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Strategies for Physician Succession & Retirement

Strategies for Physician Succession & Retirement

Due to the busy nature of many medical practices, planning for future events like physician succession or retirement often takes a back seat to other pressing priorities. However, planning for these changes can play a crucial role in equipping individual physicians and others in group practices with a successful environment for the future. “There are steps that can be taken to ensure that succession and retirement goes smoothly while not leaving medical practices in financial jeopardy,” says Jon-David Deeson, MSHA, MBA, FACHE, CMPE.   Planning Ahead According to Deeson, medical practices hiring new physicians should be thinking about their exit before hiring someone. “When physicians are brought on board, an employment agreement should be thorough, spelling out all terms and defining next steps should physicians transition their role or move on from the practice,” he says. “Being unprepared with an exit strategy can leave practices in a bad spot.” An important step in the planning process should be to classify the status of how physicians fit into a practice. “For example, new physicians will have different compensation, benefits, call responsibilities, and other contractual protocols for succession and retirement than senior physicians or those who are partners,” Deeson says. “By defining physician statuses in your practice, considerations can then be made for alternative agreements, if necessary. In some situations, physicians may want to go from being full-time to part-time status. In other cases, life circumstances can play a role, such as having a child or experiencing personal health issues. These scenarios should be set in advance how important components related to employment will be handled.” Deeson notes that it is...
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