When Buying a Practice, Change is Not in Your Best Interest

If you are a practitioner who just bought a practice, regardless of your specialty, the ultimate goal is to maintain the patients already in existence, as well as to drum up more business.

We all know that patients have the luxury of moving from practice to practice, if they so desire. If you just spent X number of dollars on buying the practice, you want to make sure that you maintain a high percentage—if not, a full percentage—of the already existing patients of that practice.

How do you go about doing that? There are a couple of ways.

Every time a practice is purchased, the seller sends an introduction letter that basically says, “I’m retiring” or “I’m moving out of state” and “The practice is now going to be under the care of Dr. X.” The letter should also provide a background of Dr. X, in order for the patients to get an idea of who their new practitioner will be. As you can see, this letter is very important, so you want to be involved in its creation. You want the ability to fill in what you want the patient to know about you: your background, your education, your goals and how you achieve them.

Once you have physically purchased the practice, and you start providing services to the patients, you want there to be some type of continuity from how the practice was managed previously. You do not want there to be too many changes from the start. For instance, let’s say that the practice you took over was a fee-for-service practice, but now, you decided to only accept insurance as payment. This will change not only the policies of the practice but it may cause the current patients to leave. People do not like too much change, so you would want to continue the practice policies to as close as possible to avoid patients from leaving.

What about having familiar faces? More often than not, the seller will stay on to help with the transition to introduce the new doctor to the patients. Maybe the office manager will stay on, so that when patients come in, they see a friendly face. Patients will hopefully think, “It’s not that different,” while they get accustomed to having a new doctor or new dentist treat them. You may want to consider hiring some of the previous staff so the patients feel comfortable. The more the practice feels the same to the patients, the more likely they will continue to treat at the office.

You want the patients to continue to feel a connection to the office. It will be slightly different because there will be a new practitioner, but everything else will still run relatively the same.

While you are in the process of purchasing a practice, you will want to consider the following questions:

  • How much time do I want the seller to stay on board?
  • Do I really want to hire any of these employees?
  • Do I want to keep the current office manager?
  • What is the payment policy?
  • How does the practice run? Like a well oiled machine?

Effective patient care is first and foremost, but the more the practice remains the same, the easier it will be for the patients to continue their care with you once you have purchased the practice.

Contact me today with questions or comments.

Stephanie J. Rodin, Esq.Stephanie J. Rodin, Esq.
Rodin Legal, P.C.
Email: info@rodinlegal.com
Tel: (917) 345-8972
Fax: (917) 591-4428

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This entry was posted in Buying/Selling a Practice, Medical Practices and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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