Cartoon

The Hippocratic thing to do, Doc, is to share Dr. McCallister’s cartoon with everyone.

As for me, I especially look forward to publicly taunting Delta Dental Insurance Company through @DeltaDentalins on Twitter, as well as CEO Jake Winebaum via @Brighter.com.

Jake blocked me from following @Brighter.com years ago after I asked him about Brighter.com’s quality control measures (There are none. Isn’t that right, Jake?)

Assessment

I pick on Delta Dental and Brighter.com not just because they are unresponsive to dentists’ concerns, but Steve Olsen and Jake Winebaum run the two most harmful examples of sleazy discount dentistry businesses.

Conclusion

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INSURANCE: Risk Management and Insurance Strategies for Physicians and Advisors

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PODCAST: Primary Care Innovation at Scale [ChenMed]

By Eric Bricker MD

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DICTIONARY: https://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Health-Information-Technology-Security/dp/0826149952/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254413315&sr=1-5

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New Medical Informed Consent Dilemma

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Emerging Problems

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]dem21

According to the Dictionary of Health Insurance and Managed Care, informed consent is the oral and written communication process between a patient and physician that results in the agreement to undergo a particular procedure, surgical intervention or medical treatment.

Unfortunately, a lack of standardization surrounding this process represents a major risk for patients and surgeons, and may lead to inaccurate patient expectations, lost or incomplete consent forms, missing encounter documentation and delays in critical surgeries and procedures.

History: Render S. Davis of Emory University [2008 recipient of the Health Care Ethics Consortium’s Heroes in Healthcare Ethics Award] writes for us in the Business of Medical Practice www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com that the concept of informed consent is rooted in medical ethics and codified as a legal principle. It is based on the assertion that a competent person has the right to determine what is done to him or her [self-regulated autonomy].

Rationale: The American Medical Association recommends that its members disclose and discuss the following with their patients:  

  • The patient’s diagnosis, if known,
  • The nature and purpose of a proposed treatment or procedure,
  • The risks and benefits of a proposed treatment or procedure,
  • Alternatives (regardless of cost or health insurance coverage),
  • The risks and benefits of the alternative treatments and,
  • The risks and benefits of not the procedure.

The requirements for informed consent are spelled out in statutes and case law in all 50 states. It is a necessary protocol for all hospitals, medical clinics, podiatry practices and ASCs.

Inadequacy of Traditional Consent Forms-to-Date

The typical informed consent process, particularly one that relies solely on traditional generic consent forms, is often inadequate, incomplete or offers the potential for not fully explaining and documenting a particular procedure to a given patient. 

Traditional consent forms are subject to errors and omissions, such as missing signatures (patient, provider or witness), missing procedure(s), and missing dates that place the validity of consent at risk. Lost or misplaced forms may result in delayed or postponed procedures often at the expensive of costly operating room time. Moreover, far too many forms are generic in nature and wholly unsuited for a specific patient or increasingly sophisticated medical procedure.

Patient Safety Background

According to the Institute of Medicine’s [IOM] repot, To Err is Human, more than 1 million injuries and nearly 100,000 deaths occur annually in the United States due to mistakes in medical care. Wrong patient, wrong-side, wrong-procedure and wrong-toe surgery are particularly egregious. In fact, these are among several other “never-events” that Medicare, and an increasing number of private insurance companies are refusing to reimburse.

Based on the need to make healthcare safer, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) undertook a study to identify patient safety issues and develop recommendations for “best practices”.

AHRQ Evidence Report

The AHRQ report identified the challenge of addressing shortcomings such as missed, incomplete or not fully comprehended informed consent, as a significant patient safety opportunity for improvement.

The authors of the AHRQ report hypothesized that better informed patients “are less likely to experience errors by acting as another layer of protection.” And, the AHRQ study ranked a more interactive informed consent process among the top 11 practices supporting more widespread implementation.

General Accounting Office report found that malpractice insurance premiums were relatively flat for most of the 1990’s, but projections began to increase dramatically to 2010.

Results of Improper Informed Consent

Failure to obtain adequate informed consent, depending on state law, may place surgeons, resident, fellows, ambulatory and office surgery centers, medical clinics and hospitals at risk for litigation ranging from medical negligence to assault and battery.

Proceedings Involving Informed Consent

Informed consent is often a factor in medical malpractice litigation. Some attorneys note that physicians are liable, and that plaintiffs may be able to recover damages, in cases involving improper informed consent, even if the procedure is successful. Inadequate informed consent is often cited as a secondary cause in malpractice complaints and anecdotal evidence suggests this strategy may be especially pursued in podiatric malpractices cases.

Avoiding Litigation

The AMA advises its membership of the following regarding informed consent:  

“To protect yourself in litigation, in addition to carrying adequate liability insurance, it is important that the communications process itself be documented. Good documentation can serve as evidence in a court of the law that the process indeed took place. A timely and thorough documentation in the patient’s chart by the physician providing the treatment and/or performing the procedure can be a strong piece of evidence that the physician engaged the patient in an appropriate discussion.”

Impact of Comprehensive Informed Consent Forms

Another study found that providing informed consent information to patients in written form increased comprehension of the procedure. It was also hypothesized that: 

  • Better informed patients are more compliant with medical advice and recover faster.
  • Informed consent discussions strengthen physician-patient relationships and increase patients’ confidence in their doctor.
  • Well informed patients are more engaged in their own care, and are thus less likely to experience surgical errors than more passive, or less informed patients. 

Medical Ethics

The ethical foundation of informed consent is based on the creation of an environment that supports respect for patients and protects their right to autonomous, informed participation in all collaborative Healthcare 2.0 decisions. 

Assessment 

Thus, the essence of the informed consent problems of modern medicine today!

More: http://www.ePodiatryConsentForms.com 

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Conclusion

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New Wave FIN-TECH Business Models?

