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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.

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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.

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My Fond Farewell to Tuskegee University

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SECOND OPINIONS: Physician Financial Planning, Investing, Medical Practice Management and Business Valuations; etc!

BY DR. DAVID EDWARD MARCINKO MBA CMP

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Financial Planning for Medical Professionals

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

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Busting another Myth of Medical Practice Appraisal

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

[Publisher-in-Chiefdr-david-marcinko]

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

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

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

Valuation Difficulties 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case example [the tale of two identical medical practices] 

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

How is this possible?   

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

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

Assessment 

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

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

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

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

The Case of Edgar versus Berg 

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

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

Assessment 

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

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

MORE: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2017/11/03/traditional-reasons-for-a-medical-practice-valuation/

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How to THRIVE in Private Independent Medical Practice, Today?

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PODCAST: Private Equity in Healthcare Explained

By Eric Bricker MD

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Private Equity is a Newer Name for Leveraged-Buyout Firms that were Popular in the 1980s.

These Companies Use Investor Money and Debt to Buy Companies and Often Use Additional Debt to Accelerate Growth.

The Private Equity Firm then ‘Flips’ or Sells the Company for a Profit.

The Private Equity Firm KKR’s Acquisition of the Physician Staffing Firm Envision is a Great Example of This Strategy.

However, Private Equity Firms May Be Contributing to the Rising Cost of Healthcare Through Their Activities.

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Obtain an ME-P Second Opinion Right Here!

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Typical Topics 

  • Financial Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Overhead Assessments
  • Income Distribution Models
  • Academic Funding Analyses
  • Insurance Planning
  • Risk Management
  • Practice Assessments
  • New Venture Business Plans
  • Hospital Based Contract Assessments
  • Practice Income Turnarounds
  • Estate Planning
  • Portfolio Analysis
  • Compensation Plans
  • Cost Accounting Implementation
  • Contract Subsidy Analyses
  • Practice Buy Sell Valuations
  • Investment Policy Statement Analysis
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  • New Physician Projections
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  • Revenue Cycle Gap Analyses
  • Payer Rate Evaluations
  • Revenue Cycle Improvements
  • Compensation Benchmarking
  • Strategic Planning Models
  • HIT System Evaluations
  • Staffing Analyses
  • P4P – ACOs – Concierge Medicine
  • Annual Budget Development
  • Ancillary Service Modeling
  • New Practice Development
  • Medical Service Line Extensions
  • Markets, Sales and Advertising
  • Health PR and Medical Practice Crisis Management
  • Investment Management-product evaluation/selection/competitive analysis
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    * Financial Planning (IPS process, solutions, segmentation)
    * New Product Development (pension, longevity insurance, risk management)
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More on Medical Practice Business Costs for Entrepreneurial Physicians

Unknown and Under-Appreciated by Many

By Rick Kahler CFP®

I recently talked with an administrator of a private medical practice about some of the financial challenges she faces in dealing with the medical system, insurers, and patients.

Some of the insights she gave me into the realities that private physicians face in providing medical care were rather disturbing.

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Here are a few of them.

Let’s start with the insurers who account for the bulk of their revenue. Many payments for procedures from insurance companies (including Medicare) are below the cost of providing the service. This forces physicians to make up the difference on other procedures or find other sources of income to sustain the profitability of the practice.

Conversely, in markets that have just one hospital, the insurance companies have no leverage. If the insurers won’t pay what the hospitals demand, the hospitals can threaten to drop out of the network, leaving the insurers with nowhere to send their insureds in those markets. The insurers end up agreeing to pay the hospitals more.

Charges for services provided in-house at the hospital can end up being substantially higher than those same services done by outside providers.

Example:

She gave me an example of a lab test that cost $1,500 to $2,000 at the hospital lab but $35 to $80 at an independent lab. Patients do have the option to direct the hospital to use an independent lab. But, how many people know that and will have the presence of mind to make the request? While it makes financial sense to price-shop if you have a high deductible HSA plan, there isn’t much incentive if your plan has low deductibles.

Collections

Another challenge is collecting from patients. She says a surprising percentage of Americans maintain checking accounts with no money or keep checks from accounts which have long been closed. While writing bad checks is a crime, those who game the system know they can probably get by with writing a low-dollar check because the cost of pursuing justice is much more than the check is worth.

Most companies would never do business with such a person again. Healthcare professionals tend to have a bias toward giving everyone services, so these same people do return requesting care. She said she and her physician employer have had huge internal arguments about this. Her position is that these people take advantage of the physician in a premeditated fashion and don’t deserve to be extended services. The physician argues that everyone, even deadbeats, deserves healthcare. Since the practice doesn’t provide life-and-death services, she was able to get the physician to agree that if someone has an outstanding bill they need to settle it upfront, in cash, before any new services are provided.

Then there are those who use credit cards and then fraudulently dispute the charges. Some providers let this go because of the difficulty of proving that the charge is legitimate. It requires photographs of customers during the transaction, copies of driver’s licenses, customers’ signatures on the paperwork, and notarized statements from the provider verifying that this was the person who received services and presented the credit card.

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SSNs

A final interesting point concerned patients’ Social Security numbers. She said the only time these are ever needed is when an outstanding bill is sent for collection. Otherwise, they are never accessed or used.

Assessment

Finally, she was quick to add that only a small fraction of their patients premeditate stealing from them. She also stressed that not all insurance companies or hospitals behave unethically, and some do wonderful, humane acts of kindness. Nevertheless, the lack of integrity that does occur on both sides is infuriating and adds to the cost of health services.

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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VALUATION: Clinic and Medical Practice Worth

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[Medical Practice Worth, Valuation, Sales and Succession Planning]

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By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA DPM MBBS CMP

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES: For Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations

Managerial Accounting

TOOLS, TECHNIQUES, CHECKLISTS AND CASE STUDIES

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Navigating a course where sound organizational management is intertwined with financial acumen requires a strategy designed by subject-matter experts. Fortunately, Financial Management Strategies for Hospital and Healthcare Organizations: Tools, Techniques, Checklists and Case Studies provides that blueprint.
David B. Nash, MD, MBA, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University

It is fitting that Dr. David Edward Marcinko, MBA, CMP™ and his fellow experts have laid out a plan of action in Financial Management Strategies for Hospital and Healthcare Organizations that physicians, nurse-executives, administrators, institutional CEOs, CFOs, MBAs, lawyers, and healthcare accountants can follow to help move healthcare financial fitness forward in these uncharted waters.
Neil H. Baum, MD, Tulane Medical School

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HOW: The ME-P Helps Your Financial Advisory Business or Medical Practice Grow?

