Ways to Pump Up Your Bottom Line (Despite Healthcare Reform)

Leigh Page


October 25, 2012

In This Article


Practices that are willing to embrace change will find many opportunities in the ACA, but Jess Orrick says that those who resist the change will be in trouble. According to Orrick, such resistance may range from not meeting meaningful use standards, which will lead to penalties, to not being serious about marketing or closing your practice against the flood of new patients coming in 2014.

Orrick experienced this flood several years ago, when his home state of Massachusetts mandated that all residents buy insurance. This summer, the Massachusetts Medical Society reported that it took an average of about 45 days for new patients to see a family doctor, up from 36 days last year and 29 days in 2010.

Many Massachusetts physicians have closed their practices, but Orrick thinks that's a bad idea. "First, you may not have reached your real capacity to see patients," he says. "If you're a family physician, you may be seeing 80 patients a week, when you really need to see 100-120 to be viable.

"Second, once you tell your patients and your managed care companies that you're closing your practice, it takes a year or a year and a half to start that engine up again," Orrick says. "If it turns out you need more patients, it takes a long time to get the word out."