Financial Mistakes Doctor’s Make

With all the day-to-day activity that goes on every day in your practice, sometimes you may lose sight of the things that can jeopardize your finances.  These are four things that can affect your practice financially. 

1.  Trusting your money with your employees

The front office is an opportunity for someone to take advantage of payments being made.  Usually there are one or two people, which are in charge of collecting payments from patients.  It is very easy for someone to accept $75.00 in cash and only claim the patient paid $30.00.  It is always good to assign two people to handle all payments, one to accept the payment and one to double-check the payment once it has been received.  One way to also help with this problem is to hire an outside billing service.  This is a good way to have a good check and balance system.  Let the employees know that there will be periodic checking on the books that is done randomly.

2.  Investing in a product

Plenty of doctor’s have been tempted to invest in a colleague’s “great” idea. This could lead to a lot of problems. Even if the idea does go well, it usually takes over 20 years to see a profit.   One notable case was when a physician invested $400,000 and lost it all.  Too many doctors fail to do any research on the product or finding out what the company’s financial status is prior to making the investment.

3.  Not having enough Malpractice insurance

It may be very tempting to take the policy with the lowest coverage and premiums to save money but in the long run it is not a good idea.  Buying a policy that has good coverage that you can afford can save you from losing your life savings if ever you are found liable in a lawsuit against you.  “Occurrence” coverage is more comprehensive than a “claims-made” policy, but that blanket protection costs a lot more.

4.  Investing in high-tech equipment

The medical community is always on the fast track for developing new and better equipment for physicians.  Some doctor’s fall into the trap of buying some of these new products without testing them, researching them or even asking other colleague’s their opinion.  Some products are very helpful and end up being worth the investment; some though can be costly and not much different from the old product.  This leaves you left with a very expensive product and not much use for it.  It is best to do your homework and decide if it is worth the money and if it will truly make a difference to your practice.

Marina Hall is a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) and founder of MariAnn Medical Billing Service. To read a full “Interview with Marina Hall” visit her website at

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