We recently read an interesting article about a physicians group dealing with the prolonged illness of one of its partners. The partners had drafted what they thought was a concise and complete partnership agreement including the usual clauses: what to do in the case of the death of a partner, how to remove a partner, retirement, the normal operational challenges any partnership might encounter. But they did not discuss what would happen in case a partner struggled with a disease that impaired their ability to work.
The partnership now finds itself in an awkward and undesirable position, one that could have been prevented with proper planning. The author of the article outlines 4 things she would have done differently.
- Have discussions with your partners to discuss the “what-ifs”, no matter how far-fetched or unrealistic they may seem.
- Communicate early and often with your partners in the event that an unplanned complication arises.
- If emotions enter into the equation, get a mediator involved as soon as possible.
- And finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t lose hope! Most problems can be overcome by a stable partnership willing to engage in a difference of opinion.
As the article suggests, smart planning begins at the practice level itself, but it is also vital to have an insurance company that is run by physicians and attorneys that have experience with these unforeseen and unique circumstances. Here at DDI, we are committed to giving our clients the resources to prevent undesirable occurrences before they happen, and mitigating their effects when they do. By helping our clients prepare for the “what-ifs”, we ultimately hope to afford our clients more time to do what they do best: help their patients get well.
We would love to talk more with you about these “what-if” scenarios and how to better protect your practice. Click here for a free practice review.