In honor of National Doctors’ Day on March 30, when we celebrate the contribution of physicians who serve our great nation by caring for its citizens, we offer our guidance on something that is so very important, but so often overlooked by physicians — creation of a Succession Plan for their medical practice.
Whether you are a sole proprietor or in a practice with multiple physicians, it’s critical to have a succession plan in place. In the event something happens — whether it be death, disability, retirement, or even divorce — to you or one of your partners, how would it impact the operations of your practice, or the care you provide your patients?
There are three essential elements to any successful transition: (1) advanced planning, (2) good communication, and (3) periodic review. By planning in advance before an actual emergency occurs, you will help maintain the value of your practice and ensure that the practice continues to operate smoothly for both patients and staff. Of course, we understand one’s reluctance – it’s not easy to stop and think about the “what if’s” in life that could negatively impact us. But by not considering those what if’s in advance, we may resort to hasty, emotional decision-making that could result in poor choices, and more importantly unfair compensation for the practice.
Just as crafting a living will is important to communicate our choices from a personal standpoint, so too is a written plan for your practice. By taking the time to address your succession and communicating it to key individuals within your practice, as well as with family members, you are eliminating any confusion as to your final wishes. You will create a sense of security for any unexpected event.
Lastly, it’s critical to periodically review your succession plan to make sure it still meets your needs. We recommend at least an annual review to ensure there are no changes in your personal and/or professional situation that could affect your plan.
If you do not already have a succession plan or you have not reviewed it recently, we encourage you to take action now to avoid unnecessary confusion in the future. We understand no one likes to think about the worst case scenario, but by addressing the questions now you are saving yourself and those close to you considerable amounts of anguish, confusion, and perhaps even financial distress down the road.
McKinley Carter’s financial advisors are always available to assist you with succession planning and provide industry insights and best practices. Call today and get started on securing your financial future.
To read more about the value of succession planning for solo and group medical practices, click here: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/tips-succession-planning-private-practices