All about the Medical Executive-Post Business Model

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One of the questions we receive most often from readers of the Medical Executive-Post is how can we “afford” to give away so much content for free. Or stated another way, “how do we get paid for all of this?”

The simple answer is that we know many (or even most) of you will simply take the ideas that we share and implement them yourself. Do-It-YourSelfers can always simply purchase our texts, books and peer reviewed handbooks redacted in more than a thousand, medical, law, business and graduate schools, as well as the Library of Congress, Institute of Health and Library of Congress.

LINK: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2021/10/22/why-are-certified-medical-planner-textbooks-so-darn-popular/

On the other hand, some of you will realize you need some additional help.

For example:

Maybe as a financial advisor you’re “stuck” in your financial planning business and recognize that some outside assistance is necessary to help you get to the next level of niche specificity thru our Certified Medical Planner™ chartered certification program designation. Helping physicians of all specialty types in a fiduciary focused manner is the proverbial Win-Win for all concerned.

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OR, perhaps you are seeking a glossary of terms and definitions in heath economics, finance, accounting, insurance, managed care, health information technology and security; found in our Health Dictionary Series Wiki Project? Free and print versions are available.

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OR, as a doctor maybe your medical practice is growing so much you just hit a wall where you don’t have time to do it all for your patients. After all, with only “so much” time available every day and week, it’s vital to delegate or outsource anything that isn’t really core to your practice and management skill set.

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OR, maybe you are even starting, buying or selling your medical practice and need our financial and valuation services. Part (1) – Part (2) – Part (3) Financial, estate, investing and retirement planning services are also available.

OR, you may just need a second informed opinion about a topic not listed; there are a myriad of issues to consider in the competitive ecosystem today.

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Regardless, we may have solutions to help!


So, in the meantime, I hope that the ME-P content continues to be helpful food for thought, and perhaps we’ll have an opportunity to cross paths soon at a future conferences or podcasts. Feel free to invite us to speak at your own seminar/podcast online V-log, as well.

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How Much Do You Earn Dr. Dad … or Dr. Mom?

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Your Children and Your Money

Rick Kahler MS CFPBy Rick Kahler CFP

As a doctor – Do your kids know how much money you make? If not, and they asked, would you feel comfortable telling them?

My hunch is that the most common answer to both these questions is “No.” Talking about money is such a strong taboo that it often keeps us from sharing information about our earnings and net worth even with members of our immediate families.

Yet being honest with children about what we earn and how we spend it is a perfect opportunity to teach them important life lessons about money.

Here are a few suggestions to foster those conversations:

  1. Take advantage of teachable moments. As with many other big questions, like where babies come from or whether cats go to heaven (personally, I doubt it, but that may say more about my prejudices than my theology), the ideal time to answer money questions is when the kids ask.
  2. Provide context for numbers. To a child who gets an allowance of five bucks a week, either $10,000 or $100,000 a year can seem huge. One way to put those numbers into context is with comparisons: “I earn about the same amount as your teachers do,” or, “Most doctors probably earn about twice as much as our family does.”
  3. Talk about expenses as well as income. This is huge. It’s another important way of providing context. Plus it helps open kids’ eyes to the realities of earning and spending. When my kids, at about age 10 and 14, first asked about my income, they were impressed with how high the number was. Then we looked at the family expenses: house payment, health insurance, food, college savings, and everything else. They were even more impressed. Seeing what things cost and where the money goes is a good start to educating kids about spending, saving, and creating healthy money habits.
  4. Share appropriately for kids’ ages and understanding. Seven-year-olds and 13-year-olds aren’t ready for the same information. Don’t underestimate your kids’ comprehension, however; if you encourage them to ask questions and are willing to explain and clarify, they may understand more than you expect.
  5. Tell the truth. If you have financial difficulties that stem from your own money mistakes or other bad choices, being honest with your kids can be a powerful teaching opportunity. If you don’t earn a lot but are managing to take care of the family, that’s something to be proud of. If your kids may inherit substantial amounts, it’s wise to start teaching them early how to deal with wealth. Whether you have a net worth in the millions or are barely getting by from month to month, clean honesty about the family finances is a good policy.
  6. Remember that you’re the adult. Over-sharing about financial challenges can frighten your kids. It’s more useful to be matter-of-fact about problems and focus on what you’re doing to solve them.
  7. Keep in mind that when parents don’t talk about money, kids will make up their own stories. Typically this will be either that you earn and have more than you do, or that the family is on the brink of bankruptcy and homelessness.
  8. Look at your own shame and secrecy about money. If parents never talk about money, kids may never ask money questions. Either the topic is simply not on their radar, or they have internalized the unspoken message that it is off limits. In either case, parents can change the family culture by becoming more open about their finances. Those teachable moments for kids begin to happen when money is no longer a secret.

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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:

[PHYSICIAN FOCUSED FINANCIAL PLANNING 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™

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The BUSINESS of Medical Practice

“NO MARGIN – NO MISSION”

Within Reason

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BY DR. DAVID E. MARCINKO MBA CMP®

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CRAFTING A BUSINESS PLAN AND STARTING A MEDICAL PRACTICE

[Understanding Business Models, the Entrepreneurial Spirit and Obtaining Capital]

Dr. DEM

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

Medical Office Business Plan

We have been involved in the highly competitive private, and/or “for-profit”, education sector for two decades. Yet, are also familiar with the larger public university and sustainable ecosystem.

Solo Medical Practice NOT Dead!

For example, we’ve participated in start-up business competitions, and refereed PhD / MBA Capstone presentations at Georgia State University, Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology; including at Triangle Technology Park, NC; and the Whitman School of Business in Syracuse, NY.

Funding was achieved for emerging initiatives deemed most efficient and profitable; like solo and small group medical practices and clinics.

Executive Service Line [ESL] education

Also known as Executive Service Line [ESL] education, this business model refers to academic programs for business leaders and adults that are generally non-credit and non-degree-granting, but may lead to professional certifications.

Estimates by Business Week magazine suggest that executive education in the United States is a $900 million annual business with approximately 80 percent provided by university schools. Beside the educational benefits, monetary dividends are reaped as open enrollment eases matriculation access. Similar programs at the Wharton School, Darden, Harvard and the Goizueta Business School at Emory University charge premium rates for the implied institutional moniker.

