My Independent Practice Survived the Pandemic of 2020…Now, Where Do I Go from Here?

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You faced unprecedented challenges in the first half of 2020.  You led, reacted, made hard decisions, abruptly adapted, and dealt with the disruption. You carried the burden of patients, staff, and clinical support on your shoulders. It was stressful and expensive. You finally have time to sit back and reflect on the year’s journey. And, if you are like many, the question of “what should I do next?” is top of mind.

Should I sell my practice?

Ask yourself the following questions and, if you answer yes to more than a few of them, the options of sale or consolidation may be something you should consider.

  • Are you physically and emotionally fatigued to a point that it is affecting your productivity?
  • Has your financial risk appetite changed in a material way?
  • Have you explored succession alternatives to no near-term avail?
  • Is your financial interest potentially well served by advancing collection of future compensation?
  • Are you struggling to adapt to changes required to operate in the current environment?

Should I invest in my practice?

As the impacts of COVID drive network disruption and displacement, opportunities will exist for those willing to take advantage. These may include, but not be limited to, such things as:

  • Clinical talent acquisition including legitimate succession strategies.
  • Vertical and horizontal integration of clinical operations within geography.
  • Alignment with systems and other providers to drive volume.
  • Technology improvements positively impacting patient satisfaction, quality, and business performance.
  • Value-based care strategies and creative payor arrangements providing patient flow and economic benefit.

What other alternatives may exist for me?

Perhaps now, more than ever, the market is open to creative partnerships, business arrangements, and network alignment alternatives. You may have options including:

  • Multi-system affiliation alternatives.
  • Consolidation with other independent practices to improve payor contracts and patient access.
  • Financial recapitalization allowing you to receive meaningful cash distribution without selling.
  • Minority investment providing capital and infrastructure absent requirement for control or forced employment models.
  • Participating in or forming a physician-owned network pooling resources and ensuring scale.
  • And others!

So, what do you do next? Get help. The best decisions are made on an informed basis. Facilitated  brainstorming sessions will allow you to expand your thinking, explore a broad array of possibilities and alternatives, weigh the advantages and risks of options, and ultimately determine a strategic direction that is best for you, your team, and your patients. Now is a great time to initiate a thoughtful planning process that will allow you to purposefully chart your professional, personal, and financial future and avoid emotional and forced reaction.

Jerry L. Kelsheimer is President of Medic Management Group and MMG Healthcare Solutions. His background includes extensive work in areas including leadership development, strategic planning, and process improvement. MMG is a national provider of advisory and consulting competencies, transaction support services, and back office administrative support to independent and system owned physician practice groups.      

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