Protecting Your Practice’s Accounts Receivable
Since a medical practice’s Accounts Receivable (AR) is typically its largest and most vulnerable asset, one would think that most Doctors would focus on protecting it (Fortress) from the many lawsuit risks that Doctors, medical practices, and any operating business with employees and customers face. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Also, since the Doctor earns the right to be paid weeks and often months before the AR is ultimately collected, one might think that most Doctors would try to apply the concept of Leverage to this unproductive asset (Engine) to get more out of the asset. Again, you would be wrong.
In this Chapter, we will explain the exposure of a practice’s AR to claims against the Doctors and employees of the practice. Then we will compare and contrast two options for protecting the AR and leveraging this asset for further wealth creation.
How Doctors Lose Their Accounts Receivable
A medical practice’s accounts receivable (AR) is the Doctor’s most vulnerable asset when it comes to losing wealth in any claim against the practice. These claims can be medical malpractice claims, employment claims, healthcare related suits, or any number of financial risks to the practice. This financial risk exists because every case against a physician or the practice will include the medical practice as one of the defendants in the lawsuit. When there is a successful lawsuit against the practice, attorneys will look to corporate assets to satisfy the corporate debt. What is the biggest (and possibly only) liquid asset that a practice has? The Accounts Receivable (AR).
The accounts receivable has already been earned by your practice. You are only awaiting payment. Most medical practices “turn over” their AR every 60-90 days or so. This means the creditor only needs to wait 2 or 3 months, at most, to get access to your AR. It doesn’t matter that the AR is used to pay salaries and expenses. Once there is a lien against the AR, it becomes the property of the creditor and you have to find other ways to pay salaries and expenses. More