SOURCE: John P. Cataldo & Associates

October 22, 2012 06:00 ET

John P. Cataldo & Associates: Rise of "Take-Out" Clinics Cause Need for Medical Office Restructuring

As More Convenient Health Care Options, Such as Pharmacy and Urgent Care Facilities, Enter the American Consumer Market, Many Medical Offices Are Troubled by Reduced Profits; CPA John P. Cataldo Offers Suggestions for Professionals Struggling With This Evolving Medical System

JAMISON, PA--(Marketwire - Oct 22, 2012) - As the health care system continues to evolve under new government policies, many concerned patients across America are turning to convenient "take-out" clinics to resolve medical problems. A recent article from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reveals that "By 2014, an estimated 3,200 'convenient' care medical clinics will operate in the U.S. [That is] up from about 200 in 2006, a 15-fold increase in eight years." Although urgent care facilities have existed for quite some time, it has become apparent that more patients are turning to convenient care businesses for quick, affordable medical attention that does not require insurance. However, trusted CPA John P. Cataldo notes that while this market change has proven beneficial to consumers, many medical offices and urgent care facilities are failing to make a profit.

The article explains that medical offices are unable to keep up with the consumer demands that have allowed for convenient care expansion. For example, more patients are expected to seek out medical attention as health insurance regulation changes. However, with only an estimated 18,000 medical students graduating each year, it is hard for traditional physicians to keep up with the new influx of patients. John P. Cataldo has provided many dental and medical offices with financial and accounting services through his business, John P. Cataldo & Associates. He explains, "The rise in convenient care solutions presents quite a conundrum to the economic success of physicians. Although the demand is starting to recover, the supply is not adequate, making convenient care providers much more feasible."

John P. Cataldo notes that if medical professionals want to become more profitable, professionals must be willing to make changes to their business. As the article explains, people prefer urgent care for a wide variety of reasons, from the transparency of cost to extended hours. Cataldo notes, "Although medical offices typically are not structured to take a large amount of patients on a walk-in basis, quick appointment scheduling needs to become more regular. It may also benefit physicians to extend hours outside of traditional work schedules by offering appointments before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m."

The article also reveals that many urgent care facilities are unable to turn a profit. Even though they are open for extended periods of time, these businesses require more staff. In addition, their appeal to non-insured individuals makes it harder for them to generate extra income. John P. Cataldo notes, "This is especially true for convenient care systems that do not operate under the roofs of established stores like Wal-Mart and Target. As the article notes, for an urgent care facility to garner a profit, they must sell products -- this can be difficult for patients who are already experiencing financial troubles."

Still, John P. Cataldo believes the system will eventually offer greater viability to both established physicians and urgent care staff members. He concludes, "These trends are quite troubling for both businesses, because they are new. However, I believe that with accounting and financial assistance these medical offices can learn how to create solid business models that can offer 'the best of both worlds' to patients, and in turn, help generate more revenue."

ABOUT:

John P. Cataldo has provided dependable accounting, tax and financial consulting services to those in the Bucks County, Pennsylvania, region for more than two decades. Founded in 1984, John P. Cataldo & Associates offers assistance to businesses, including medical and dental offices, with a team of reliable Certified Professional Accountants.