Viewpoint: Positioning your practice for good financial health

You recommend numerous strategies to your patients to help them stave off illness or to improve their health. When it comes to your medical practice, however, do you know what steps to take to make it strong and fit?

"Physicians typically understand the clinical side of their practices. It's infrequent that they understand the business side of their practices," says Medical Economics editorial consultant Virginia Martin, CMA, CPC, CHCO, CHBC.

Maybe that's the reason that business-related issues are some of the biggest challenges with which primary care physicians and other doctors struggle. A survey conducted earlier this year by the Medical Group Management Associ- ation, for instance, found that the top three challenges facing group practices are dealing with increased operating costs, managing finances with the uncertainty of Medicare reimbursement rates, and selecting and implementing an electronic health record system. Even group and solo physicians who feel confident about their grasp on the business side of practicing medicine may find themselves facing new challenges in the ever-changing financial environment.

Think of this issue as your continuing wellness visit with Medical Economics. After all, part of our mission is to provide you with the nonclinical education you didn't receive in medical school.

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