If you have been following along with my site, you may be aware that I plan to open a cash-based practice in the near future. Therefore, I have been looking for books, experiences, and stories of other doctors who have successfully started their own practice.
That is why when I stumbled upon The Medical Entrepreneur, a book written by Dr. Steven M. Hacker detailing his experience of starting and running a very profitable dermatology practice, I was ecstatic. If I can just follow along and do what he did, maybe my practice will be successful too!
Well, after finishing the book, I do have a few things to say. But before I get into that, I am going to start out with a customary table of contents.
What’s in the Book?
Introduction: You Can Be a Caring Doctor and a Savvy Businessperson
PART I: Everything You Need to Know Before You See Your First Patient
- 1. Congrats, You’re a Doctor, Now How Do You Make Money?
- 2. Licenses, Laws, and Acronyms (DEA, NPI, CAQH, PECOS, HIPAA, HITECH, CLIA)
- 3. Hospital Privileges, Medicare, and Managed Care Plans
- 4. Employees, Contracts, and Payroll
- 5. Billing and Getting Paid
- 6. Technology and the Electronic Health Records for the Office
- 7. Planning, Designing, and Locating an Office
- 8. Marketing and Public Relations
- 9. Conclusion
PART II: For All Physician Entrepreneurs
- 10. An Idea and a Dream
- 11. Understanding Financial Statements, Intellectual Property, and Raising Capital
- 12. Reality Check Before You Launch Your Dream Business
- 13. The Management Team, Board of Directors, and Advisors
- 14. Everything Is Negotiable
- 15. Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
- 16. Conclusion
PART III: Pearls and Proceedings from the 2012 Medical Entrepreneur Symposium
- 17. Day 1 – The Medical Entrepreneur Symposium (Friday)
- 18. Day 2 – The Medical Entrepreneur Symposium (Saturday)
- 19. Day 3 – The Medical Entrepreneur Symposium (Sunday)
As you can see from the table of contents, the book covers a lot!
Part I mainly pertains to starting your own practice. Part II covers starting any type of company, which does not necessarily have to be a medical practice. Part III is a review of the topics covered in Dr. Hacker’s convention, The Medical Entrepreneur Symposium. (A few weeks ago, I sent out an invitation to my newsletter subscribers to attend the conventions for free. So if you want in on updates and awesome opportunities, make sure you sign up for my newsletter here.)
So What Do I Really Think of The Medical Entrepreneur?
There are not many books that deals with the business aspect of medicine, so I cannot be too picky. I really did not expect too much. But once I began the book, I was blown away. I was hooked upon reading the introduction. This book is a must-buy if you are even thinking about getting starting your own practice. And here is why.
Medicine is a highly, highly regulated field. The trial lawyers like to keep it that way, all in the interest of “patient protection.” (Of course, each time the lawyer wins a lawsuit against the doctors, guess whose pockets are lined with cash?) You need guidance when setting up your practice, not only to make money, but to make sure you do not break any laws. Of course, this book will provide the guidance from someone who has been there and done that.
To stay true to my promise, I will tell you how Dr. Hacker was able to make a boatload of $$$ along the way:
- He took a calculated risk. For example, how he chose where to set up his practice was extremely calculated.
- He followed medical law extensively. More than half of this book contains an overview of the basic medical laws you should know about as a doctor. This is extremely important. You do not want your butt hauled off to court!
- He made everything negotiable. Read chapter 14. And then re-read it again. If you pay close attention, you will see how he was able to discontinue his contract with a billing company relatively unscathed. It will totally revolutionize your mindset.
Well, you are probably a bit disappointed that there are not more details in this review. I would be too. But seriously, get the book and study it in detail. You will learn so much about business in medicine, especially if you want to set up your own practice.
It is very rare for a book to be perfect. And this book is no exception. My main complaint is that it did not talk about bootstrapping (starting and growing your business though limited funding) as much as I wanted. Everything he had to say about that took up only one chapter. In my opinion, bootstrapping enables the business to endure through lean times for a longer period of time before failing. It increases the chance for a business to survive and thrive.
Nevertheless, if you are even thinking about setting up your own practice, you need to get this book now!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for me to review. Do keep in mind that it will not influence my opinion of the book. If the book is good, I will write a good review. If the book is not so great, my review will reflect that.
This article is part of the Money in Medicine series. Click on the link if you want all the money-making secrets available to doctors.