I often urge physicians to ask two often overlooked questions when thinking of hiring a new colleague: Can you get Dr. New on the panel with your major managed care plans? And do you have enough staff, an adequate physical plant, and proper internal systems to support a new doctor? However, here are some additional suggestions for predicting your practice's future physician needs:
- Demographic shifts. Watch if your service area has plans for new construction, movements towards younger or older populations, and other demographics.
- Primary care trends. For a specialist, an expanding primary care presence may foretell future referrals.
- Your competition. Physicians are notorious for loose talk, so stay alert to what others in your specialty (and related specialties) are planning. If they are not expanding, I see greater chances for you successfully doing so.
- The payors. In areas with heavy HMO penetration, what are your payers planning? Then consider how their plans impact yours.