Magazine article Medical Economics

Practice Management

Magazine article Medical Economics

Practice Management

Article excerpt

Should you let an employee trade cash for time off?

Q: One of my staffers requested an extra two weeks' pay in lieu of using her vacation days. Is there any reason not to cut her a check?

A: Yes. Even if she doesn't recognize it, your employee needs time off for rest and relaxation. Your practice also benefits when staffers return from vacations refreshed. Furthermore, when an employee won't take time off, it may be a sign that she's trying to hide something, like embezzlement.

However, if an assistant is entitled to a longer vacation-- say, three or four weeks per year-you can bend the rules. Consider paying her extra for working one of those weeks.

When you're contemplating a cross-country trek

Q: I've been working in an allergy practice in New Jersey for three years, but now I want to open a solo practice-either here or in California. What should I consider in the decision-making process?

A: First, evaluate the success of other solo practices in each community you're looking at. Next, ask yourself whether the community can support another solo doctor in your specialty: Will you be able to attract enough patients within the next 12 months to break even? Will you be able to keep those patients and attract enough others to pay yourself a decent salary? Will you be able to afford the move-financially and emotionally? Will you be able to get a loan that covers startup costs-office space, equipment, staff salaries, and supplies? Will you be able to negotiate as many contracts with health plans as you'll need for a sustainable patient base? …

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