RSM Australia

How to strengthen and simplify your allied health practice

The allied health sector is notable for its variety and complexity but there are rich opportunities too.

Australia’s 195,000 allied health practitioners make up about a quarter of the total health workforce. The variety of professional practice includes physiotherapists, dieticians, optometrists, podiatrists, speech therapists, audiologists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and occupational therapists.

Patient demographics and payment sources vary considerably too. Some patients with relatively straightforward needs recover after a few sessions and usually pay with their private health insurance.

Other patients live with complex, long-term conditions and may need ongoing care from a multi-disciplinary team that includes several different allied health professionals. Funding for such patients comes from a plethora of sources including Medicare, the NDIS, the Department of Veterans Affairs or My Aged Care.

You’re working in a complex system, affected by government funding for health, disability, and aged care, with different funding streams and reporting requirements for each type of patient. How can you simplify and strengthen your allied health practice?

The good news is that you have a valuable skill set that’s in demand. That demand is driven by the rising rate of private health insurance and major policy developments like the NDIS and My Aged Care, as well as the beginnings of a cultural shift towards preventive care. allied health

There’s no shortage of patients. Your expertise helps improve their quality of life. Our expertise helps improve your practice.

Cash flow

Allied health practice income comes from the patients via many different funding sources. Wherever the money comes from, your practice needs enough income to cover the rising costs of wages, utility and insurance bills, and rent or capital repayments. RSM can analyse your financial data and show you how to smooth your cash flow to cover your costs.

Growth and innovation

We can help you make the most of new opportunities. Maybe you’re setting up your practice for the first time. Should you go it alone or join forces with a colleague whose skills complement yours, such as a speech therapist and an audiologist establishing a partnership? Maybe you’re thinking about starting an outreach service for a certain patient group or considering using one of those empty consulting rooms at the local GP clinic. Perhaps you’re expanding and wondering how to do it well. Maybe your practice management systems need an upgrade, but you don’t know what to choose.

We’ll listen to your aspirations and values and provide tailored advice that meets your needs. We’ll analyse your practice data and show you what’s working well and what could be improved. We’ll advise on software that can integrate with your multiple payment sources and show you how cloud accounting can help.

Future planning

At some point, you will choose to sell your practice. Developing a succession plan is a vital, lengthy process but research undertaken by RSM in 2015 revealed that 66% of Australian business owners surveyed did not have a formal succession plan in place.

What does that mean for your practice? Firstly, you need a proper valuation. Secondly, you need robust legal agreements between any partners. You also need proper levels of insurance for your assets and any debt your practice is carrying.

RSM’s team of accountants and lawyers can work with you to protect the asset you’ve built up and ensure your future plans unfold smoothly.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON POSITIONING YOUR ALLIED HEALTH PRACTICE
Click here for more information on our services for the health sector, or contact one of our health sector specialists.