A well-structured strategic business planning process can help your practice in both the short and the long term. Whether you operate a small practice or are exploring ways to expand an existing one, planning is an important tool to help guide your decisions and ultimately, your success.
Although the primary mission of a medical practice is providing outstanding clinical care, the business of medicine continues to be a critical aspect. Throughout the country, physicians are experiencing organization changes in the delivery system, reimbursement for demonstrated value rather than quantity of care, enhanced technology, and an every-changing regulatory environment. Planning is more important than ever. In our experience, there are several key reasons on why it’s important to plan:
To Map the Future
Imagine building a house without a blueprint or taking a vacation without a destination. Your medical practice is no different. Without a formal process to identify your mission, goals, projects, obstacles, and strategies, you are likely to miss good opportunities and make serious and expensive mistakes. Planning is vital to help you manage your practice more efficiently.
To Support Growth
To grow your existing practice, you must establish a strategy and allocate resources according to the plan. Business planning provides clear direction, preventing the haphazard occurrence of activities that may actually work against each other. The process offers an opportunity for practice owners, managers, and other workforce members to collaborate in setting the future direction. Participation in planning enhances the likelihood of successful implementation of agreed upon projects and priorities.
Share and explain your business objectives with your colleagues or management team. Planning is often most successful when collaboration is encouraged. Do you plan to expand or perhaps add another office? Are you increasing office hours? If so, you will need to align your goals and plans with the whole practice in order to be successful with your implementation process.
To Manage Cash Flow
Careful management of cash flow is a fundamental requirement for all businesses. Given the changes in reimbursement and medical economics happening today, practices today are experiencing a significant delay in cash flow. Physicians can’t just be good at practicing medicine, they have to be adept at the business of practice operations or hire the right professional resources to improve the process.
To Create a Strategic Exit
Regardless of when or how you exit, planning plays a role in how you can maximize the value of your practice. The lack thereof could result in selling your practice haphazardly or simply at a loss. Investing time to plan and prepare an exit plan yields much higher financial rewards to the business.
How to Get Started?
The planning process should start with an honest assessment of all aspects of your current practice by answering some of the questions below:
- Does our mission statement accurately reflect the practice’s direction for the next 5-10 years?
- What’s important to our practice?
- Do we deliver care, interact with patients, and manage our workforce in ways that are consistent with our values?
- What areas do we excel?
- Where are we weak?
- What opportunities and threats to those opportunities do we see?
- What are our financial, operation and technology goals?
- What hurdles are we facing?
AssuranceMD can help you close the gap between strategy and execution. Call us to get started today.