Recommendations on how to be both a successful business person and physician

As an independent physician, you probably chose your career path because you want to take care of patients. You are focused on providing quality healthcare, on building relationships with your patients, and on making sure they enjoy positive outcomes.

You may have chosen to work as an independent provider because you want the autonomy to run your own practice. With that autonomy, however, comes the responsibility to also act as a business person, to ensure the success of your practice.

Practice management for an independent physician is often seen as simply another administrative burden. However, with the right strategies and tools, you can manage your practice like a successful business and still focus on providing the highest quality care to your patients.

When you simply do not have the time, desire, or skills to do the things that need to be done on the business side of your independent practice, it’s always a good idea to bring in expert help. You might hire staff with the appropriate billing and bookkeeping skills, to keep your financial records healthy. You can also explore the idea of contracting with a professional to provide the accounting expertise your practice needs.

Physicians and business people alike should realize that their time has value. Calculate how much time you are spending chasing down visit notes or diagnoses that other providers need to provide regarding your patients. An investment in technology, particularly in an electronic health record (EHR) solution can save you a significant amount of time, making your practice more efficient and enabling you to provide higher quality care to your patients.

If you are just starting your independent practice, you will need to make some smart business decisions from the outset, to establish a solid business foundation. An understanding of the rules and regulations around billing and reimbursement, particularly in regard to Medicare and Medicaid, will become an invaluable asset. Again, though, the secret is not necessarily to know everything yourself but to make sure you have qualified staff on your team.

Being a successful business person simply means finding the most effective, most efficient way to manage your practice. You do not have to neglect your patients to run your practice as a successful business.