FINANCIAL SERVICES:

New business models and big opportunities

By MIT Technology Review

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Courtesy: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

The financial services industry is turning to bold initiatives to propel from pandemic response to business growth. And, among financial services institutions, 62% are looking to ramp up tech investments, and another 62% expect to move IT and business functions to the cloud, compared with 46% across industries.

For example, in a recent report, Nucleus Research found that cloud deployments deliver four times the return on investment as on-premises deployments do.

Link: https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/04/29/1023266/new-business-models-big-opportunity-financial-services/?mc_cid=3ae91e4c2b&mc_eid=72aee829ad

INDUSTRY RELATED: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2014/09/24/is-the-financial-services-industry-all-fed-up/

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IMHO @TeamCigna Should Treat their Dentists Better!

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By Darrell Pruitt DDS

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“How Is The Market Feeling About Cigna?” Spoiler – According to Benzinga insights, the market is not optimistic about Cigna’s future. Neither am I. But then, I’m only their clients’ dentist.

Link: https://www.benzinga.com/short-sellers/22/06/27888029/how-is-the-market-feeling-about-cigna

Tomorrow is my last day as a Cigna Preferred Provider .. Never Again!

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Of Financial Certifications and Designations

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The “Too Numerous to Count” Syndrome

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

Dr. MarcinkoThe following list of certifications enumerates only a partial exposure of the often nebulous field of “financial planning credentials” that presently exist in the market place. 

Good … and Not So

Some of these professional designations are awarded to individuals in the financial planning or financial “advisory” space after [some] diligent study and [often not so] arduous testing; others not so.

Disclaimer: I am a reformed Certified Financial Planner®, Series 7 [stock-broker], 63 and 65 license holder, and RIA representative who also held all applicable insurance and security licenses.

The individuals hold not only proper education [some only reguire a HS diploma or GED] as evidenced by the credential; the holders are often people of ethics [hopefully] and competence [usually]. But, not all credentials are the same. Some credentialing bodies have higher educational requirements that also require years of experience and a thorough background search. Others are awarded after only a few hours of study and, most all, remain non-fiduciary in nature.

Too Many To Count – Syndrome

In medicine, the abbreviation TNTC is well known. Sometime, I think this term is better applicable to the plethora of “credentials” in the financial services industry.

dhimc-book1

The Designation Line-up

A brief description for some of these financial designations [not degrees] follows:

  • AAMS – Accredited Asset Management Specialist
  • AEP – Accredited Estate Planner
  • AFC – Accredited Financial Counselor
  • AIF – Accredited Investment Fiduciary
  • AIFA – Accredited Investment Fiduciary Auditor
  • APP – Asset Protection Planner
  • BCA – Board Certified in Annuities
  • BCAA – Board Certified in Asset Allocation
  • BCE – Board Certified in Estate Planning
  • BCM – Board Certified in Mutual Funds
  • BCS – Board Certified in Securities
  • C3DWP – 3 Dimensional Wealth Practitioners
  • CAA – Certified Annuity Advisor
  • CAC – Certified Annuity Consultant
  • CAIA – Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst
  • CAM – Chartered Asset Manager
  • CAS – Chartered Annuity Specialist
  • CCPS – Certified College Planning Specialist
  • CDFA – Certified Divorce Financial Analyst
  • CEA – Certified Estate Advisor
  • CEBS – Certified Employee Benefit Specialist
  • CEP – Certified Estate Planner
  • CEPP – Chartered Estate Planning Practitioner
  • CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst
  • CFE – Certified Financial Educator
  • CFG – Certified Financial Gerontologist
  • CFP – Certified Financial Planner
  • CFPN – Christian Financial Professionals Network 
  • CFS – Certified Fund Specialist
  • CIC – Chartered Investment Counselor
  • CIMA – Certified Investment Analyst
  • CIMC – Certified Investment Management Consultant
  • CLTC – Certified in Long Term Care
  • CMFC – Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor
  • CMP – Certified Medical Planner™
  • CPC – Certified Pension Consultant
  • CPHQ – Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality
  • CPHQ – Certified Physician in Healthcare Quality
  • CPM – Chartered Portfolio Manager
  • CRA – Certified Retirement Administrator
  • CRC – Certified Retirement Counselor
  • CRFA – Certified Retirement Financial Advisor
  • CRP – Certified Risk Professional
  • CRPC – Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor
  • CRPS – Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist
  • CSA – Certified Senior Advisor
  • CSC – Certified Senior Consultant
  • CSFP – Certified Senior Financial Planner
  • CSS – Certified Senior Specialist
  • CTEP – Chartered Trust and Estate Planner
  • CTFA – Certified Trust and Financial Advisor
  • CWC – Certified Wealth Counselor
  • CWM – Chartered Wealth Manager
  • CWPP – Certified Wealth Preservation Planner
  • ECS –  Elder Care Specialist
  • FAD – financial Analyst Designate
  • FIC – Fraternal Insurance Counselor
  • FLMI – Fellow Life Management Institute
  • FRM – Financial Risk Manager
  • FSS – Financial Services Specialist
  • LIFA – Licensed Insurance Financial Analyst
  • MFP – Master Financial Professional
  • MSFS – Masters of Science Financial Service Degree
  • PFS – Personal Financial Specialist
  • PPC – Professional Plan Consultant
  • QFP – Qualified Financial Planner
  • REBC – Registered Employee Benefits Consultant
  • RFA – Registered Financial Associate
  • RFC – Registered Financial Consultant
  • RFG – Registered Financial Gerontologist
  • RFP – Registered Financial Planner
  • RFS – Registered Financial Specialist
  • RHU – Registered Health Underwriter
  • RPA – Registered Plans Associate
  • WMS – Wealth Management Specialist

This list is intentionally incomplete and it is not intended to be an endorsement of any credential by the Institute of Medical Business Advisors, Inc www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

Alphabet Soup

Obviously, these “professional” designations spread across multiple industries. For example there is an alphabet of designations in the brokerage and securities field, another alphabet in the insurance industry and within the insurance industry, designations exist for those who meet face to face with prospective customers, another for those who provide client service and yet another in underwriting the various insurance products. Certainly when the designations are complied in a list such as that above, they present a dizzying array of apparent qualifications.

