Independence means “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid or the like of others.” If you are in Private Practice, then you’re in the business of being a free, independent entity separate from Physician-owned or Hospital-owned practices.
Now there are two cardinal rules:
1) Practice independence includes reaching and maintaining the highest possible quality of care as your top priority.
2) The owner must be trained and gain the exact skills required to be the executive and expand and run the practice (s). Then they also must train their staff. Part of any owner’s responsibility is the public relations and marketing of their practice.
So here’s the problem…independence is great, but you must have support from others to survive. No owner can “do it all independently” or they simply crash and burn. So how do we establish independence in the sense of a tight-running, well-oiled, profitability and quality machine that generates enough business to overcome its competition?
Here’s the answer:
- A tight, executive team where the owner has others running different areas of his/her practice.
- An HR Department hiring and training staff on their various duties and what’s expected of them as a team member.
- A promotion and marketing director whose sole job is to drum-up new business through workshops, word-of-mouth, a comprehensive website, open house and other PR activities.
- A Collections team with excellent communication skills negotiating insurance contracts, collecting the money owed from both patients and reimbursements.
- A staff of high-quality therapists developing quality relationships with their patients and referral sources to keep them continuing their treatments.
- A Quality Supervisor whose sole job is to ensure therapists get their CEUs as needed, contact past patients with incomplete treatments and reschedule and monitor the quality of care and professionalism in the entire practice, all staff.
- A Patient Care Coordinator visiting surrounding doctors’ offices creating professional, friendly relationships with the office staff thus implementing a strong referral base for your clinic.
If you had each of these functions covered, you’d be affluent and surviving at a much higher level. This does not mean you require a staff of 30 to do these functions. You simply need all staff to understand the general purpose of the group, be trained as a team-member, keep their quality high, generate word-of-mouth through current patients, and above all, keep in mind that they are part of a group that is beating the odds and making it on its own.
I hope you enjoyed this and I wish you independence, freedom and prosperity!