Invite the right physician associates into co-ownership

Partners intent on staying independent must still offer new physicians the opportunity to become co-owners. Adding new partners clearly holds value. Having physician-owners of varying ages best serves a practice, allowing the mantle of leadership to be passed on without major disruption. And partnership may be the best way to promote real understanding and involvement in a practice’s business.

But not every associate should become a co-owner. Bringing excellent clinical skills to the practice should not by itself justify becoming a partner. The stakes are too high these days for pure clinicians to make (or even to heavily influence) critical business decisions.

New co-owners must contribute more to the practice than just the ability to take good care of patients. Those additional factors,of which executive leadership and business management are two examples, depend on the specific circumstances of the practice. When a new physician meets those qualifications, be pleased to invite him or her into co-ownership.

Also, treat non-owners fairly from an income standpoint, for they remain important to the group. Despite managed care, patients still establish relationships with individual doctors; undue physician turnover does not serve a practice well.

This nugget was adapted from Solving Partner-Level Challenges, from Advisory Publications, a division of HCPro, Inc. Go to or call our Customer Service Department at 800/650-6787 for more information or to order.

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