Assessment

While in general, education for the financial service [and medical] professional is good for everybody, there are certain things that you should do as proper due diligence to protect your family and your financial assets. What are they?

Disclaimer: I am also founder of the Certified Medical Planner™ online educational program in health economics for financial advisors and medical management consultants. www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Conclusion

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RECAST: An Interview with Fiduciary Bennett Aikin AIF®

On Financial Fiduciary Accountability

[By Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA CMP™]

[By Ann Miller; RN, MHA]

Currently, there is a growing dilemma in the financial sales and services industry. It goes something like this:

  • What is a financial fiduciary?
  • Who is a financial fiduciary?
  • How can I tell if my financial advisor is a fiduciary?

Now, in as much as this controversy affects laymen and physician-investors alike, we went right to the source for up-to-date information regarding this often contentious topic, for an email interview and Q-A session, with Ben Aikin.ben-aikin

About Bennett Aikin AIF® and fi360.com

Bennett [Ben] Aikin is the Communications Coordinator for fi360.com. He oversees all communications for fi360. His responsibilities include messaging, brand management, copyrights and trademarks, and publications. Mr. Aikin received his BA in English from Virginia Tech in 2003 and is currently an MS candidate in Journalism from Ohio University.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

You have been very helpful and gracious to us. So, let’s get right to it, Ben. In the view of many; attorneys, doctors, CPAs and the clergy are fiduciaries; most all others who retain this title seem poseurs; sans documentation otherwise.

A. Mr. Aikin

You are correct. Attorneys, doctors and clergy are the prototype fiduciaries. They have a clear duty to put the best interests of their clients, patients, congregation, etc., above their own. [The duty of a CPA isn’t as clear to me, although I believe you are correct]. Furthermore, this is one of the first topics we address in our AIF training programs, and what we call the difference between a profession and an industry.  The three professions you name have three common characteristics that elevate them from an industry to a profession:

  1. Recognized body of knowledge
  2. Society depends upon practitioners to provide trustworthy advice
  3. Code of conduct that places the clients’ best interests first

Q. Medical Executive Post 

It seems that Certified Financial Planner®, Chartered Financial Analysts, Registered Investment Advisors and their representatives, Registered Representative [stock-brokers] and AIF® holders, etc, are not really financial fiduciaries, either by legal statute or organizational charter. Are we correct, or not? Of course, we are not talking ethics or morality here. That’s for the theologians to discuss.

A. Mr. Aikin

One of the reasons for the “alphabet soup”, as you put it in one of your white papers [books, dictionaries and posts] on financial designations, is that while there is a large body of knowledge, there is no one recognized body of knowledge that one must acquire to enter the financial services industry.  The different designations serve to provide a distinguisher for how much and what parts of that body of knowledge you do possess.  However, being a fiduciary is exclusively a matter of function. 

In other words, regardless of what designations are held, there are five things that will make one a fiduciary in a given relationship:

  1. You are “named” in plan or trust documents; the appointment can be by “name” or by “title,” such as CFO or Head of Human Resources
  2. You are serving as a trustee; often times this applies to directed trustees as well
  3. Your function or role equates to a professional providing comprehensive and continuous investment advice
  4. You have discretion to buy or sell investable assets
  5. You are a corporate officer or director who has authority to appoint other fiduciaries

So, if you are a fiduciary according to one of these definitions, you can be held accountable for a breach in fiduciary duty, regardless of any expertise you do, or do not have. This underscores the critical nature of understanding the fiduciary standard and delegating certain duties to qualified “professionals” who can fulfill the parts of the process that a non-qualified fiduciary cannot.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

How about some of the specific designations mentioned on our site, and elsewhere. I believe that you may be familiar with the well-known financial planner, Ed Morrow, who often opines that there are more than 98 of these “designations”? In fact, he is the founder of the Registered Financial Consultants [RFC] designation. And, he wrote a Foreword for one of our e-books; back-in-the-day. His son, an attorney, also wrote as a tax expert for us, as well. So, what gives?

A. Mr. Aikin

As for the specific designations you list above, and elsewhere, they each signify something different that may, or may not, lend itself to being a fiduciary: For example:

• CFP®: The act of financial planning does very much imply fiduciary responsibility.  And, the recently updated CFP® rules of conduct does now include a fiduciary mandate:

• 1.4 A certificant shall at all times place the interest of the client ahead of his or her own. When the certificant provides financial planning or material elements of the financial planning process, the certificant owes to the client the duty of care of a fiduciary as defined by CFP Board. [from http://www.cfp.net/Downloads/2008Standards.pdf]

•  CFA: Very dependent on what work the individual is doing.  Their code of ethics does have a provision to place the interests of clients above their own and their Standards of Practice handbook makes clear that when they are working in a fiduciary capacity that they understand and abide by the legally mandated fiduciary standard.

• FA [Financial Advisor]: This is a generic term that you may find being used by a non-fiduciary, such as a broker, or a fiduciary, such as an RIA.

• RIA: Are fiduciaries.  Registered Investment Advisors are registered with the SEC and have obligations under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to provide services that meet a fiduciary standard of care.

• RR: Registered Reps, or stock-brokers, are not fiduciaries if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing.  If they give investment advice that crosses the line into “comprehensive and continuous investment advice” (see above), their function would make them a fiduciary and they would be subject to meeting a fiduciary standard in that advice (even though they may not be properly registered to give advice as an RIA).

