General practice tool kit

Your practice finances

Achieving your financial goals

Last revised: 24 Oct 2019

General practice is a business

To build a successful and sustainable general practice that allows you to achieve your financial goals, you need to regard your general practice as a business.

Business owners and advisors often talk about spending time on your business, as well as in your business. Time spent in your business might include seeing patients and managing staff, but time spent on your business includes things like long-term planning, networking, and identifying ways to increase your income and lower your expenses.

To achieve your financial aspirations, you need to understand and work on:

  • your capacity to generate income
  • the costs you incur to deliver services.

For example, you may want to consider:

  • how the number of hours you work will affect your potential income and career longevity
  • alternative streams of income, in addition to fee-for-service
  • investing time, education and upskilling to maintain your role (eg if you are a managing partner, you should have a plan in place to remunerate yourself appropriately, if not immediately, in the not-too-distant future).

Tip

Sometimes it’s appropriate to charge a fee to someone other than the patient. For example, GPs often receive requests from insurance companies to provide a report about a patient’s application or claim. Preparing medical reports for insurers and other third parties can be complex and time-consuming and therefore it is reasonable that you charge the third party (not the patient) an appropriate fee.

Preparing medical reports: A guide to setting fees and writing reports (RACGP log-in required)

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