Assessment

And, an imperative is that electronic technology be used to expand the universe of targeted adult-learners. This is for aspiring professionals and executives, or those already in the workforce. The tuition gathering universe is thus expanded beyond the School. We have developed and launched several such successful programs that were merged or sold to private investors, colleges and hedge funds

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45% of Hospitals Have a Shortage of Primary Care Physicians

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By Staff Reporters

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A recent American College of Healthcare Executives’ survey of 310 hospital CEOs shows:

 •  94% have personnel shortages in registered nursing field
 •  85% have personnel shortages in technicians field
 •  67% have personnel shortages in therapists field
 •  45% have personnel shortages in primary care physicians field
 •  43% have personnel shortages in physician specialists field
 •  31% have personnel shortages in physician extenders and specially certified nurses field

Source: American College of Healthcare Executives, “Top Issues Confronting Hospitals in 2021, February 4, 2022

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FINANCIAL PLANNING

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KEY PRINCIPLES: Assessing Medical Practice Financial Value via USPAP

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When it comes to purchasing a medical practice, there are a variety of factors that one must consider in evaluating the worth of the practice. Assessing the value of a practice is fraught with potential landmines if one does not go into the process with a strong understanding of some key principles to medical practice valuation.

   According to the Dictionary of Health Economics and Finance, practice valuation is the “formal process of determining the worth of healthcare or other medical business entity at a specific point in time and the act or process of determining fair market value.” Fair market value is defined as “ … the price at which a willing buyer will buy and a willing seller will sell an asset in an open free market with full disclosure.”

   The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Revenue Ruling 59-60 clearly states that fair market value “is essentially a future prophecy and must be based on facts available at the required date of appraisal.”

   Unfortunately, one cannot directly observe the value of a medical practice as there are a number of underlying issues. Obviously, the buyer and seller are pursuing opposite objectives, and this reality is not necessarily conducive to facilitating clarity on those issues.

   Accordingly, let us consider a few mistakes that are commonly made by physicians who are considering the purchase of a medical practice.

A Guide To The Myths And Realities Of Medical Practice Valuation

   • Valuations are material representations providing a range of transferable worth.
   • Valuations are reproducible estimates based on economic assumptions.
   • Valuations are not “back of the envelope multiples” using specious benchmarks.
   • Valuations are defensible and should be “signed off” by the completing firm attesting to origination guidelines and in accordance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and IRS formats as needed.
   • Financial accounting value (book value) is not fair market value.
   • Professional valuators represent only one party. The buyer or seller-owner is the client.
   • Unbiased valuators do not provide financing or equity participation schemes.

Knowing The Distinctions Among Engagement Types

   The Institute of Medical Business Advisors uses three levels that approximate engagement types for the industry. These levels are comprehensive valuation, limited valuation and ad-hoc valuation.

   A comprehensive valuation is an extensive service designed to provide an unambiguous opinion of the value range. It is supported by all procedures that valuators deem relevant with mandatory onsite review. This gold standard is suitable for contentious situations like divorce, partnership dissolution, estate planning and gifting, etc. The written opinion of value is applicable for litigation support activities like depositions and trial. It is also useful for external reporting to bankers, investors, the public and IRS, etc.

   A limited valuation lacks additional suggested USPAP procedures. It is considered to be an “agreed upon procedure,” which is used in circumstances in which the client is the only user. For example, one may use the limited valuation when updating a buy-sell agreement or when putting together a practice buy-in for a valued associate. This limited valuation would not be for external purposes. No onsite visit is needed. A formal opinion of value is not rendered.

   An ad-hoc valuation is a low level engagement that provides a gross and non-specific approximation of value based on limited limited parameters or concerns by involved parties. Neither a written report nor an opinion of value is rendered. The ad-hoc valuation is often used periodically as an internal organic growth/decline gauge.

Are You Following Industry Standards And Rules?

   Specifically, when it comes to USPAP transactions involving physician practices, the following points are implied by the industry and the IRS.

   • Discounted cash flow analysis is the most relevant income approach and must be done on an “after-tax” basis. It generally produces a higher value but is costly, detail-oriented and time consuming.
   • Project practice collections based on reasonable assumptions for the practice and market, etc.
   • Physician compensation is based on market rates consistent with age, experience and productivity.
   • Majority (control) premiums and minority (lack of control) discounts are also to be considered. A majority premium is the amount paid to gain enough ownership to set policies, direct operations and make decisions for the practice. A minority discount for partial ownership does not allow this power. Thus, majority ownership is valuated higher than minority ownership purchase.

What About Personal Goodwill And Practice Goodwill?

   Goodwill represents the difference between practice purchase price and the value of the net assets. Personal goodwill results from the charisma, skills and reputation of a specific doctor. These attributes accrue solely to the individual, are not transferable and cannot be sold. Personal goodwill has little or no economic value.

   Transferable medical practice goodwill has value, may be transferred and is defined as the unidentified residual attributes that contribute to the propensity of patients and managed care contracts (and their revenue streams) to return in the future.

   However, bear in mind that the Goodwill Registry, an older source used to determine the average percentage of revenue contributed to practice goodwill, has sparse to no podiatry input, may be dated for some specialties and leads to abnormally high values.

   In addition to various multiple factors, one must also appreciate the impact of a changing environment and practice transfer in a local market, which can augment or blunt goodwill value. It is also important to determine whether patients or HMOs return because of true goodwill or are mandated to do so by contractual obligations.

   Now to further confuse the issue, how each kind of goodwill is allocated in situations like divorce depends on state law. For example, some courts weigh in on the apportionment of both kinds of goodwill, other courts exclude both kinds of goodwill and other courts pursue a case-by-case approach.

Understanding ‘Excess Earnings Capitalization’ And Compensation Issues

   Another way to determine goodwill value is through “excess earnings capitalization.” This economic method looks at the difference between salary and what you would have to pay a comparable doctor replacement.

   As an example, when you subtract the numbers and divide the result by 20 percent, an important percentage referred to as the capitalization rate emerges. The final number gives a dollar value for practice goodwill. Courts seem to prefer this method in divorce situations because it tends to reflect a practice’s current value.

   Regardless of the practice business model, physician compensation is inversely related to practice value. In other words, the more a doctor takes home in above average salary, the less the practice is generally worth and vice versa.

Emphasize Practice Specifics Over Benchmarks And Formulas

   In the stable economic past, physicians may have used industry benchmarks as quick and inexpensive substitutes for professionally prepared valuations. However, this practice can be fraught with peril if challenged. The courts seem to frown on this simplistic and dated methodology. Moreover, generic benchmark formulas assume a financial statement reporting standard that just does not exist with contemporary professional valuations.

   Therefore, almost every competitive issue that impacts value should be addressed with each practice engagement. This includes but is not limited to:

   • contemporary dislocations by third parties, Medicare and commercial payers;
   • retail clinics and changes in supply/ demand and specialty trends;
   • the rise of ambulatory surgery centers, walk-in clinics and specialty hospitals;
   • outsourced care and medical tourism;
   • alterations in resource based-relative value units, ambulatory payment classifications (APCs), diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) and newer Medicare-severity diagnosis-related groups (MS-DRGs); and
• the Medicare Modernization Act, HIPAA, OSHA, the EEOC and other regulations.