• AIF designees: Have received training on a process that meets, and in some places exceeds, the fiduciary standard of care.  We do not require an AIF® to always function as a fiduciary. For example, we allow registered reps to gain and use the AIF® designation. In many cases, AIF designees are acting as fiduciaries, and the designation is an indicator that they have the full understanding of what that really means in terms of the level of service they provide.  We do expect our designees to clearly disclose whether they accept fiduciary responsibility for their services or not and advocate such disclosure for all financial service representatives.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

Your website, http://www.fi360.com, seems to suggest, for example, that banks/bankers are fiduciaries. We have found this not to be the case, of course, as they work for the best interests of the bank and stockholders. What definitional understanding are we missing?

A. Mr. Aikin

Banks cannot generally be considered fiduciaries.  Again, it is a matter of function. A bank may be a named trustee, in which case a fiduciary standard would generally apply.  Banks that sell products are doing so according to their governing regulations and are “prudent experts” under ERISA, but not necessarily held to a fiduciary standard in any broader sense.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

And so, how do we rectify the [seemingly intentional] industry obfuscation on this topic. We mean, our readers, subscribers, book and dictionary purchasers, clients and colleagues are all confused on this topic. The recent financial meltdown only stresses the importance of understanding same.

For example, everyone in the industry seems to say they are the “f” word. But, our outreach efforts to contact traditional “financial services” industry pundits, CFP® practitioners and other certification organizations are continually met with resounding silence; or worse yet; they offer an abundance of parsed words and obfuscation but no confirming paperwork, or deep subject-matter knowledge as you have kindly done. We get the impression that some FAs honesty do-not have a clue; while others are intentionally vague.

A. Mr. Aikin

All of the evidence you cite is correct.  But that does not mean it is impossible to find an investment advisor who will manage to a fiduciary standard of care and acknowledge the same. The best way to rectify confusion as it pertains to choosing appropriate investment professionals is to get fiduciary status acknowledged in writing and go over with them all of the necessary steps in a fiduciary process to ensure they are being fulfilled. There also are great resources out there for understanding the fiduciary process and for choosing professionals, such as the Department of Labor, the SEC, FINRA, the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning division, the Financial Planning Association, and, of course, Fiduciary360.

We realize the confusion this must cause to those coming from the health care arena, where MD/DO clearly defines the individual in question; as do other degrees [optometrist, clinical psychologist, podiatrist, etc] and medical designations [fellow, board certification, etc.]. But, unfortunately, it is the state of the financial services industry as it stands now.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

It is as confusing for the medical community, as it is for the lay community. And, after some research, we believe retail financial services industry participants are also confused. So, what is the bottom line?

A. Mr. Aikin

The bottom line is that lay, physician and all clients have a right to expect and demand a fiduciary standard of care in the managing of investments. And, there are qualified professionals out there who are providing those services.  Again, the best way to ensure you are getting it is to have fiduciary status acknowledged in writing, and go over the necessary steps in a fiduciary process with them to ensure it is being fulfilled.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

The “parole-evidence” rule, of contract law, applies, right? In dealing with medical liability situations, the medics and malpractice attorneys have a rule: “if it wasn’t written down, it didn’t happen.”  

A. Mr. Aikin

An engagement contract accepting fiduciary status should trump a subsequent attempt to claim the fiduciary standard didn’t apply. But, to reiterate an earlier point, if someone acts in one of the five functional fiduciary roles, they are a fiduciary whether they choose to acknowledge it or not.  I have attached a sample acknowledgement of fiduciary status letter with copies of our handbook, which details the fiduciary process we instruct in our programs, and our SAFE, which is basically a checklist that a fiduciary should be able to answer “Yes” to every question to ensure the entire fiduciary process is being covered.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

It is curious that you mention checklists. We have a post arguing that very theme for doctors and hospitals as they pursue their medial error reduction, and quality improvement, endeavors. And, we applaud your integrity, and wish only for clarification on this simple fiduciary query?

A. Mr. Aikin

Simple definition: A fiduciary is someone who is managing the assets of another person and stands in a special relationship of trust, confidence, and/or legal responsibility.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

Who is a financial fiduciary and what, if any, financial designation indicates same?

A. Mr. Aikin

Functional definition: See above for the five items that make you a fiduciary.

Financial designations that unequivocally indicate fiduciary duty: Short answer is none, only function can determine who is a fiduciary. 

Q. Medical Executive Post 

Please repeat that?

A. Mr. Aikin

Financial designations that indicate fiduciary duty: none. It is the function that determines who is a fiduciary.  Now, having said that, the CFP® certification comes close by demanding their certificants who are engaged in financial planning do so to a fiduciary standard. Similarly, other designations may certify the holder’s ability to perform a role that would be held to a fiduciary standard of care.  The point is that you are owed a fiduciary standard of care when you engage a professional to fill that role or they functionally become one.  And, if you engage a professional to fill a non-fiduciary role, they will not be held to a fiduciary standard simply because they have a particular designation.  One of the purposes the designations serve is to inform you what roles the designation holder is capable of fulfilling.

It is also worth keeping in mind that just being a fiduciary doesn’t equate to a full knowledge of the fiduciary standard. The AIF® designation indicates having been fully trained on the standard.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

Yes, your website mentions something about fiduciaries that are not aware of same! How can this be? Since our business model mimics a medical model, isn’t that like saying “the doctor doesn’t know he is doctor?” Very specious, with all due respect!

A. Mr. Aikin

I think it is first important to note that this statement is referring not just to investment professionals.  Part of the audience fi360 serves is investment stewards, the non-professionals who, due to facts and circumstances, still owe a fiduciary duty to another.  Examples of this include investment committee members, trustees to a foundation, small business owners who start 401k plans, etc.  This is a group of non-sophisticated investors who may not be aware of the full array of responsibilities they have. 

However, even on the professional side I believe the statement isn’t as absurd as it sounds.  This is basically a protection from both ignorant and unscrupulous professionals.  Imagine a registered representative who, either through ignorance or design, begins offering comprehensive and continuous investment advice.  Though they may deny or be unaware of the fact, they have opened themselves up to fiduciary liability. 

