The most significant controversies in private practice often stem from workload/relative value unit (RVU) or differences in “earnings” among physicians. Anytime one physician “works more” or earns less on a daily rotation, partners and employees interpret that difference as unfair. Even more so, radiologists heighten this perception when one physician performs this rotation more than others. So, imagine starting and attempting to introduce a new procedure or imaging modality to a radiology practice right after graduating from a fellowship. Often, this will tip the workflow balance for an entire radiology business. So, how do you incorporate this new work into a practice’s current workflow? And what might you need to do to sway your partners to change the workflow for this new procedure in your practice? Today, we will delve into what you need to know as a new radiologist fresh out of fellowship who wants to start a new program or modality.
Show That The New Modality Increases Practice Value
To begin the process, you need to demonstrate that the new procedure adds value to the practice. What do I mean by that? Well, your job (if you choose to do so) becomes to convince your partners that your procedure or modality will eventually increase or at least maintain business.
How do you go about this process? One of the easiest ways to accomplish this goal is to give a practice-wide presentation. To do so, you need to show that your new modality will provide revenue above and beyond what the practice brings in. If this is not the case, you should demonstrate how the new procedure may act as a loss leader or at least increase ties with the hospital for all to benefit.
Another option to increase the buy-in of the partners would be to perform the art of “politicking.” Talk to your partners individually to get them to understand what the new procedure/modality will bring to the practice. So, when it comes time to discuss adding your new procedure to the daily rotations, each radiologist will be on board.
And finally, you need to consider what the practice will need to add and the costs to start the new procedure or modality. Is this procedure going to take away from other businesses in the practice? Or, in the case of new high-tech equipment, are the costs prohibitively expensive? These items are crucial to think about before beginning the new procedure.
Make A New Schedule That Is Fair For Everyone
Next, you need to think about not just the procedure value but also you should develop ways to incorporate the new procedure into the schedule reasonably. The less onus on the partners to establish a new schedule, the more likely you will be able to add the new modality to the practice. So, come up with ideas about how to add the new procedure. Perhaps you want to first tack it on to a current rotation. Or maybe, it is worthwhile to go full-steam into a new daily or weekly rotation. You must consider working out these factors before “going live.” If you cannot accomplish this, the chances of creating a new addition to practice dramatically decrease.
Be Aware Of The Politics
Sometimes beginning a new venture can wreak havoc on a practice or hospital system. For instance, adding a new SPECT/CT to one site may take away business from another within the system. This new equipment and procedure may decrease the employment opportunities for technologists within the site that does not have the latest technology. And, you may get a lot of pushback when you try to add it to the site. Therefore, taking the politics of the practice and hospital before beginning the new procedure is crucial.
Don’t Overwhelm The Decision Makers
These steps listed above are instrumental to creating something new in your practice. However, you have to tread very carefully. Frequently, your partners may be busy with lots of other practice requirements. So, try not to overwhelm them. What do I mean by that? Ensure the new procedure will not burden the partners and employees significantly. In the beginning, consider taking on much of the excess work yourself to get the new modality started within the schedule. Remember, you are the champion of this new procedure. So, it would help if you put in additional work to begin up front. If not you, then who else will do it?
Bottom Line For Starting A New Procedure Or Modality
Whenever you want to start something new within a practice, it is not enough to jump right in and begin. You need to put in much forethought and work before beginning. Starting something new not only affects the person initially responsible for developing the initiative. Instead, incorporating new procedures into the schedule affects the entire practice due to its effect on workflow. So, show that the modality increases practice value, demonstrate how to incorporate it into the schedule reasonably, be aware of the politics, and take on much of the initial grunt work yourself at the beginning. If you can accomplish these steps, you markedly increase the chances of starting a new procedure or modality within your practice for the benefit of all!