How to be the CEO OF your practice (and FOR your practice) – Part 1 Overview

You ARE the CEO of your practice. Like it or not.

You generate the revenue that provides an income for yourself, your staff and the businesses that support you. Doctors provide medical care and the insurance companies’ pay you (called reimbursement) what they believe is “fair and reasonable.”  Unless you are a concierge physician or cosmetic surgeon who sets their fees, that’s just the way it goes.

Starting today, make yourself a promise.

Start acting like a CEO.

The term CEO means “Chief Executive Officer”.  Wikipedia defines CEO as the”executive or administrator in charge of the total management of an organization.”

As soon as possible, find out and understand your insurance payer mix. What is your percentage of Medicare, Managed Care, Medicaid and HMO “penetration?”

What does your profit and loss statement (called a P&L) look like? What percentage of the total revenue of your practice is your salary?  Don’t forget perks like insurance, car allowance, CME, etc. How much of your gross receipts go toward employee salary?  Who is your most important payor?  What is the breakdown of your patient demographics?  See what I mean… Can you add your metrics?

We provide life-altering and life-saving treatments for our patients. We as a profession provide the medical care for America.  We are the heart and soul of medicine. Medical care does not exist without our collective experience.

Even though we may sometimes be portrayed in a negative light, no one can dispute our importance to society.  We need to think strategically about the overall “health” of our practice as a major goal.  It does your community no good if you can’t maintain a stable bottom line.  It makes me sad hearing stories of doctors giving up.  Retiring, selling to a large group, working part time or forced locum tenens, doctors are running away from independent medical practice in droves.  There are ways to combat this alarming trend, and I’ll add my thoughts and share what I do to be my CEO in Part 2, the Plan.

Some food for thought before I sign out.  Please think about the title. CEO of your practice means that like it or not, you represent the brand of your practice. Think like Steve Jobs, the quintessential former CEO of Apple, master executive and innovator.  That’s what you are to your practice. You can’t usurp your obligation and responsibility to be the CEO.  Your patients, colleagues, and staff are depending on you!

See you in part 2.