Why might physicians need a medical practice broker?

I'm always on the lookout for resources to help the physician families, so when I got an introductory letter from David Greene, the owner at Medical Practice Brokers in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I gave him a call and asked a few questions. Why would a doctor need a medical practice broker? After all, you know more about your practice than anybody else. And how hard could it be to sell what you know everything about?

The simple answer is that you'll probably only sell one practice in your whole life, and selling a medical practice is a complex task with a litany of financial, legal, tax impacts, not to mention the career aspects. A good medical practice broker lets you keep doing what you need to do (run your practice) while they handle the details of selling your practice, including:

  • packaging detailed information about your business,
  • setting a price,
  • finding and screening buyers,
  • setting up financing, and
  • coordinating attorneys, accountants, lenders, real estate appraisers, and other financial advisors.

And the ultimate reason you need a medical practice broker is that you've never done this before but they have. Like surgery, if you don't do it all the time, you should choose a professional who does.

How do you know when you need a medical practice broker? Simple. When you find yourself in a situation where you need to know what your practice is worth, that's when you call a medical practice broker. For instance, you're getting divorced, and the value of your practice is in question. Or maybe you're planning to retire and you want to maximize the value of your business and make sure you sell it for top dollar. Or, maybe you're new to practice and you want to buy a practice rather than starting from scratch.

What makes a good medical practice broker? David says experience matters (he has 12 years of experience and tons of contacts) and a specialty that transcends mere business brokerage to focus exclusively on medical practice sales and valuations. David says his firm is among fewer than a dozen practice brokerages here in the United States that focus exclusively on physician medical practices.

While there seems to be no "gold standard" of accreditation for business brokerage (like "MD" for medical doctors), you can look for training and accreditation specific to business valuation and sales, including these credentials:

  • Certified Business Intermediary (CBI)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)
  • Accredited Valuation Analyst (AVA)
  • Real estate broker's license

In addition to these, look for a broker who has strong communications skills and a rock solid reputation since they'll be speaking for you and dealing with multiple parties on your behalf.

Are you thinking about starting or buying a practice? David also owns PracticeWorld.com, a "one-stop marketplace for healthcare professionals to buy, sell, look for financing, advertise, manage, or start a medical-related practice."