May 16, 2023

Success of Medical Practice Partnership - Transparency

Ownership gives a sense of accountability and responsibility, and many physicians prefer to maintain their autonomy when providing healthcare services. Medical practice partnerships are an excellent opportunity for physicians to collaborate with other doctors, combining their resources and expertise to improve patient care.

But, like any other relationship, physician partnerships can too face disagreements, but transparency is the key to avoiding them.

Just like with your patients, trust, and reliability are critical in any professional relationship. Being upfront about financial transactions, billing practices, and other essential information can go a long way in building a solid and lasting partnership.

Let's explore the common issues that can crop up in a physician partnership and how you can avoid it by being transparent.

What's a Medical Practice Partnership? How Does It Work?

As physicians, you can opt to work in any available medical practice setting or engage in a medical partnership.

A medical practice partnership is a business arrangement where two or more partners jointly own and operate a medical practice. Your partner in this type of partnership can come from any background, which means they can be another physician, a group of physicians, a professional corporation, a hospital, or a private equity firm.

In this arrangement, the partners share the financial risks and rewards of the business and work together to provide healthcare services to their patients.

Medical partnerships can be run in a variety of ways. For example, partners may share clinical responsibilities, with each partner seeing patients and sharing the revenue generated by their services. Alternatively, partners may divide their roles based on their areas of expertise, with one partner handling administrative tasks and another focusing on clinical care.

What Are Some Common Issues Faced In Physician Partnerships?

Any relationship is bound to have differences, whether with a friend, spouse, or physician partner. It's natural.

While establishing a partnership is exciting and fulfilling, preparing for potential challenges and possible disagreements is imperative.

Some of the most common problems medical practice partnerships face are:

  • Uneven or unfair workload — one partner feels overburdened in comparison to the other
  • Financial disparity — variation in profit distribution or compensation
  • Loss of autonomy — lack of control in clinical decision-making
  • Unmet expectations — high expectations without a clear understanding of what to expect may lead to disappointment
  • Lack of communication — when physicians become preoccupied with their obligations and responsibilities, they may not get enough time to sit down and talk to their partners, leading to more unresolved issues.

Nevertheless, lack of trust is often the underlying cause of problems in any relationship. Trust is essential for its success, whether it's a personal or professional relationship, and transparency is the key to building it.

How Can Transparency Make a Medical Practice Partnership

In a physician partnership, all partners must share a clear and committed vision to achieve the common goal.

But what if disagreements or issues crop up?

These obstacles can quickly become roadblocks that impede your progress toward achieving your goal.

Incorporating transparency into every aspect of your practice can help build trust and strengthen your physician partnership, ultimately accelerating your progress toward achieving your goals.

For a partnership to succeed, it's essential to have transparency in these critical areas:

1. Ownership Transparency

Being proactive and precise about the ownership status of each partner is critical to the success of a physician partnership. When partners clearly understand each other's ownership status and roles within the partnership, it helps build trust and ensures that everyone is working towards a common goal.

Additionally, each partner must have a clear understanding of whether they will only have ownership in the practice entity or if they will also have ownership in any other entities, such as the property where the medical practice operates.

This understanding is crucial to prevent potential misunderstandings or conflicts in the future and allows partners to make informed decisions about their involvement in the partnership.

2. Financial Transparency

Money matters can often lead to conflicts or misunderstandings in any relationship. Each partner should gain a clear understanding of the compensation structure and how net profits will be divided.

RCM (Revenue Cycle Management) can improve financial transparency in physician partnerships by providing a clear and transparent view of the billing process and the practice's financial health, promoting open communication among partners.

Implementing RCM solutions can help physician partnerships track and manage revenue from patient care, improve financial stability, and reduce disputes among partners. RCM can also provide detailed reports and analytics to help partners make informed financial decisions and identify areas for improvement.

3. Administrative Transparency

In a physician partnership, all partners must be informed about their role in decision-making.

Since decisions are no longer the sole responsibility of one physician, it's essential to establish a transparent process for decision-making. This may include determining whether decisions will be made by a majority or unanimous vote of the physicians, particularly in partnerships with more than two physicians.

Additionally, it's important to clarify which decisions will require the input of all partners and which may only involve specific individuals or departments.

Establishing transparency and clear communication can prevent potential disagreements and problems.

4. Workload Transparency

Uniform workload distribution is crucial for the success of any practice. Each physician has responsibilities and tasks, including patient care, administrative duties, and practice management.

Workload allocation must be fair and transparent to ensure that each partner contributes equally. Open communication and clear expectations regarding workload are essential for an equitable partnership.

By implementing workload transparency, physician partnerships can prevent burnout and improve job satisfaction among partners.

A balanced workload can lead to better patient care and improved financial performance for the practice, ultimately leading to greater success.

Transparency: A Strong Foundation for Successful Collaboration

Medical practice partnerships provide an excellent opportunity for physicians to collaborate with other doctors while maintaining their autonomy, all to provide better patient care. However, when entering into a partnership, problems can arise if transparency is not maintained in every aspect of the practice.

A lack of transparency can hinder progress toward reaching your goals and success. Transparency is paramount in every partnership, especially regarding ownership, finances, administration, and workload distribution. Clear and open communication in these areas can help establish a solid foundation for the partnership, prevent misunderstandings, and promote a successful collaboration.

Glenwood Systems' transparent RCM process— from charge capture to settlement — fosters accountability and builds trust within partners. Every transaction at the micro level is transparent to your partners. It ensures revenue generation and reporting systems accuracy, leading to lasting partnerships.

GlaceRCM/EMR - Billing Service For Private Practice

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