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The Top 10 Business Mistakes Made By Physician Practices

DENVER, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Many medical practices are struggling. Shifting reimbursements are a significant factor, but many are making basic business mistakes, according to Andrew Graham, MBA, President of Clinic Service Corporation.

Here are the top reasons practices struggle, said Graham.

  1. No business plan. A practice's strategic plan needs to include goals for revenue generation, customer service, performance and operational processes, and innovation measures.
  2. Poor understanding of customer flow. A practice should retain two-thirds of its patients annually. Practice managers need to discover which managed care contracts feed them patients and which doctors send referrals.
  3. Revenue cycle confusion. Doctors are typically reimbursed within 30 days. Based on a predictable flow of payments, practice managers should be able to predict cash flow. It might be time for a revenue analysis.
  4. Performing procedures that are unprofitable. No one is suggesting doctors perform only treatments that pay best. Medicine is first a humanitarian calling. However, it does not make business sense to focus a practice on an unprofitable sector either. Practices need to code patient visits consistent with the level of care provided and consider whether they are wasting time bundling codes.
  5. Unfavorable Payer Contracts. A good place to start this exploration is with a discussion with a practice's billing company.
  6. No marketing plan. Many physicians will spend thousands on phonebook ads, but more savvy doctors understand the Internet can play a big role in their success. Medical marketing firms can be helpful here.
  7. Poor office culture. A healthy workplace culture is critical to a practice's success. Step one is to define the practice's mission and communicate that mission to all staff.
  8. Not hiring help. Doctors today are confronted by fiscal, technological, managerial and communications challenges. Hiring specialists to help is a no-brainer.
  9. No staff training. Doctors are required to "sharpen the saw" frequently. It may be time to apply that education mindset to the physician's staff too.
  10. Poor location. Having a poor location can sink all but the most sought after specialists. Many physicians will say they are hunkered down within their current space. They should reconsider. Changing location could be the spark they need.

Clinic Service Corporation is the largest Colorado-Based medical billing firm. Information available at

SOURCE Clinic Service Corporation

SOURCE Clinic Service Corporation
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