Q. Medical Executive Post 

Please clarify the use of arbitration clauses in brokerage account contracts for us. Do these disclaim fiduciary responsibility? If so, does the client even know same?

A. Mr. Aikin

By definition, an engagement with a broker is a non-fiduciary relationship.  So, unless other services beyond the scope of a typical brokerage account contract are specified, fiduciary responsibility is inherently not applicable.  Unfortunately, I do imagine there are clients who don’t understand this. Furthermore, AIF® designees are not prohibited from signing such an agreement and there are some important points to understand the reasoning.

First, by definition, if you are entering into such an agreement, you are entering into a non-fiduciary relationship. So, any fiduciary requirement wouldn’t apply in this scenario.

Second, if this same question were applied into a scenario of a fiduciary relationship, such as with an RIA, this would be a method of dispute resolution, not a practice method. So, in the event of dispute, the advisor and investor would be free to agree to the method of resolution of their choosing. In this scenario, however, typically the method would not be discussed until the dispute itself arose.

Finally, it is important to know that AIF/AIFA designees are not required to be a fiduciary. It is symbolic of the individuals training, knowledge and ongoing development in fiduciary processes, but does not mean they will always be acting as a fiduciary.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

Don’t the vast majority of arbitration hearings find in favor of the FA; as the arbitrators are insiders, often paid by the very same industry itself?

A. Mr. Aikin

Actual percentages are reported here: http://www.finra.org/ArbitrationMediation/AboutFINRADR/Statistics/index.htm However, brokerage arbitration agreements are a dispute resolution method for disputes that arise within the context of the securities brokerage industry and are not the only means of resolving differences for all types of financial advisors.  Investment advisers, for example, are subject to respond to disputes in a variety of forums including state and federal courts.  Clients should look at their brokerage or advisory agreement to see what they have agreed to. If you wanted to go into further depth on this question, we would recommend contacting Brian Hamburger, who is a lawyer with experience in this area and an AIFA designee. Bio page: http://www.hamburgerlaw.com/attorneys/BSH.htm.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

What about our related Certified Medical Planner® designation, and online educational program for financial advisors and medical management consultants? Is it a good idea – reasonable – for the sponsor to demand fiduciary accountability of these charter-holders? Cleary, this would not only be a strategic competitive advantage, but advance the CMP™ mission to put medical colleagues first and champion their cause www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org above all else. 

A. Mr. Aikin

I think it is a good idea for any plan sponsor to demand fiduciary status be acknowledged from anyone engaged to provide comprehensive and continuous investment advice.  I also think it is a good idea to be proactive in verifying that the fiduciary process is being followed.

Q. Medical Executive Post 

Is there anything else that we should know about this topic?

A. Mr. Aikin

Yes, a further note about fi360’s standards. I wrote generically about the fiduciary standard, because there is one that is defined by multiple sources of regulation, legislation and case law.  The process defined in our handbooks, we call a Fiduciary Standard of Excellence, because it covers that minimum standard and also best practice standards that go above and beyond.  All of our Practices, which comprise that standard, are legally substantiated in our Legal Memoranda handbook, which was written by Fred Reish’s law firm, who is considered a leading ERISA attorney.

Additional resources:

Q. Medical Executive Post 

Thank you so much for your knowledge and willingness to frankly share it with the Medical-Executive-Post.

Assessment

All are invited to continue the conversation with Mr. Aikin, asynchronously online, or thru this contact information:

fi360.com
438 Division Street
Sewickley, PA 15143
412-741-8140 Phone
866-390-5080 Toll-free phone
412-741-8142 Fax

Conclusion

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.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

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

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

LEXICONS: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko
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ADVISORS: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org
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Term Life Insurance Can Protect [Physician] Retirement Plan Contributions

Term Life Insurance Can Protect Retirement Plan Contributions

By Rick Kahler CFP®

Some of the typical reasons for life insurance are to replace a breadwinner’s salary, pay off large debts, and pay estate taxes. Another reason to carry life insurance—if it’s the right kind—can be to fund a retirement plan.

Illustration

To illustrate, let’s imagine a couple, both 55, with two grown children, two good jobs, and no debts. They began funding their retirement only recently. Leigh’s entire salary of $124,000 a year goes into company retirement plan options: $64,000 into the 401(k) and profit sharing plan and $60,000 into the Cash Balance plan. The couple lives on Mischa’s salary of $60,000 a year.

Their financial planner has calculated that in 10 years they will have a good chance of having $1,500,000 saved in retirement plans. This amount will allow both of them to retire, continue to live on $60,000 a year for the rest of their lives, and have enough to fund long-term care for one of them or leave a nice inheritance to their kids.

The death, disability, or loss of a job of either of them is not a threat to their current lifestyle. However, it is a threat to their retirement plan. And the loss of Leigh’s job is the biggest threat. While finding a new job that would allow retirement plan contributions to resume is possible, it is not guaranteed.

Nothing can be done to insure against the loss of a job, but there are ways insurance could help protect this couple. They could purchase disability insurance to replace 60% of the income of either partner. This would allow them to still make a reduced contribution to their retirement plan.

Premature Death

But what happens if either of them should die prematurely, especially Leigh? It’s doubtful Mischa could cut expenses enough to put anything significant toward retirement, instead having to work as long as possible and then rely heavily on Social Security.

This a where a 10-year term life insurance policy on Leigh would make a significant difference. If they purchased a $1,000,000 term policy on Leigh now, the premium (for a nonsmoker in good health) would be around $1200 annually. Should Leigh die this year, if Mischa invested the insurance payment it would have a high probability of growing to $1,500,000 in ten years. This would allow Mischa to retire comfortably.

