Recently I have had a couple posts with physicians discussing the either present closure or potential closure of their practices...this column offers some real food for thought...BD
Closing your practice should be a last resort. Here are some alternatives. Is turning down new patients the best way to care for your current patients?
After all, a too-large patient panel often translates into practice chaos: glacial waits for appointments, rushed encounters in the exam room, sloppy documentation. Doctors pay a personal price, too—working late at the office when they should be at home.
Some doctors may already be limiting their practices: The latest Medical Economics Continuing Survey reveals that the typical primary care doctor sees six fewer patients a week in 2006 than he saw in 2005. (See, "Productivity: Work hours up, patient visits down," Nov. 3, 2006.) But, many doctors still find themselves awash in a rising tide of charts. Sometimes they're victims of their own success—skill and bedside manner make them wildly popular. Sometimes they inherit the patients of a physician who leaves the practice. Or perhaps they toil in a physician-poor area.