Multiple Location Challenges
One disadvantage of multiple locations, though, is that certain patients may perceive the practice as a chain, “which for a medical practice may be a bad thing, even though a chain may provide a better quality of care because the chain is comprised of experts and has a history of cases diagnosed and treated internally,” Allen says. “Still, you might lose some patients.”
But the biggest challenge in owning multiple locations is the growth process, according to Allen. “This entails understanding cash flow and not ending upside down where you become stressed out because you cannot pay the bills from overspending or an unplanned event,” he notes. “Therefore, you need to have a strategy for growth and a team of experts to help you execute correctly.”
The proper management of personnel is also key. “For two locations, if you do not have staff willing to drive back and forth, you may need to initially hire part-time staff at one of the locations,” Allen says.
Allen recommends that practices use the same branding in all markets. “Your first location worked for a reason. I would not reinvent the wheel on a second location,” he says.
However, Allen emphasizes that multiple locations are a lot more work. “And for any number above three locations, you are likely going to be pulled away from the clinical side and become more of a manager,” he says. “At that point, you need to consider hiring a CEO or a chief operating officer, which will cost plenty of money.”