Taking Care of Business

Physician's Money Digest, Spring 2013, Volume 15, Issue 1

Despite the fact that the vast majority of solo and group practices employ a business or office manager to handle the business aspects of the practice, more than three-fourths of physicians still find themselves involved, according to a Physician’s Money Digest survey.

In February 2013, PMD and Healthcare Research & Analytics surveyed primary care physicians regarding the business aspects of running a medical practice. The respondents were a mix of private solo and group practices (26% and 74%, respectively) and 79% said they were actively involved in managing certain business aspects of running their practices.

For those respondents who said they were involved, approximately 12% of their time was spent dealing with insurance companies for reimbursement procedures and hiring billing and collection professionals. However, they also reported that 11% of their job was spent handling staff management, another 11% on patient feedback and another 11% on business planning (creating a business model and strategic plan, as well as measuring the practice’s growth and managing the practice’s finances). Lastly, 35% of their time was typically spent on patient care, according to write in answers.

The majority of physicians handling the business side of their practice claimed to be somewhat or very comfortable with doing so, but 36% admitted to either being somewhat uncomfortable or neutral to the whole process. (Thankfully, none said they were not at all comfortable handling the business side.)

The largest concern of those who felt less than comfortable was that they weren’t confident in their current business skills. A close second concern was the fact that they weren’t educated enough on subject of business.