   One must also consider the impact of current employee trends to high-deductible health care plans and private concierge medicine. Another consideration is employer shifts away from defined benefits plans to defined contribution plans.

Aggregating Or ‘Normalizing’ Financial Information: What You Should Know

   In addition to possibly conducting employee interviews, one must gather appropriate financial information in order to properly value a practice. As a starting point, interested physician buyers should be able to see the following information for the most recent three-year period.

   • Practice (corporate) tax returns
   • Equipment/automobile leasing and/or tax depreciation schedules
   • Accounts receivable aging schedule
   • Consolidated financial statements (P&L, cash flow, balance sheet and retained earnings)
   • Prior buy-sell and/or non-compete agreements

   It is especially important to eliminate one-time, non-recurring practice expenses. These are adjusted for excessive or below normal expenses on the profit and loss statement. Such “normalization” can produce a big surprise for benchmark proponents and formula-driven advocates when a selling doctor runs personal expenditures through the practice that a buyer or court would not consider legitimate. Of course, one is less likely to encounter such shenanigans when the valuation is conducted according to professional USPAP and IRS style guidelines.

   For example, we recall one doctor who painted his home and wrote it off as a valid business expense. Deleting other major expenses such as country club memberships make a practice look more profitable. This is good news if you are selling it. It is bad news if you are getting a divorce.

   Conversely, you may have to defend legitimate business expenses that an appraiser may seek to normalize. For example, doctors may pay for a vehicle through their practice. If they use the vehicle to travel between multiple offices and hospitals, the expense may be legitimate.

   Also realize that the appraiser may also add expenses that have not been incurred. For example, the appraiser may add an office manager’s salary if your spouse is in that role for free. This produces a lower appraised value and is common in small podiatry practices. Honorarium is another example that does not figure into value calculations.

   Of course, normalization is a sophisticated and time intensive process. However, the expert earns his or her professional fee, and defends the resulting valuation range when challenged.

Keys To Selecting The Right Valuator Professional

   The most important credentials to look for are fiduciary level experience, specificity and independence. Some doctors mistakenly turn to those who may have never appraised a practice before. Just because an appraiser has initials behind his or her name, it does not mean he or she understands the peculiarities of medical specialties. Agents, brokers, solicitors and other intermediaries are not fiduciaries.

   Physicians looking to assess a practice for possible sale/purchase should only select an independent health economist, who will be your advocate under Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), IRS or other relevant managerial accounting guidelines.

   Moreover, be very wary if the valuation is not done in an independent manner or, worse, performed for both parties simultaneously.

Essential Insights On Professional Fees And What You Can Expect

   Of course, it is almost impossible to answer concerns regarding fees without specific information. The cost of a valuation can range from $0 to $50,000 for an onsite team of experts for behemoth practices and ambulatory surgery centers. Keep in mind that in most cases you want to ensure the value determination will stand up to IRS scrutiny so the $0 rule of thumb approach is not an option.

   However, most reputable firms use a blended fee schedule of fixed and hourly rates (plus expenses). Internists should expect to spend approximately $5,000 to $10,000 for an average sized practice and a limited appraisal that is completely suitable for most internal activities.

   External appraisals or poorly aggregated financial information, onsite reviews and litigation support services incur additional costs. However, most doctors find the money well spent. Expect to pay a retainer and sign a formal professional engagement letter.

   Finally, once the practice price is agreed upon, sales contract terms and agreements present a plethora of financing challenges for both parties to consider. For example, one must negotiate bank loans (if they are even available), payment rates and length, personal promissory guarantees, down payment offsets, earn-out arrangements and Uniform Commercial Codes.

Final Notes

   Do not be surprised if a sales broker does not consider the aforementioned issues as the modern health era emerges. Most agent-appraisers are predominantly concerned with earning commissions by working both transaction parties and may not represent your best interests. Also be aware that they are usually not obliged to disclose conflicts of interest and do not provide testimony as a court approved expert witness.

   However, it is a fait accompli that medical practice worth is presently deteriorating. As the population ages and third-party reimbursements plummet, doctors are commoditized and traditional retail medicine is replaced by more efficient wholesale business models like workplace health clinics. The subprime mortgage default fiasco, credit freeze, potential tax reform law expiration, the ACA, VBC, capitation payments and the political specter of a nationalized healthcare system only add fuel to the macroeconomic fires of uncertainty. Do not forget the corona pandemic.

   As a result, a good medical practice is no longer good business necessarily and retiring doctors can no longer automatically expect to extract premium sales prices. Moreover, uninformed young physicians should not be goaded to overpay.

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Dr. Marcinko is a nationally known speaker and the founding partner of the iMBA Inc and http://www.MedicalExecutivePost.com He is also the Academic Provost for http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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Medical FINANCIAL PLANNING “Holistic” STRATEGIES

BY AND FOR PHYSICIANS AND THEIR ADVISORS

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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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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.

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VALUATION of Internal Medicine Services

Valuation of Internal Medicine Services: Reimbursement

BY HEALTH CAPITAL CONSULTANTS, LLC


As noted in the first installment of this five-part series, internal medicine is the largest specialty among physicians and an understanding of the various environments in which these physicians operate is crucial in determining their numerous value drivers.

In particular, healthcare reimbursement, the process by which private health insurers and government agencies pay for the services of healthcare providers (including internists), is perhaps one of the most important environments to understand, as it comprises a provider’s expectation of future return on investment.

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

This installment will discuss the reimbursement of internal medicine services. (Read more…)

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The “BUSINESS” of Transformational Medical Practice Skills

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The BUSINESS of Medical Practice

BY DR. David Edward Marcinko MBA

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The “Business of Medical Practice”

TRANSFORMATIONAL HEALTH 2.0 SKILLS FOR DOCTORS

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MedPAC Examines Private Equity in Medicare

MedPAC Examines Private Equity Involvement in Medicare

By Health Capital Consultants, LLC


In 2020, at the request of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means (the Committee), the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) began investigating the role that private equity (PE) plays in healthcare provided to Medicare beneficiaries.

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

In its June 2021 “Report to the Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System,” MedPAC included for the first time a chapter on PE’s effect on Medicare, wherein it discussed the findings and observations from its investigation and answered a number of questions posed by the Committee. This Health Capital Topics article will analyze MedPAC’s answers to those questions, review its investigation of PE’s role in healthcare, and summarize reactions from stakeholders. (Read more…)

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PODCAST: United Health Group “Harmony” Network?

