Evaluating a Medical Practice: Questions
Who are the physicians that will be practicing with me? Where were they trained? What are their ages and anticipated length of practice. How long have they been with the practice?
Who are the partners? What is the mechanism for becoming a partner? What does becoming a partner mean in terms of change in duties, responsibilities, voting, or economics? How many of the current physicians are partners or on track to be partner?
How many physicians have ever left the practice and for what reason did they leave?
Will I be practicing in more than one office? If so, where are these offices and what is the drive time and distance to each office?
Are there plans to open new offices in the future? Are there plans to go to additional hospitals in the future?
How many competing physicians in the area? How is the group affected by competition? Are they the dominant players in the area?
What is the group’s philosophy? What are the long-term and short-term goals of the practice?
What is the governing structure of the group? Who runs the group? How is it being done? Is it an autocracy, democracy, or none of the above?
Who runs the business aspect of the practice? What resources are provided by the business organization (compliance and coding programs, information systems, human resources, legal, accounting, marketing, billing and collecting, and managed care)?
What type of equipment is available? Who buys the equipment? Does the individual physician get the technical revenue? Is the individual physician required to sing for or guarantee any debt?
How many hospitals is each physician required to cover?
What are the short and long term plans for the practice?
We do not recommend inquiring about salary or call schedule in the initial interview/visit unless it is mentioned by the practice first.
What is the cost associated with the business part of the practice? What is the overall overhead? What is the return to physician?
What has been the trend regarding physician compensation over the last five years? Last two years? Are there sources of ancillary revenues?
What will be the anticipated compensation as a new associate? What is the basis of the salary of new associate (ie. Charges, collections, relative value units, production)? Are there bonus opportunities?
What is the anticipated compensation over the next 3-5 years?
Is there a difference in compensation between partners and junior associates?
As partner, how is compensation determined/calculated? Who is responsible for determining compensation for the group? What mechanisms are in place to change the compensation, and can it be changed without my vote?
Is there a retirement plan? Are there health, disability, or other insurance vehicles in the practice?
How many vacation days to start and as partner? Does this include weekends? What expenses are covered and not covered in the compensation?
What is the malpractice exposure and history? Who is the current carrier and what are their limits? What are options in the future for non-renewal of insurance?
Is there a restrictive covenant or non-compete clause?
If a physician leaves the group, what are his/her responsibilities?
What is the call schedule? How many hospitals will I have to cover while on call?