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< Back To News What is meant by transitioning a practice? By Patrick Hayden

Transition means, "change." And in this current time in the healthcare industry, change is forthcoming. As a provider of care, you may be wondering what I can do in these changing times? There are several options, and understanding your options can lead you to success.

There are four basic strategies to transition. These are closing the practice, selling the practice, bringing in a partner(s) or merger. Let me go into some specifics of each of the strategies.

Closing the practice. Probably the simplest form of transition. You stop taking appointments, and lock the door. The upside is that it is very easy to do this, as long as you do not have to pay a lot in rent, plus your employee costs, etc. The downside is that even though you are not still seeing patients, you must make certain of continuity of care and that the carts are accessible for minimum of 7 years. The largest downside is that you receive no value from all of your hard work of creating and building the practice.

Selling the practice. This may be very difficult in these changing times. First, you must set a fair market value, and start marketing the practice. Then, once a potential buyer shows interest, you need to start working with them regarding transition of patients, records and money. You may need to provide time in the practice to ease your patients to the new entity. The positive is that you receive value for your life's work, and you have made it easy for your patients to continue their care. The downside is that the value of the practice may be surprising to you. Also another surprise is that you may not be able to locate a buyer.

Bringing in a partner. A difficult, but not impossible, transition strategy. We recommend that if you are looking to this strategy, then you make certain that the potential partner is compatible to you. you should spend as much time on this search as you did to find your spouse. Also, you need to come to a mutually agreed upon price for the buy in. The right partner can make a practice grow and prosper for all involved. However, we all know of practices that have had a poor breakups of partners with a lot of collateral damage.

Merger. A very interesting proposition of transitioning. First, you can reduce your overhead, patients, workload, etc. But you may also lose management control that you have enjoyed for years. Also, you often find changes to systems, plus duplication of labor when this strategy is involved. After all, no practice needs 2 practice managers! If structured correctly, this can be a very viable solution to your practice transition.

So, if you are looking at today's environment, and feel that you have to pursue other options, consulting an expert may help you to develop the best options for you.

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