Getting a good match is critical, agreed Mr. Glazer. Both he and Ms. Zupko emphasized that candidates should factor in core values when making a job decision. Don’t get hung up on weather and geography, cautioned Ms. Zupko, who believes that family happiness and work-life balance should be at the center of the decision rubric. Candidates need to consider spouses’ preferences, schools, type of community and proximity to family when choosing their jobs. Mr. Glazer seconded this advice, even if young physicians are not yet married and don’t have children.
Explore This IssueNovember 2009
Look Before You Leap
-Karen A. Zupko
When it’s time for the interview, come prepared to assess the health of the practice. Mr. Glazer outlined some of the key questions candidates should ask of their prospective employers. Among those are:
- How long has the practice been in business?
- What is its governance structure?
- May I see your productivity analyses-such as the collections history for the past 12 months?
- Do your office staff members regularly take coding courses? Is your practice administrator a member of the Association of Otolaryngology Administrators?
- What is your compliance plan?
- How is the practice capitalized?
- Do you employ an outside accountant?
- How much debt would I assume if I became a partner?
If the practice balks at answering these questions, Mr. Glazer advised candidates to offer to sign a confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement.
-Robert A. Glazer, MPA
The Power of Paying Attention
Ms. Zupko and Ms. LeGrand wholeheartedly endorsed acquiring detailed practice management information. When you review collections reports, pay close attention to the days in receivables column, said Ms. LeGrand. If there are too many accounts more than 90 days late, this could be a red flag that staff may not be aggressively pursuing collections. Ms. Zupko and Ms. LeGrand urged physicians to become familiar with fixed and variable overhead, and with how physician direct expenses are allocated. Do members of the group pay for their own CMEs, for example, or is it a benefit of employment?
Get It in Writing
It is always advisable, once a job offer is made, to retain an attorney well versed in health care law (the American Health Lawyers Association is one such source, at www.healthlawyers.org ).