Jonathan Fleece, Robert Stroud, and Brent Hoard, from the Blalock Walters health care law team, attended the Florida Medical Association’s Annual Meeting in Boca Raton on July 24th – 25th. While there, we hosted a booth at the exposition center, and presented a seminar entitled “How to Build and Maintain a Successful Medical Practice Partnership.” The following highlights our presentation, which is posted in full on our new website at

  • Once you choose the appropriate corporate structure for your practice, it is imperative to have owners’ rights and obligations set forth in writing, (i.e., in a Shareholders’ Agreement). An ounce of prevention at this critical stage could save you thousands of dollars should a dispute arise.
    • Why do small group practices fail?
      • A lack of honest communication;
      • A physician becomes a king or queen;
      • Compensation disputes;
      • Conflict over managed care contracting.
    • Why do large medical group practices fail?
      • Lack of centralized leadership
      • Compensation;
      • Expense creep;
      • Lack of cohesiveness;
      • Lack of strategic planning;
      • Forgetting to focus on revenue.
    • Why do multi-specialty group practices fail?
      • Costs/profit centers are advisable but avoid islands of power;
      • Different revenue streams, expenses, and focus;
      • Referral patterns;
      • Inappropriate allocation of expenses.
  • Keys to building and maintaining a successful practice (in no particular order): (i) profits; (ii) compensation; (iii) excellent patient care; (iv) good employees; (v) effective utilization of technology; (vi) effective billing and collection systems; (vii) effective negotiation of managed care agreements; (viii) strong advisors; (ix) thinking outside the box; (x) keeping abreast of industry trends and regulatory changes; (xi) focus on clinical and business aspects of the practice; and (xii) marketing, patient development and referral development.
    • What does the future hold?
    • Hospital acquisitions/employee model;
    • Mergers and consolidations;
    • Joint ventures;
    • Economies of scale;
    • Outsourcing back office functions.

Building and maintaining a successful medical practice or small business takes hard work, dedication, and good advice. We recommend that you consult with an attorney who can help you navigate and avoid the many pitfalls that may prevent your practice or business from realizing its true potential.

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