- Notify the underwriting department of the malpractice carrier or other liability insurance provider
- Familiarize yourself with the rules set out in Chapter 165 (“Medical Records”) of the Texas Medical Board
- Be prepared to update, transfer, or cancel all utilities and subscriptions to practice’s buyer
5 Tips To Selling Your Medical Practice in Texas
When the time comes to close and sell your medical practice, there are a number of steps and many rules to follow. As with all career-changing decisions, it can help to strategize early and have a plan in place for each stage of the process. The Texas Medical Association provides several resources that can help you navigate the process, including its guide Closing or Selling Your Medical Practice and Strategies for Exiting Your Medical Practice for Retirement.
Here are five general tips to help you start making a plan for closing and selling your practice.
1. Consult your malpractice carrier
Selling your medical practice will involve changes to your insurance situation. The Texas Medical Liability Trust advises that providers who are selling their practice notify the underwriting department of their malpractice carrier or other liability insurance provider as soon as possible. The insurer can help manage the process of changing your status with other contracted entities where you have privileges, such as hospitals or medical centers.
2. Address the future of your patient’s records
It is essential that you comply with all confidentiality laws and regulations regarding your patients’ records and information. Familiarize yourself with the rules set out in Chapter 165 (“Medical Records”) of the Texas Medical Board. Remember that your office stores other records besides medical documentation; develop a plan for the proper return, destruction, or transfer of billing records, contact information, and correspondence. There are a number of companies in Texas that specialize in medical records and office records and can assist with shredding and disposal. If your practice has been purchased, some (perhaps all) of your patients may continue their care with the new owner; even in this situation, however, there are regulations and guidelines to follow.
3. Notify those who need to know
After your family, your employees should be the first to know about your decision. Be sure to time the notice so that it’s early enough for employees to plan their own transitions, but not so early that employees depart while you still need them. Retain at least one employee for a period of time after you stop seeing patients so they can help with closing business, such as outstanding bills and managing the transition. Patients should be the next to know; again, provide them with enough time to find new providers if need be, but wait until your practice has sold so you can reassure them that there will be a continuation of service available to them if they so choose. Reach out to them with a personalized letter that explains the transition and clearly details what will happen with their records. Be sure to contact others who need to know about your decision as well, such as suppliers, contractors, billing services, and so forth. If your practice has sold and is joining or transitioning to a practice at a different physical location, you will also need to inform your landlord.
4. Prepare for other business concerns
Running a medical practice involves many business components. Work with your office staff to develop a list of the moving parts that go into your operations so you can develop a plan for each. Consider the status of your lease, for example, or, if you own your property, the mortgage. Be prepared to transfer all of the utilities (electricity, water, internet service, gas, and so forth) into the name of your practice’s buyer. Even minor things, such as subscriptions, cleaning services, courier services, and other ancillary matters, will need to be updated, transferred, or cancelled. The Texas Medical Board also provides retirement options for continued licensure that may be appropriate for your personal situation.
5. Ask for help
Selling your medical practice is a complicated undertaking. Consulting the resources available from the Texas Medical Board and other authorities is a good way to start planning, as is reaching out to colleagues and mentors who have closed and sold their practices. Ultimately, though, the best course of action is to consult with professional investors who have gone through the process successfully and smoothly in the past. Having the guidance and expertise of someone who has navigated the many hurdles that selling and closing a practice can face will give you peace of mind and help you avoid unnecessary obstacles along the way. In addition, experienced professionals will be able to accurately value and sell your practice so you can be confident that you are getting the fair price for your business. After all, you’ve probably spent all or most of your life building your practice—you want to make sure that, in the end, it’s handed off in the best, most effortless, and most rewarding way possible.