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New Year’s Resolution #1: Review Practice Budget & Fee Schedule

As we arrive in the New Year, all of us at ADS Florida hope you enjoyed your 2011 holiday season, and we wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2012.

In our first newsletter of last year, we noted that doctors face unprecedented uncertainty in the economy, their practices and investments. Our feeling has certainly brightened due to the general trend of economic signs over 2011 (most signs continue to point towards an ongoing and imminent recovery; click here for indicators).  While economists nationally and worldwide are optimistic, we know we are not out of the woods yet, and there continue to be  constant and varying pressures on your practices.

Uncertainty in Europe continues to affect our financial system, and the political forecast is for legislative gridlock as the election season heats up (and the stability of the economy is challenged by presidential and congressional candidates alike). Therefore, it’s more imperative than ever for doctors to spend the time and energy to establish a practice budget, in conjunction with a full review of their fee structure, to help assure success.

What you can do now for a better 2012 Doctors who have not already completed a budget should begin the process now so that they can have a comprehensive budget in place as soon as possible for the remainder of the New Year. While only about 10 percent of doctors nationwide have a written practice budget, their practice profits are dramatically higher than the remaining 90 percent who do not.

In previous years, we have suggested a close examination of overhead expenses, comparing them to previous years and adjusting. We have also suggested reviewing your staffing, as well as automatic pay raises versus bonus plans. As a supplement to budgeting, you must also review your fee schedule and consider the timing and amount of a fee increase for this year. We recommend that doctors select a fee percentile that accurately reflects their quality of care, and then increase all fees below that percentile up to it. (Request a localized ADA code report at adsflorida.com/fee-report). Once your practice’s fees are at the desired percentile, you should raise every fee by the same percentage across the board, every year.

Your practice budget and fees are vital for the ongoing success and health of your business. A little time now will save stress—and dollars—throughout the year.

Questions about your practice for 2012? Email us at question@ADSflorida.com. For a local overview of fees for 2012, ADS Florida is offering you a free customized report. If you are interested in receiving one, please click here to visit http://www.adsflorida.com/fee-report and complete the form.

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