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When the price isn’t right: Your expenses vs. cost data

Benchmarking your practice’s costs is the best way to ensure that your pay plan doesn’t leak revenue, but you need a basis for comparison. How does your practice measure up to the one down the street? Do you spend more for bandages or overpay staff? Cost surveys provide a solid measure to ensure that your expenses are on track and that your physicians earn maximum compensation. "These days, practices are going out of business and costs are a very real concern," says Craig W. Hunter, associate partner at the Alpharetta, GA-based healthcare consulting firm The Coker Group. "For some specialties, such as primary care, the margins haven’t gotten bigger, the compensation hasn’t grown, and there are few ancillaries to draw from." For that reason, you must closely watch your bottom line.