UHG Uses Those Doctors for their NEW Harmony Network That They Sell as an HMO Insurance Product to Employers.

United Health Group Has Bought Physician Practices in Southern California Totaling 6,500 Doctors, Associated with 133 Hospitals.

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JULY FOURTH WEEKEND READING LIST 2021

Happy Independence Weekend Greetings to our Readers and Subscribers for 2021

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HOSPITALS and Health Care Organizations

Management Strategies, Operational Techniques, Tools, Templates and Case Studies

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Drawing on the expertise of decision-making professionals, leaders, and managers in health care organizations, Hospitals & Health Care Organizations: Management Strategies, Operational Techniques, Tools, Templates, and Case Studies addresses decreasing revenues, increasing costs, and growing consumer expectations in today’s increasingly competitive health care market.

Offering practical experience and applied operating vision, the authors integrate Lean managerial applications, and regulatory perspectives with real-world case studies, models, reports, charts, tables, diagrams, and sample contracts. The result is an integration of post PP-ACA market competition insight with Lean management and operational strategies vital to all health care administrators, comptrollers, and physician executives. The text is divided into three sections:

  1. Managerial Fundamentals
  2. Policy and Procedures
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Using an engaging style, the book is filled with authoritative guidance, practical health care–centered discussions, templates, checklists, and clinical examples to provide you with the tools to build a clinically efficient system. Its wide-ranging coverage includes hard-to-find topics such as hospital inventory management, capital formation, and revenue cycle enhancement. Health care leadership, governance, and compliance practices like OSHA, HIPAA, Sarbanes–Oxley, and emerging ACO model policies are included. Health 2.0 information technologies, EMRs, CPOEs, and social media collaboration are also covered, as are 5S, Six Sigma, and other logistical enhancing flow-through principles. The result is a must-have, “how-to” book for all industry participants.

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ME-P Speaking Invitations

Dr. David E. Marcinko is at your Service

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Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP® enjoys personal coaching and public speaking and gives as many talks each year as possible, at a variety of medical society and financial services conferences around the country and world.

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

His talks tend to be engaging, iconoclastic, and humorous. His most popular presentations include a diverse variety of topics and typically include those in all iMBA, Inc’s textbooks, handbooks, white-papers and most topics covered on this blog.

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The Business of Medical Practice [3rd. edition]

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Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations

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How to Compare Cost-of-Living Benefits?

On Career Advancements and New Jobs

By Rick Kahler MSFS CFP®

As a doctor, nurse or allied healthcare professional; suppose you’re ready to take your career up a step, and you’re exploring opportunities in various parts of the country. You may easily be misled by the money script that a higher salary equates to a higher standard of living; however this is not necessarily always true.

What can you do to expand and reframe this money script?

Here are a few things to consider:

1. If the salary isn’t published, ask the money question right up front. Many candidates leave the inquiry into salary and benefits until the last step when both they and the potential employer have invested time and perhaps money into the interview process. Asking earlier avoids this wasted time, as well as allowing you to do your research on the front end and avoid potentially passing up other opportunities.

2. Get a clear picture of the lifestyle the salary will buy.  One of the best ways to do this is at bestplaces.net, which offers a cost-of-living calculator to compare the relative locations and salaries you are considering. For example, if you compare Rapid City, SD, and Redwood City, CA, you will find the latter costs 259% more than the former. That means you need to multiply the Rapid City salary by 3.59 to find the equivalent salary in Redwood City.

The “City Compare” tab also allows you to compare specific categories. For example, health care is 10% more in Rapid City than Redwood City, while housing in Redwood City costs over eight times as much. You can also compare factors like crime rate, climate, air quality, and tax rates. Pay particular attention to taxes; needing to pay both state and city income taxes, for example, could make a significant difference in your cost of living.

3. Investigate surrounding areas that have a lower cost of living. A 45-minute to one-hour commute each way from La Honda to Redwood City would result in a 37% decrease in the cost of living. A salary of $140,000 would buy a lifestyle in La Honda equivalent to that provided by $222,222 in Redwood City.

4. Examine your own beliefs about various areas. Look beyond salary amounts to your perceptions and assumptions about factors such as amenities, city-vs-rural living, lifestyles, status, etc. Then investigate the realities of those factors—both their value to you and the probability that you could take advantage of them. If a city offers professional sports, theatre productions, and concerts, for example, could you realistically afford the time and money to attend regularly? Would available public transportation fit your lifestyle and work schedule?

5. Consider your short-term and long-term family circumstances. Is a big-city lifestyle what you want as a young adult but not for raising a family? Would a given location fit your spouse’s needs as well as your own? Are your kids toddlers or about to leave home? Do you have aging parents that might need help?

6. If you choose a job in an area with a high cost of living, consider ways to reduce your budget. Thesimpledollar.com has 40 great tips on how to save money on monthly expenses.

Assessment

Finally, put all your research together and do your best to imagine year-round daily living in various locations. Envision yourself in the different routines and possibilities, whether they might include a daily two-hour commute, a city apartment, or a home in the woods with your own snow blower. Look beyond the financial cost of living to the emotional benefits and costs of living in various places. The most important lifestyle factor is finding the place where you will feel most at home.

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Conclusion

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Valuing the Private Practice Physician’s Quintessential Alternative Financial Investment

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Dr. Dave Marcinko enjoys personal coaching and public speaking and gives as many talks each year as possible, at a variety of medical society and financial services conferences around the country and world.

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

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Dr. Marcinko Interviewed on the Physician Credit Crunch

Financial Experts Share Tips on Obtaining Loans to Start or Expand a Medical Practice

By Michael Gibbons

Editor: ADVANCE Newsmagazines

Maybe you’re a young dermatologist or plastic surgeon who dreams of starting your own practice. Or maybe you’re an established professional but want to expand your palette of anti-aging services. Either way, you’ve probably made an unpleasant discovery: Banks are leery about lending today. Global recessions with seemingly no end in sight tend to give loan officers sticky fingers.HO-JFMS-CD-ROM

Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons

We have it on good authority that dermatologists and plastic surgeons as a group are less affected by this problem than physicians in some other branches of medicine. Still, there’s no better time than now to absorb some sound advice on how to approach banks for loans—whether you’re a fresh-faced newcomer to the fresh-face business or a wrinkled veteran at eliminating wrinkles.

Start Small

There’s no soft-soaping it: Starting a healthy aging practice is much harder than expanding an existing practice, even in the flushest of times.

“For young dermatologists starting out, I recommend you start small,” advises Jerome Potozkin, MD, who offers facial rejuvenation, liposuction, body contouring and dermatological care through his practice in Walnut Creek, CA. “You can always expand. Keep your overhead low. Know what your credit score is and do everything you can to improve it. Pay your bills on time.”

