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General Practitioner Business Loans

General Practitioner Business Loans

General practitioners are trained to view and care for their patient by taking into consideration the whole body and environment when offering treatment. They are skilled in diagnosis especially at an early stage of a condition, and they also know when and where to refer their patients if they require further investigation or remedy. General practitioner’s skill set also includes health promotion, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, and disease prevention. Therefore, there are changing trends in medical conditions and practices shaping the priorities of general practitioners today.

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Thus a medical condition that has been an issue for some time and concern for general practitioners has been obesity. In 2018 the prevalence of obesity has been increasing among adults in the United States but appears to be stable among youth. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has reported the obesity prevalence in adults aged 20 years and older has climbed from 34 to 40 percent comparing data from 2007 to 2008 and 2015 to 2016. Obesity is often linked with psychological, social and economic problems, including chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, lost productivity for businesses, and soaring health care cost, thus general practitioners are actively making an effort to combat this ongoing problem plaguing many of their patients. Moreover, reasonably new programs such as the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) which has more than 400 physicians as an obesity medicine specialist, are contributing to reducing the number of obese children and adults. This program has resulted in more physicians equipped with the tools necessary to treat the disease of obesity. Another advantage has been that the doctors getting certified are from a diverse group of specialties to further aid in patients suffering from a range of issues that may have been overlooked or not identified with less experienced physicians in the matter. The ABOM represents a needed change in obesity treatment that is being tackled by doctors all around the world to present the most effective regimen possible.

The field of general practitioners is also experiencing a push for its physicians to be more business savvy; so not only to collaborate on specific medical issues as discussed with obesity but also the management side of tackling illnesses and diseases among their patients. This push is happening as well as a result of economic pressures to reduce cost while increasing quality are intensifying across practice environments. The complexity of advising patients with chronic disease and the need for collaboration among several physicians is becoming the new normal, as is focus on patient and staff comfort. The role of the physician is changing swiftly. Now, general practitioners are and have the opportunity to graduate with a curriculum that includes team-based approaches. However, they still lack the fundamental business and leadership training needed to effect the changes required to maximize quality and reduce cost in clinical practice. Moreover, luckily, most medical schools are now offering joint MD/MBA degree programs that are giving physicians insight into the relevance and growing importance that this blend of business and medicine can provide for large hospitals and even smaller practices.

Other trends and challenges shaping the future of general practitioners are the shortage of primary care physicians in the US today. This trend continues as more medical school students choose higher-paying specialty physician positions. Studies have shown that between 2005 and 2015 the share of the physician workforce devoted to primary care decreased from 44 percent to 37 percent, and per capita, the field has remained roughly flat. As a result, general practitioners need for efficiency in practice management and coordinated care has become even more significant and thus they have taken on things such as the use of Electronic Health Records (HER) to help provide and stick to these standards. Lastly, the future for general practitioners is moving more towards a technical one. Meaning, physicians are going to have to reconfigure their offices and workflows around technology. So to achieve maximum efficacy and efficiency, they are being advised to delegate any task they’re now doing that a non-physician could do and make sure everyone in practice is working to the top of their licenses. There is a push for using the waiting rooms for educating patients and exam rooms supplemented by open spaces for group appointments and clinical team meetups. Furthermore, patients and providers would communicate using a variety of digital platforms, with patient health monitored remotely and everyday interactions facilitated by technology. These changes are believed to not only improve physician care but also boost doctor morale and reduce burnout. Overall, these trends and challenges are essential to consider when entering the field of becoming or working with general practitioners.

Types of General Practitioner Business Loans

General practitioners will often have the need to obtain financing at some point in time to cover business upgrades and expenses. Most common financing uses are business acquisitions, working capital, making payroll, purchasing, repairing or replacing equipment, hiring staff, marketing and advertising as well as a number of other uses. Below, we will take a look at the various financing options available to medical professionals.

Bank Term Loans

Bank lending is usually the best type of financing for general practitioners because the rates are very low, the terms are the longest of all types of business financing, and the fees are generally very low – if there are any fees at all. Most common uses of bank loans are for acquisitions, commercial real estate purchases, refinancing business debt (as well as debt consolidation) working capital and equipment purchases. Banks can provide such low-rate financing because they generally don’t expose themselves to much risk. Therefore, in order to get approved for a bank loan you practice needs to have good profitability over the course of a couple years. Additionally, the owner will need to have good credit.

Rates 5-15%
Terms 1-30 years
Funding Amounts $50,000-$5,000,000
Collateral Required
Fees Medium costs

 

Lines of Credit

An unsecured line of credit is a type of preapproved financing that allows a borrower to access cash whenever they need it, without having to seek further approval by the small business lender. Unsecured lines of credit don’t require collateral in order to get approved and funded,

Rates 5-15%
Terms 1-2 years
Funding Amounts $10,000-$5,000,000
Collateral Not Required
Fees Medium costs

 

SBA Lending

SBA financing for general practitioner medical practices are another type of low-rate conventional financing. The rates, terms, fees and structure of SBA loans are nearly identical to that of traditional bank financing. The difference between SBA lending and bank lending is the fact that SBA loans are partially-guaranteed by the U.S. Government. SBA loans are simply loans provided by a large, small or community bank as well as credit unions, that are administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration. By providing loans to small businesses through the SBA loan program, a bank will receive a guarantee by the Small Business Administration that will cover a large portion of the loan should the borrower fail to repay the loan.

Rates 5-8%
Terms 3-25 years
Funding Amounts $50,000-$5,000,000
Collateral Required
Fees Medium costs

 

Equipment Financing

Financing medical equipment is common for many doctors and general practitioners. The most common type of financing for doctors is to lease the business equipment rather than purchase outright. By leasing the equipment, the practice doesn’t need to pay the full price of the equipment upfront, nor will a doctor be stuck with outdated equipment in a few years. Most equipment leasing companies will provide the medical practice with the option to purchase the equipment at the end of the term, or an option to extend the leasing term.

Rates 8-15%
Terms 1-10 years
Funding Amounts $5,000-$1,000,000
Collateral Required
Fees Medium costs

 

Staffing Cash Advance

A cash advance for a general practitioner is a form of alternative financing that involves selling future receivables to a funder in exchange for a large percentage of the future receivable’s value upfront. A cash advance is almost always used for short-term business financing purposes – the most common being short-term working capital. Cash advances are easy to get approved for (requiring minimal credit) and can fund within a single business day.

Factor rates 1.10 – 1.50
Terms 3-24 months
Funding Amounts $2,500-$2,000,000
Collateral Not required
Fees Low to High costs

Summary

These are just some of the many financing options available to medical professional offices. With so many business loan options available it can be confusing trying to figure out which option is best for you. If you are a general practitioner in need of financing, and need help trying to figure out what’s best for your company, please feel free to reach-out to one of our specialists, and we’ll help you navigate the process.

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About the author
Domonique Cox

Domonique is a Minnesota native that earned her bachelors from The University of Arizona with a degree in English and Film Studies. Though books and writing are not her only interest, you can find her engaging in nutritional sciences, environmentalism, vegan cuisine, filmmaking, old school dancing, tennis, running, sound engineering, and enjoying satirical dark comedies or listening to the poetic lyrics of Bob Dylan. She is now based in Los Angeles as a content writer for GUD Capital where she spends her spare time honing her writing and directing skills. 

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