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Medical Consulting


Medical consultants are professionals who will provide consulting services related to practice management, billing, advertising, and anything else related to running a medical business. In the next few paragraphs, you will find valuable information that will help you understand what medical consulting is and how it can help each individual business process. Within this article you will learn about benefits, pitfalls, and pricing information related to the use of medical consulting services. Some of the benefits are related to time management and staffing issues, which are common worries among businesses. This guide will provide you with the tools necessary to decide if a medical consultant is the right choice for your company. 

Benefits

 

Consultants specializing in the medical field are available for virtually any task that you need, and they can benefit your practice in many different ways. The medical consulting field is being used more and more by medical professionals; the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the management, scientific, and technical consulting industries will grow 83% by 2018.

 

Specialization

 

If you have a need for a service but no expertise in-house, you can most likely find a consultant to fill the void. Many consultants come in to train employees on new technology, perform one-off projects such as surveys or marketing campaigns, or perform accounting audits. With consultants specializing in 360 different types of expertise, you are sure to find one that can fill your needs.

 

Minimize Staffing Issues

 

Smaller practices in particular can benefit from the use of medical consultants, as the consultants can provide ad hoc services that limit the number of employees you need to keep on staff. If your small practice cannot support a full-time finance person, for example, you can hire a consultant to come in on a semi-regular basis, saving you the cost of training, taxes, and insurance.

 

Increased Productivity

 

Consultants are especially useful in the technology arena, where equipment and methods quickly become outdated. A consultant can come in and give quick and thorough training to bring your employees up to speed in a timely manner, rather than having them learn on their own. Having a professional efficiently show them the ropes will increase your staff’s productivity and your profitability.

 

Free Up Your Time

 

There are many medical consultants who specialize in streamlining practices and coming up with solutions to common problems. This allows you to spend less time worrying about issues that arise and concentrate on making your business more profitable.

 

Using medical consultants makes good business sense. A recent survey by Medical Economics concluded that more than 80% of those who used medical consultant services were happy with the work that was done. Whether you are looking to make your staff more productive or your business more profitable, hiring consultants on an ad hoc or semi-regular basis can be very beneficial.

 

Pitfalls

The medical field continues to experience greater demand, and many medical facilities and practices have turned to medical consulting as a means to improve the structure of their businesses. However, any practice that seeks a medical consulting company should be aware of some potential pitfalls.

Personality Conflicts

In many cases, consultants are hired and paid to give their opinions. If your practice has done things a certain way for a length of time, verify that all associated with the practice are willing to make changes based on a consultant’s advice. Medical consultants generally have researched the field thoroughly and can provide helpful information about trends. Be sure you’re willing to accept the advice before you pay someone for it.

Wrong Type of Consultant

A medical consultant is hired to improve some aspect of operations for a provider. Consultants may specialize in billing, human resources, image and branding, accounting, or numerous other fields. Therefore, it is imperative that you clarify your goals and expectations when searching for a medical consultant, so you can identify the correct person. If you need a specialist, limit your search to that field. If you are not sure exactly what you need, revisit your business plan and goals before searching for consulting services.

Cost

Hiring a consultant is expensive. More information can be found in the pricing section, but on average, consultants with five to nine years experience earn between $60,000 and $90,000. Be sure you consider your return of investment before you take the step of hiring a consultant.

Know Your Agenda

If you think you already know what solutions are best for your medical practice, hiring a consultant might be counterproductive. An individual who enters a consulting relationship with a predetermined agenda or solution can become frustrated if the consultant’s opinions differ. Ultimately, how you run your medical practice is up to you. If you don’t feel you need assistance in a particular area, seeking a consultant is unnecessary. 

Pricing

The cost of medical consulting depends on the tasks to be completed, the deadline for completion, and the number of consultants and assistants to be involved. Some consulting firms charge a flat rate per project, with additional fees for scope creep. The majority of consultants charge an hourly or daily rate with a certain percentage of the project paid up front.

Hourly Examples

Hourly consulting fees range from $75 to $400. According to PayScale.com, experienced medical consultants earn between $62,000 and $90,000 annually across various clients.

Flat Rate Examples

Depending on the size of the practice, appraisals and financial assessments cost approximately $5,000. Confidential job search placements can cost 10% to 15% of the hired candidate’s salary.

Conclusion

 

As you can see, the use of a medical consultant has numerous benefits and pitfalls. Benefits include the availability of consultants specializing in different areas, minimized staffing needs, increased productivity and profitability, and improved time management. All of these benefits allow you to concentrate on making your business more profitable. Potential pitfalls include personality conflicts between the consultant and your staff, hiring the wrong type of consultant, and the overall costs of bringing a specialized consultant into your team. As a business owner, it is imperative that you weigh all of these issues when deciding whether or not to hire a medical consultant.

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