Lasers aren’t cheap. Besides the initial acquisition costs, a service contract can cost $7,000 to $12,000 a year, according to Dr. Potozkin. “Don’t feel you have to buy every new laser under the sun,” he says. “In fact, renting rather than purchasing is an option many companies offer. When your volume is low you can rent and schedule laser days—although the pitfall there is you don’t have lasers available whenever patients come in.”

Also, young dermatologists “will probably have an easier time getting a loan if they go to a relatively underserved area, as opposed to an area that has a large number of dermatologists per capita,” says Dr. Potozkin, who began practicing 10 years ago. “There are two schools of thought on this: Go where you want to live to start a practice or go to where there’s a need and be instantly successful. I chose the former. It took me longer to get started but I’m very happy where I am.”

Patience, Prudence and Passiondem2

Be patient, prudent, passionate—and start with a spare office and as little debt as possible, advises Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA, a financial advisor and Certified Medical Planner™. Marcinko, a health economist,  is CEO of the Institute of Medical Business Advisors Inc., a national physician and medical practice consulting firm based in Norcross, GA www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

“Patients are looking for passion from you, not lavish trappings,” Dr. Marcinko says. “When a banker or a loan officer sees $175,000 or more of debt they are loath to give a loan—and it’s hard to blame them. Purchase a home after you become a private practitioner. You need to be as close to debt-free as you can be.

Exit Strategy

“Another thing bankers want to know is, ‘If we give you a loan and you start a practice and it fails, how will we be paid back?’ They want an exit strategy.”

The good news is dermatology “remains a very lucrative specialty, and in most parts of the country they are in a shortage position, particularly with the aging population,” says Sandra McGraw, JD, MBA, principal and CEO of the Health Care Group, a financial and legal consulting firm based in Plymouth Meeting, PA., that advises the American Academy of Dermatology, among other groups.

“I would start with a realistic business plan for why you think this practice can succeed, in the specific location,” McGraw says. “How many patients do you expect to see? How will they know you are there and available? Remember that banks lend to all kinds of people, so keep your numbers realistic. Overestimating expenses is as bad as underestimating them. Then determine how you want the money—usually a fixed loan for a period of time and then a line of credit as you get your practice going and sometimes need the cash flow.”biz-book

Expanding a Practice

Established dermatologists should have an easier time getting loans to expand their practices. They have, one hopes, a track record of success and assets to put up as collateral.

Mid-career physicians “have cash flow, physician assets and equity to some degree in a house and personal assets,” Dr. Marcinko observes. “Banks can attach loans to personal assets and savings accounts. Ninety-nine percent of times you must sign a personal asset guarantee. Mid-lifers have assets young ones don’t, so mid-lifers aren’t quite the risk. They have businesses that have value and cash flow. Banks like cash flow.”

However, even veterans must do some homework before approaching a bank. “You still want to establish why you want the money and how the expansion will increase your income,” McGraw says.

Another tip: If the bank has loans out with reputable vendors, you might ask the loan officer to recommend them to you as potential contractors. “Sometimes keeping it local and supporting others with loans at the bank can be helpful,” she says.

Assessment

Dr. Marcinko adds, “Bankers today want you to come in with a well-reasoned, well-thought-out and well-written business plan. Give bankers a 30-second elevator speech on why you are different. It’s really important to ask yourself, ‘What can I offer the community as a doctor in my specialty that nobody else can?’ If you bill yourself as the first dermatologist to do laser surgery, that’s a perceived advantage. You purchased the equipment and learned to use it. But anyone can do that. If you can come up with something that nobody else has or can do, that’s how you’re successful in anything.”

Link: Dr. Marcinko Interview

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/dr-marcinko-interview.pdf

Conclusion

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[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko CMP® MBA]

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As little as a hundred years ago, detailed medical records were likely to have been compiled by medical researchers such as Charcot and Hughlings-Jackson. The medical record was an aide memoire for detecting changes in patients’ conditions over time, solely for the benefit of the physician in treating the patient.

As health care became more institutionalized, medical records became a communications device among health care providers.  Doctors made progress notes and gave orders.  Nurses carried them out and kept a record of patient responses.  A centralized record, theoretically, allowed all to know what each was doing.  The ideal was that if the doctor were unable to care for the patient, another physician could stand in his or her shoes and assume the patient’s care.

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stack_of_file_12

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Enter Third Parties 

Then pressures from third party payers occurred. As insurance and then government programs became larger players in the compensation game, they wanted to know if the care they were paying for was being delivered efficiently.

  • Why were these tests ordered?
  • Why weren’t these studies done?
  • Why had the patient remained hospitalized after his temperature had returned to normal for so many hours and no pain medications had been required?
  • Why couldn’t this pre-operative work be done on an outpatient basis?

Though the real push behind these questions was the desire to save money, utilization review also directly contributed to better patient care. A patient who was being given inefficient care was getting substandard care as well. Utilization review was mainly retrospective; denial of compensation was rarely imposed, and suasion by peers was the main effector of change.  Though “economic credentialing” was shouted about, it rarely showed itself in public.

PP-ACA

Even health reform which openly admitted economic incentives as one of its motivators preferred to find some other reason for deciding not to reimburse, or admit Dr. Jones to its narrow panel of ACA, or other “skinny” network providers, or not renewing Dr. Smith’s contract an HMO. The medical record remained essentially a record of patient care which was good or not, efficient or not.  If the record wasn’t complete, the doctor could always supplement it with an affidavit, use information from somewhere else, or provide explanations.

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 train station

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Socio Economic Status

Today, the concept known as Socio Economic Status [S.E.S.] is conceptualized as the social standing, or class of an individual or group. It is often measured as a combination of education, income and occupation. Examinations of socioeconomic status often reveal inequities in access to medical resources, plus issues related to privilege, power and control. SES is increasingly being considered as another payment component [CPT® codes] to medical providers, as reflected in the paper medical record, EMR and elsewhere. 

Assessment

Have you encountered any Socio Economic Status initiative in your clinic, hospital or other medical institution?

Conclusion

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FREE WHITE PAPER [Is Medical Practice a New Asset Class?] from iMBA, Inc.

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Valuing the Private Practice Physician’s Quintessential Alternative Financial Investment

Dr. DEM

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP

As we know, the investment industry and Modern Portfolio Theory [MPT] strives to make optimal ‘allocations’ into different ‘asset classes’; according to some defined risk tolerance level or efficient frontier.

