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Year End Planning for Medical Practices

The healthcare environment changes daily and physicians often struggle to keep up with regulatory changes, competition and reimbursement changes. There are many challenges looming: Obamacare, ICD-10 and Meaningful Use. Providers must spend time working on their practices as well as in their Atlanta Business Radio practices to thrive and not just survive. However, practices do not have to stay in a reactive mode. Taking time to plan can put a practice in a proactive mode to be able to anticipate and appropriate respond to opportunities, changes and challenges.

Quarter 4 is the perfect time to take action to minimize tax burden, maximize retirement plans, reconcile inventory, create the coming year’s budget and evaluate the coming year’s capital needs. Taking inventory, updating depreciation schedules, retirement planning, fee schedule analysis, A/R cleanup, tax planning, productivity and compensation evaluation are just some of the year end financial activities that can really make a difference in achieving solid financial performance.

Planning for retention of market share and growth is key to future practice viability yet how many practices have a formal, annual marketing plan. Marketing is often viewed as an expense vs. an investment yet new patients are a critical piece of revenue generation for every practice. The same marketing plans often do not yield different results and how providers reach, communicate with and message to current and potential patients is changing. Year end is a great time to acknowledge referral sources and examine the ROI of existing marketing efforts, brand cohesiveness, content relevancy and process, social media effectiveness and to make adjustments as needed. In a recent poll, 51% of patients said that digital communications would make them feel more valued as a patient and 41% said social media would affect their choice of healthcare providers. Is your practice keeping up with the interactive“new word of mouth” ?

An overall strategic plan can be the differentiating for success. Yet, many providers either don’t know how or feel they don’t need it. Yet, evaluation of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to show the current standing of a practice, a SWOT analysis, a competitive overview and then making and implementing a strategic plan will help all businesses be positioned to recognize and capitalize on growth opportunities, assist in overcoming challenges and help protect market share for any business. Why should the business of medical practices be different?

In this segment of The Doctor’s Roundtable, three industry subject matter experts will weigh in on tips, strategies and considerations for year end planning for 2014 for medical practice success. Join Sharon Allred of LW Consulting ( a healthcare strategic planning expert), Beth McCauley of McCauley Marketing and Mark Estroff, CPA and medical practice tax expert as they share their best advice for positioning your practice for success in 2014. Listeners can visit: , and for more information.


Mark Estroff

  • CPA, PYA GatesMoore

Beth McCauley

  • Founder, McCauley Marketing Services

Sharon Allred

  • Principal, LW Consulting