However, the older Leigh and Mischa get, the less they need the insurance. If Leigh died in the fifth year of the policy, the five years of savings plus the insurance proceeds would accrue more than $2,000,000 over the following five years.

One cost-saving strategy would be to buy two $500,000 10-year term policies and drop one after five years. This would still provide for a total of around $1,500,000 in retirement funds for Mischa by age 65 if Leigh should die before that time.

***
 ***

If you proposed this plan to a life insurance agent, they might suggest putting Leigh’s salary into a cash value policy instead of buying term.

Let’s look at that

Contributing $124,000 into the retirement plan saves $24,000 a year in income taxes, so only $100,000 a year would be available to buy insurance. This amount would cover a policy with a $1.9 million death benefit and a cash value guaranteed to grow to $1,036,328 in 10 years. Given the extra tax payments, plus premium costs of $1 million over 10 years, that’s not a good investment for our couple. The commission of $72,500 makes it a great investment for the salesperson, though.

Assessment

Besides, in this circumstance, life insurance is not meant as an investment. It is an affordable way to replace the income that covers Leigh’s retirement contribution. 

Conclusion

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.

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.

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MORE FOR DOCTORS:

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“Fiduciary Financial Planning for Physicians” https://tinyurl.com/y7f5pnox

“Business of Medical Practice 2.0” https://tinyurl.com/yb3x6wr8

THANK YOU

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About Digital Estate Assets

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[By Staff Reporters]

Digital Messages for Loved Ones From Beyond the Grave

***

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there.
And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life.
It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.
Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
[Steve Jobs]
***

skeleton-jpeg

[What it is –  How it works?]

Life Continues when you pass away

> Ensure your presence – be there when it counts
> Leave messages for your loved ones – for FREE !
> Store for FREE digital assets in designated safes

Learn more: Death in the Digital Age

***

[PHYSICIAN FOCUSED FINANCIAL PLANNING, INSURANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT COMPANION TEXTBOOK SET]

  Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™ Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

***

Additional Disability Insurance Taxation for Medical Executives and Entrepreneurs

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Additional Disability Insurance for Practice Owners and Physician Executives 

By Perry D’Alessio CPA

perry-dalessio-cpa

Some medical clinics, hospitals, health care employers and other business entities may offer disability insurance to their employees on a group basis as part of an employee benefit program. This is a good thing.

The expense for this coverage is typically deducted as an ordinary and necessary expense by the employer entity.

Additional DI

However, many entities also purchase additional disability insurance for the owners and executives; etc. This additional disability insurance expense should not be deducted on the entity’s tax return for two reasons.

  1. First, it would probably be considered a discriminatory benefit to the owners and, therefore, not be allowed as a deduction anyway.
  2. Second, and more importantly, when a person becomes disabled and qualifies for disability benefits whose premiums have been deducted as a business expense by the entity, the disability insurance proceeds are considered taxable income to the person receiving them.

A Catastrophe

This can be personally catastrophic since disability insurance covers only a portion (approximately 60 percent) of regular earnings. The coverage was designed to be paid on an after tax basis. The benefits would be tax free to the beneficiary and would be close to the disabled person’s net take home pay before being disabled.

***

BandagesX

***

Assessment

Here is one of those instances where the traditional tax planning thought process is overridden by a long term (potential) tax cost / benefit decision.

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Conclusion

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.

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

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

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MEDICAL PRACTICE: Business Uses of Life Insurance for Doctors

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[A] Key Person Insurance

Hospitals, a local family practice office, a pharmaceutical company, all likely have one thing in common. Somewhere within these companies or partnerships, there are key employees or profit makers. Due to their expertise, management skills, knowledge, or “history of why,” they have become indispensable to their employers.

If this key employee were to die prematurely, what would potentially happen to the company?  In many cases, especially in smaller companies, it would have a devastating effect on the bottom line, or even precipitate a bankruptcy. In these circumstances, a form of business insurance, called key person coverage, is recommended in order to alleviate the potential financial problems resulting from the death of that employee.

The business would purchase and own a life insurance policy on the key person. Upon the death of the employee, the life insurance proceeds could be used to:

  • Pay off bank loans.
  • Replace the lost profits of the company.
  • Establish a reserve for the search, hiring and training of a replacement.

[B] Business Continuation Funding

See the chapters on buy-sell agreements and asset protection planning.

[C] Executive Bonus Plan

An executive bonus plan (or § 162 plan) is an effective way for a company to provide valued, select employees an additional employment benefit.  One of the main advantages to an executive bonus plan, when compared to other benefits, is its simplicity. In a typical executive bonus plan, an agreement is made between the employer and employee, whereby the employer agrees to pay for the cost of a life insurance policy, in the form of a bonus, on the life of the employee.

The major benefits of such a plan to the employee are that he or she is the immediate owner of the cash values and the death benefit provided.  The only cost to the employee is the payment of income tax on any bonus received.  The employer receives a tax deduction for providing the benefit, improves the morale of its selected employees, and can use the plan as a tool to attract additional talent.

[D] Non-Qualified Salary Continuation

Commonly referred to as deferred compensation, this is a legally binding promise by an employer to pay a salary continuation benefit at a specific point in the future, in exchange for the current and continued performance of its employee.  These plans are normally used to supplement existing retirement plans.

Although there are different variations of deferred compensation, in a typical deferred compensation agreement, the employer will purchase and own a life insurance policy on the life of the employee. The cash value of the policy grows tax deferred during the employee’s working years. After retirement, these cash values can be withdrawn from the policy to reimburse the company for its after-tax retirement payments to the employee. 

Upon the death of the employee, any remaining death benefit would likely be received income tax free by the employer (Alternative Minimum Taxes could apply to any benefit received by certain larger C corporations).  The death benefit could then be used to pay any required survivor benefits to the employee’s spouse, or provide partial or total cost recovery to the employer.

