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.

Stop taking new patients? Think twice - Medical Economics


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