Equities, fixed income, property, private equity, emerging markets and so, are all ‘asset classes’, into which physician investors and mutual fund or portfolio managers will make an allocation of their total funds under management. It is quite proper for them to do this as they seek to balance the risk and potential returns for their own; ME, Inc., or other clients’ money.

And, by creating a “new” asset class, this concept opens the door to significant capital flows; advisory and management fees. Hence; the unrelenting innovation of Wall Street, and its’ commission driven and fee-seeking mavens, is unending.

The Social Security Example:

This concept may be illustrated using Social Security as an example.

Wall Street opines, if you’re not counting on Social Security benefits as a part of an overall asset allocation strategy, you may be missing out on bigger gains in a retirement portfolio. Those of this ilk say that retirement investors should consider the value of their Social Security as a portion of their fixed-income investments …. Others believe it may be too risky.

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Empty Retired Doctor's Lounge

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The Portfolio Shift

Generally, adopting this strategy would mean shifting a big portion of investible assets out of bonds and into stocks and into the hands of money managers, stock brokers and wealth managers for a fee; of course. This is akin to those financial advisors who rightly or wrongly goaded clients to not pay off a home mortgage and instead reposition the free cash flow into a rising; and then falling; market. Of course, there are detractors, as well as proponents of this emerging financial planning philosophy.

For example, Jack Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, often cites his penchant for basing one’s asset allocation on age. (If you’re 40 years old, you have 40% of your investments in fixed income and 60% in equities. By the time you’re 60, you’ve got 60% in fixed income, 40% in equities).

Now, let’s again consider Social Security, citing a physician with $300,000 in an investment portfolio, and capitalizing the stream of future payments. If the $300,000 is all in equity funds, even equity-index funds, and $300,000 in Social Security, you are already at 50/50″ fixed income versus equities.

The next step is a conversation as this the nexus of where Social Security meets risk management. So, how will the doctor feel when market goes up and down? Some may believe the concept, but not enjoy the inevitable more fluctuating self-directed 401-k, or 403-b plan. One must be comfortable with taking on a larger stock position.

Sources:

  • Andrea Coombes; MarketWatch, September, 2013.

Others experts, like Paul Merriman, opine that Social Security is not an asset class and the idea is fundamentally flawed and should not be a part of anyone’s portfolio.

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Physician SGR Critics and the Doctor Fix

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Why?

As classically defined, a portfolio is composed of financial assets. A financial asset is something that can be sold. Social Security cannot be bought and sold. Because of that, it has a market value of zero.

Therefore, since a medical practice can be bought or sold, the definitional decision is left up to the informed reader, modern physician or financially enlightened financial advisor; or Certified Medical Planner.

Source:

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More on the Doctor Salary “WARS” – er! ah! … CONUNDRUM!

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Compensation Trend Data Sources

cropped-dem

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA

[Editor-in-Chief] www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com

Related chapters: Chapter 27: Salary Compensation and Chapter 29: Concierge Medicine and Chapter 30: Practice Value-Worth

 

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PERSONAL PREAMBLE

***

Physician compensation is a contentious issue and often much fodder for public scrutiny. Throw modern pay for performance [P4P], and related metrics, into the mix and few situations produce the same level of emotion as doctors fighting over wages, salary and other forms of reimbursement.

This situation often springs from a failure of both sides to understand mutual compensation terms-of-art when the remuneration deal was first negotiated. This physician salary and compensation information is thus offered as a reference point for further investigations.

Introduction 

More than a decade ago, Fortune magazine carried the headline “When Six Figured Incomes Aren’t Enough. Now Doctors Want a Union.” To the man in the street, it was just a matter of the rich getting richer. The sentiment was quantified in the March 31, 2005 issue of Physician’s Money Digest when Greg Kelly and I reported that a 47-y.o. doctor with 184,000 dollars in annual income would need about 5.5 million dollars for retirement at age.

Of course, physicians were not complaining back then under the traditional fee-for-service system; the imbroglio only began when managed care adversely impacted income and the stock market crashed in 2008.

Today, the situation is vastly different as medical professionals struggle to maintain adequate income levels. Rightly or wrongly, the public has little sympathy for affluent doctors following healthcare reform. While a few specialties flourish, others, such as primary care, barely move.

In the words of colleague Atul Gawande, MD, a surgeon and author from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, “Doctors quickly learn that how much they make has little to do with how good they are. It largely depends on how they handle the business side of practice.”  And so, it is critical to understand contemporary thoughts on physician compensation and related trends.

Compensation Trend Data Sources

A growing number of surveys measure physician compensation, encompassing a varying depth of analysis. Physician compensation data, divided by specialty and subspecialty, is central to a range of consulting activities including practice assessments and valuations of medical entities. It may be used as a benchmarking tool, allowing the physician executive or consultant to compare a practitioner’s earnings with national and local averages.

The Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA’s) annual Physician Compensation and Production Correlations Survey is a particularly well-known source of this data in the valuation community. Other information sources include Merritt Hawkins and Associates; and the annual the Health Care Group’s, [www.theHealthCareGroup.com] Goodwill Registry.

###

Portfolio analysis

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Assessment

However, all sources are fluid and should be taken with a grain of statistical skepticism, and users are urged to seek out as much data as possible and assess all available information in order to determine a compensation amount that may be reasonably expected for a comparable specialty situation. And, realize that net income is defined as salary after practice expenses but before payment of personal income taxes.

Conclusion

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Transitioning and Appraising a Podiatry [Medical] Practice

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A Round Table Fair Market Valuation Discussion of One

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

[Former – American Society of Health Economists (ASHE) member]

[Editor-in-Chief]

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Recently, I was asked to participate in a roundtable of expert’s discussion on the worth or fair market value [FMV] of a typical podiatric [medical] practice on an “ongoing concern” basis.

Of course, this is the type of engagement we often perform at the www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com And, I have written about this topic informally on this blog, and more formally in our white-papers and books: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com

So, I was pleased to add my experienced opinion to the discussion sponsored by a trade industry magazine upon the invitation of Editor Dr. Barry H. Block JD.

LINK: Podiatry Mgmt Round Table

Assessment

Due to copyright issues, I posted only my comments to the questions posed to all participants. Nevertheless, they are very representative of most medical practices with the exception of the noted podiatric-specific differences.

Invitation: Letterhead.iMBA_Inc.

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Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Hospitals: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781439879900

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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About the Institute of Medical Business Advisors, Inc

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Championing the Financial Success of

Doctors and their Consulting Advisors

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

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About iMBA Inc Expertise in Healthcare Valuation

iMBA Inc., and the ME-P Team

By Ann Miller RN MHA

MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

Ph: 770-448-0769

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The www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com is focused solely on appraising medical practices, surgery centers [ASCs], podiatry, optometry and allied healthcare businesses.