In a typical plan, the terms of the agreement are negotiated as to the amount of benefit received by the employee, when retirement benefits can begin, how long retirement benefits will be paid, and if benefits will be provided for death or disability.  The business has established what is commonly referred to as “golden handcuffs” for the employee.  As a result, the benefit will only be received if the employee continues to work for the company until retirement. If the employee is terminated or quits prior to retirement, the plan would end and no benefits would be payed.

[E] Split Dollar Plans

Split dollar arrangements can be a complicated and confusing concept for even the most experienced insurance professional or financial advisor. This concept is, in its simplest terms, a way for a business to share the cost and benefit of a life insurance policy with a valued employee. In a normal split dollar arrangement, the employee will receive valuable life insurance coverage at little cost to them. The business pays the majority of the premium, but is usually able to recover the entire cost of providing this benefit at termination of employment, death or surrender of the policy.

Following the publication of IRS Notices 2002-8 and 2002-59, there are currently two general approaches to the ownership of business split-dollar life insurance: Employer-owned or Employee-owned.

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[1] Employer-Owned Method

In the employer-owned method the employer is the sole owner of the policy. A written split-dollar agreement usually permits the employee to name the beneficiary for most of the death proceeds. The employer owns all the cash value and has the unfettered right to borrow or withdraw it as necessary. At the end of the formal agreement, the business can generally (1) continue the policy as key person insurance, (2) transfer ownership to the insured and report the cash values as additional income to the insured, (3) sell the policy to the insured, or (4) use a combination of these methods. This is commonly referred to as “rollout.”

Practitioners should be careful not to include rollout language in the split-dollar agreement. The reason the rollout should not be included is that if the parties formally agree that after a specified number of years—or following a specific event—related only to the circumstances surrounding the policy, that the policy will be turned over to the insured, the IRS could declare that the entire transaction was a sham and that its sole purpose was to avoid taxation of the premiums to the employee, generating substantial interest and penalties in addition to the additional taxes due.

The death proceeds available to the insured employee’s beneficiary is considered a current and reportable economic benefit (REB), and it is an annually taxable event to the employee. If an individual policy is involved, the REB is calculated by multiplying the face amount times the government’s Table 2004 rates or the insurance company’s alternative term rates, using the insured’s age. If a second-to-die policy is involved, the government’s PS38 rates or the company’s alternative PS38 rates will be used. Any part of the premium actually paid by the employee is used to offset any REB dollar-for-dollar.

[2] Employee-Owned Method

With the employee-owned method, the insured-employee is generally the applicant and owner of the policy. Any premiums paid by the business are deemed to be loans to the employee and the employee reports as income an imputed interest rate on the cumulative amount of loan based on Code § 7872. A collateral assignment is made for the benefit of the business to cover the cumulative loan amount. In some cases, the assignment may allow the assignee to have access to the cash values of the policy by way of a policy loan. This method is unavailable for officers and executives of publicly- held corporations because of the current restrictions on corporate loans (the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002).

The employee-owned method is somewhat similar to the older collateral assignment form of split-dollar. The benefits for the employee are both the ability to control large amounts of death proceeds as well as developing equity in the policy. Whether or not this new method catches on will depend greatly on the imputed interest rate published by the IRS every July. If set low enough, this may be an excellent opportunity for the employee to use inexpensive business dollars to pay for life insurance. 

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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Your Comments are appreciated.

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors : Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™ book cover

Risk Management Textbook: https://www.routledge.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

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PODCASTS: All You Need to Know About Government Healthcare

By Eric Bricker MD

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1) Traditional Medicare: Health Insurance for Seniors 65 and older. Medicare Part A is coverage for hospital services. Medicare Part B is coverage for doctor, physical therapist and other provider services and for outpatient services such as labs and imaging.

2) Medicare Advantage: Health Insurance for Seniors 65 and older administered through a private health insurance company. It is sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C. It can be chosen instead of Traditional Medicare and often includes Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Hearing Aid Insurance and Prescription Drug Coverage.

3) Medicare Part D Prescription Coverage: Additional insurance for people on Traditional Medicare to cover their prescription medications as well. Medicare Part D is administered by private insurance companies.

4) Medicare Supplement Plans: Insurance that can be purchased in addition to Traditional Medicare to cover the expenses that Traditional Medicare does not cover, such as hospitalization deductibles and Medicare Part B co-insurance.

5) Medicaid: The health insurance program administered by each state for it’s economically disadvantaged residents. It is funded in part by the Federal Government and in part by each state. It is administered by private health insurance companies.

6) Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchange Plans: Health insurance for people under 65 who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but do not received health insurance through their employer. ACA Exchange Plans are subsidized by the Federal Government and administered by private insurance companies.

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AUTOMOBILES: Doctors and their Cars?

Some Financial Thoughts and/or Rules?

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By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP®

SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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The 10-year rule for buying a new vehicle

When trying to decide whether to buy a used car or a new one, it’s typically financially wiser to buy used. But if you want to buy new, you should plan to drive the car for 10 years or more.

Better yet – do not buy a new vehicle.

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The 20/4/10 rule for buying a vehicle

If you have to borrow when buying a car, to avoid spending more than you can afford you should put down at least 20%, keep the loan limited to no more than four years (to avoid interest), and spend no more than 10% of your gross income on transportation costs (which includes the car payment, parking, gas, and insurance).

Better yet – do not buy a new vehicle.

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Pre-Owned Used Cars!

MORE: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2012/11/28/how-doctors-might-buy-a-pre-owned-car/

MORE: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2014/11/09/doctors-and-rental-cars/

MORE: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2014/01/08/the-jaguar-touring-sedan-one-of-the-finest-luxury-cars-built-yesterday/

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PODCAST: Health Insurance and Benefit Consultant Traits

THREE SUCCESSFUL TRAITS FOR BROKERS

By Eric Bricker MD

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

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55% of Consumers Find it Stressful Paying a Healthcare Bill

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By Staff Reporters

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An annual study of over 1,500 U.S. consumers, shows:

 •  55% of consumers find it stressful paying a healthcare bill.
 •  53% of consumers find it stressful understanding their plan’s coverage and benefits.
 •  53% of consumers find it stressful comprehending what they owe.
 •  59% of consumers find it stressful reconciling a bill issue with their payer.

