After years of consulting for doctors and medical practices, Cornerstone Healthcare Consulting has built a network of highly regarded business professionals to collaborate with. When consulting, we often discover similar problems at each practice. A couple common denominators are in the areas of benefits, as well as human resources. As we tackle practice level problems, it is not unusual for us to identify individual physician problems, such as poor retirement planning or lack thereof, and more. Let’s dive in further to how we collaborate with some of these great professionals and provide solutions for physicians!
We recently coined the term, One-Stop Shop for Doctors! As a physician centric healthcare consulting company, we seek to provide solutions to physicians whether they are a solo practitioner, employed by a group, and/or own their own practice. We could provide examples for how we are assisting physicians in each of these areas of employment. Whether it is to manage their social media, providing them brand identity as a hospital employee, to open them a practice, or fix an existing one, we can do it all. And in the areas, where we may not have the skillset or expertise to provide, we can facilitate solutions through top professionals within what we call the Cornerstone Network.
When consulting for medical practices, employee benefits is regularly an area in need of repair. The two areas of benefits we have found big savings in are the retirement plan, as well as health plan. Typically, what happens is the practice selects a broker relationship in both these areas years prior. Over time, the brokers earn a commission for essentially doing nothing. Annually, health plan premiums go up, and practices just accept that as a norm and move on, and the retirement plan goes under the radar, without regard to what percentage rate the practice is paying, how the investments are doing, etc. When providing healthcare consulting services, Cornerstone reviews everything; the practice owners are shocked by the findings. We have discovered practices paying over 2% on their retirement plans, egregious TPA costs, inappropriate employee fees, etc. One private practice, we saved them close to $40,000 on their retirement plan!
When reviewing practice health plans, we could take the easy route and just look for lower cost options, but that isn’t really providing a solution. Instead, we take a hard look at the practice size and opportunities that exist as a result. For example, one practice was large enough to become partially self-funded in the State of New York. As a result, they were scheduled to save as much as $30,000 in the first year, and no less than $8,000. Each year, as they better understood their annual expenditure, they could become more aggressive in their risk and potential savings.
Planned Futures Financial is who Cornerstone collaborates with to tackle medical practice retirement plans. In working with Planned Futures Financial, they also review the practice’s Group Life and Disability Insurance, as well as whether a practice has buy-sell insurance. We regularly discover that most practice owners have no idea what buy-sell insurance is, and upon learning about it, wish they had started a policy years prior. Although buy-sell insurance is necessary, before purchasing a policy there should be a succession plan in place. Sadly, most practices we have consulted for have avoided the topic of succession planning, and it regularly becomes a topic for debate. There are many pieces of advice we could provide to a physician considering becoming a partner in a practice, but one of the most important things we could tell you, is to ensure there is a succession plan first. Each specialty has their uniqueness as well. For example, within an OBYN practice it is important to discuss how partners are treated financially once they stop doing obstetrics. These conversations are important early on, as many times they do not end positively if discussed later. Need a good healthcare attorney to support you in these discussions? We have that relationship as well! If employee benefits are being reviewed, it is imperative to also review your human resource department entirely. Often time, we see practices without job descriptions for their staff, or job descriptions that are paper written and haven’t been updated in more than ten years. If the job descriptions haven’t been updated or are non-existent, the employee benefits manual is also either in severe need for an update or non-existent. It’s always baffling to us how practices are hiring without either a job description or an employee manual. It’s inappropriate and there is nothing to hold staff accountable. As you may have assumed, we unfortunately discover these practices have toxic employees that have contributed to many of their organizational problems, but the practice has no process for disciplining them and/or terminating them. Therefore, they are allowed to continue to spread toxicity, of which invariably leads to other toxic employees joining them.
Has your medical practice had a check-up lately? Just having us review an expense report could save you thousands of dollars! Or maybe your practice is in great shape, but you’re unsure if you yourself have the best retirement planning in place, or proper disability insurance. Or maybe your practice is running smoothly but has no idea how to market on social media. Or maybe you’re a physician who is employed by a hospital, needing help with maintaining your own brand identity, and how to market that. Whatever it is, we can help! Click here to visit our website to learn more about our healthcare consulting services and schedule a consult!