Working with our affiliated partners, like the ME-P and others, we are also available for behemoth multi-specialty medical practices, major clinics, hospitals, related healthcare organizations and networks, and PHOs, etc.

We are backed by the expertise of dedicated appraisers and valuation analysts who are trained by the foremost organizations in our industry www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Practice owners, attorneys and accountants retain us for projects including, but not limited to the following:.

There are a Myriad of Reasons for Obtaining a Medical Practice Valuation and Appraisal Engagement

  • Outright selling-buying
  • Partnership and Associate buy-in / buy-out
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Organic growth tracking
  • Hospital integrations
  • Private and public reporting
  • Financing and Venture Capital
  • Estate and tax planning

Our Capability

We have the ability to provide extensive analysis of value components in healthcare practices and provide appraisals based on business, economic, and market conditions. This involves detailed examination of financials and clinical data in the context of numerous factors including medical specialty, physician supply and demand, payer mix, regulatory environment, regional dynamics, and risk premium.

Assessment

Our methods and approaches adhere to accepted standards of healthcare practice appraisal and utilize direct market data to reach justifiable conclusions.  These are documented in a comprehensive report which is tailored to meet the need of the specific engagement.

BLUNDERS TO AVOID: Medical Practice Valuation Blunders[1]

SAMPLE ENGAGEMENTS: See partial engagement list below.

Conclusion

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Doctor Salary v. Others [Present Value of Career Wealth]

Specialists v. GPs v. MBAs v. PAs v. College Graduates

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Researchers at Duke University modeled the earning potential of cardiologists and primary care physicians between the ages of 22 and 65, taking into account medical school debt, earning potential and the age at which doctors begin earning an income.

According to John Goodman, they then conducted similar analyses for the average b-school, physician assistant and college graduate.

Assessment

Conclusion

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Thinking About Selling or Transitioning Your Medical Practice?

We Can Help with a FMV Practice Appraisal

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

A Profitable Transition

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

 

Your Practice Business Equity

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

Let’s Talk

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The Ins and Outs of Selling Your Business

Cost-Benefit Analysis and FMV for Entrepreneurs

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There comes a time in (almost) every entrepreneur’s life when the question of whether to sell his/her business inevitably arises.

So, if you need a proper cost-benefit analysis, take a look at the info-graphic below.

Assessment

Brought to you by contactme.com in collaboration with Column Five

Conclusion

And so, 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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Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Health Dictionary Series: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

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About the Mobile Health Market

Sensor-Based Mobile Apps Show How M-Health Business Models Could Work

By Markus Pohl

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Making money with mobile healthcare applications takes much more effort than most developers expected. M-Health apps normally do not get into the app stores’ top ranking lists and thus do not receive high download numbers.

m-Health Applications Business Models

But, there are working business models for the mHealth applications. Within the mobile health app category revenue won’t be generated through app stores. More and more mHealth app publishers have understood that they have to adapt their business model accordingly. Turning away from the “normal” pay-per-download models to practices like charging for medical service (call a doc) or sensor based models.

Sensor Based Models

Sensor based business models seem to have particularly caught the attention of mHealth app publishers over the last 6 months. The idea behind this model is not to sell an app but to use the app to promote the sales of a sensor. Revenue will be generated outside the app store.

Trend Examples: 

Here are some examples to highlight this trend.

  • Health and Wellness Monitoring tools combine fitness-related equipment to track pulse, calories, running speed, heart rate, or use sensor-devices to monitor weight control, fetus observation and eye testing. Target groups for these products are fitness and health-conscious users aged mainly between 35 and 45 years.
  • Chronic Condition Monitoring tools monitor health conditions like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, asthma and obesity. They generate revenue from selling a sensor-device with a free application. Target groups are healthcare providers, medical personnel and chronically ill people between 30 and 50 years.
  • Diagnosis Tools are mainly targeted at professionals, who increasingly demand more portable and easy-to-use devices for easier communication with patients and peers.
  • Educational and Motivational Tools monitor habit patterns (e.g. sleep monitoring via app/device) or serve as useful didactic instruments for science education (e.g. portable microscopes).

Traditional health care service providers and especially medical device manufacturers should be aware of these trends and start to connect to the smartphone world.

To find a detailed overview of mHealth business models – please see the Mobile Health Market Report 2010-2015. Or, take a look at more mobile healthcare research from research2guidance.

Assessment

Outside app store revenue will drive the market. Sensor-based business models prove how to actually make money with mobile applications.

Conclusion

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Understanding CPT® Code Payment Components

Determinations More Complex than Most Believe

By Staff Reporters

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Currently, there are more than 10,000 physician services designated by the current procedural terminology (CPT®) or healthcare common procedure coding system (HCPCS) codes.  Each reflects the three major cost drivers of a particular procedure:

  • Physician work effort or the relative value unit (RVUw) of medical providers’ work efforts, pre-service, intra-service and post-service time.

Patients may exhibit anxiety when examined orduring procedures resulting in the need for additional timeand effort by the physician to respond to and prepare for the examination or procedure. This uniformly adds moretime and stress to the pre-service and intra-service period as doctors respond to constantly changing behavior, questionsand level of cooperation in varying specialties.  Follow-up communicationwith employers, family, friends and concerned others requires increased post-service times.

  • Practice expenses (RVUpe), including non-physician costs but excluding medical malpractice coverage premiums.

The practice expense component of the resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS) includes clinicalstaff time, medical supplies, and medical equipment.  Often, the costsof supplies and equipment are not proportional to practicesize.  Major factorsaffecting practice expense are the volume of telephone, cell, or Internet management services, and the case management and administrative work required. For example, high patient turnover requires more examination rooms to maintain physician efficiency. High volume requires moreclerical staff to deal with larger patient-flow volume and resulting phone calls, difficultiesdressing and undressing patients, and is marked by increasedcomplexity and time in collecting laboratory specimens.  Thesefactors must be accounted for in any resource-based practiceexpense study and in the resulting practice expense calculationsfor medical services; and

  • Malpractice (RVUm) representing the cost of liability insurance.

The RBRVS system assigns RVUs to cover the malpractice expensesincurred by physicians. These malpractice RVUs, originally calculatedfor office-based physicians, may systematically undervaluethe practice liability costs for some specialties. The prolonged statutes of limitation on some legalactions may result in increased malpracticerisk exposure for physicians providing such services [i.e., pediatricians]. The differences in exposure may not be calculated in theRBRVS system, and were not included in initial studies.  Specialty specific survey data for malpractice expenseshould be used for this component when assigning final RVU valuations.  Without specialty-specific CPT® codes, however, there was no wayto do this objectively.

Conclusion

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