Source: Cedar via GlobeNewswire, December 7, 2021

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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PODCAST: Health Insurance Costs Have Risen 55% in the Last Decade

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By Eric Bricker MD

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Health Insurance Cost Has Risen 55% in the last 10 Years. The Annual Health Insurance Cost for Family Coverage is Now $21,000 Per Year

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Dysfunctional Employee Benefits Article in Journal of the American Medical Association

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CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

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Comprehensive Financial Planning and Risk Management Strategies for Doctors and their Advisors

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Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners

SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

ORDER: https://www.routledge.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

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PODCAST: Hospitals to Sell De-Identified Patient Data

TRUVETA

http://www.Truveta.com

By Eric Bricker MD

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Data Platform: Their health provider members care for tens of millions of people and operate thousands of care facilities, providing more than 15% of all care in the United States. Clinical data from this care is de-identified daily and brought together in the Truveta platform to advance patient care and accelerate development of new therapies.

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DICTIONARY: https://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Health-Information-Technology-Security/dp/0826149952/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254413315&sr=1-5

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HOSPITALS: https://www.amazon.com/Financial-Management-Strategies-Healthcare-Organizations/dp/1466558733/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1380743521&sr=8-3&keywords=david+marcinko

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PODCAST: Dr. Watson Says Good-Bye to IBM?

By Staff Reporters

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Dr. Watson Unsafe and Incorrect? - Authentic Medicine

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IBM has reportedly placed its Watson Health division on the auction block again

Watson is a question-answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, developed in IBM’s DeepQA project by a research team led by principal investigator David Ferrucci. Watson was named after IBM’s founder and first CEO, industrialist Thomas J. Watson.

READ: https://www.axios.com/ibm-tries-to-sell-watson-health-again-82f691a4-ab81-4b2b-a5bb-13a7556c8ef1.html?utm_campaign=etb&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=morning_brew

PODCAST: https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/21/tech/ibm-selling-watson-health/index.html

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SPIKE: Hospitals Suing Patients for Unpaid Medical Bills

By Staff Reporters

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Spike in Hospitals Suing Patients for Unpaid Medical Bills

 •  Lawsuits over unpaid bills for hospitals rose by 37% in Wisconsin from 2001 to 18.
 •  Wage garnishments from the lawsuits rose 27% in that time period.
 •  5% of hospitals account for 25% of lawsuits. Nonprofit hospitals and critical access hospitals are more likely to sue patients, according to the study.
 •  There were 1.86 lawsuits per 1,000 Black residents in 2018, compared to 1.32 per 1,000 white residents.

Source: YaleNews, December 6, 2021

HEALTH ECONOMICS CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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Personal Financial Planning for Physicians and Medical Colleagues

ME Inc = Going it Alone but with a Team

BY DR. DAVID EDWARD MARCINKO MBA CMP®

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SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

The physician, nurse, or other medical professional should easily recognize that there are a vast array of opportunities, obstacles, and pitfalls when it comes to managing one’s finances.  Still, with some modicum of effort, the basic aspects of insurance, investments, taxes, accounting, portfolio management, retirement and estate planning, debt reduction, asset protection and practice management can be largely self-taught. Yet, it is realized that nuances and subtleties can make a well-intentioned financial plan fall short.  The devil truly is in the details.  Moreover, none of these areas can be addressed in isolation. It is common for a solution in one area to cause a new set of problems in another. 

Accordingly, most health care practitioners would be well served to hire [independent, hourly compensated and prn] financial help. Unlike some medical problems, financial issues may not cause any “pain” or other obvious symptoms.  Medical professionals tend to have far more complex financial situations than most lay people. Despite the complexities of the new world of health reform, far too many either do nothing; or give up all control totally, to an external advisor. This either/or mistake can be costly in many ways, and should be avoided. 

In reality, and at various time in their careers, the medical professional needs a team comprised of at least a financial analyst, lawyer, management consultant, risk manager [actuary, mathematician or insurance counselor] and accountant. At various points in time, each member of the team, or significant others, will properly assume a role of more or less importance, but the doctor must usually remain the “quarterback” or leader; in the absence of a truly informed other, or Certified Medical Planner™.

This is necessary because only the doctor has the personal self-mandate with skin in the game, to take a big picture view.  And, rightly or wrongly, investments dominate the information available regarding personal finance and the attention of most physicians.  One is much more likely to need or want to discuss the financial markets with their financial advisor than private letter rulings by the IRS, or with their estate planning attorney or tax accountant. While hiring for expertise is a good idea, there is sinister way advisors goad doctors into using all their retail services; all of the time. That artifice is – the value of time. 

True integrated physician focused and financial planning is at its core a service business, not a product or sales endeavor. And, increasingly money is more likely to be at the top of the list for providers as the healthcare environment is contracting.

So, eschewing the quarterback model of advice, and choosing to self-educate thru this book and elsewhere, may be one of the best efforts a smart physician can make.

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts are appreciated.

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

ORDER TEXTBOOK: https://www.routledge.com/Comprehensive-Financial-Planning-Strategies-for-Doctors-and-Advisors-Best/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781482240283

RELATED TEXTS: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2021/04/29/why-are-certified-medical-planner-textbooks-so-darn-popular/

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PODCAST: Healthcare Costs Rising

Doctors, Hospitals, Pharma and DMEs

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

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Your comments are appreciated.

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PODCAST: Health Insurance Claims Repricing

WHAT IT IS – HOW IT WORKS

By Eric Bricker MD

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HEALTH INSURANCE ADJUDICATION

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