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  • Asking for finances during job search

    I am completing training in a sub-surgical speciality and looking at private practice. Many of these private practices have a partnership track (usually after 2 years).

    I was wondering if it is appropriate to ask about the financials (balance sheet, income sheet, etc) of the practice during job interview (at follow up after initial interview) or should I wait until I am employed and up for partnership before asking.


    I understand some practices require a NDA before financials are disclosed. On the other hand, I have heard some practices are open book and reveal it themselves during interview.

    What are your thoughts?

  • #2
    Seems important information to know before you're to far along. I would definitely want to know what kind of situation I was getting into before I signed a contract.

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    • #3
      I think it's a very reasonable ask. Some practices may be open to showing the books in that position and some may not.

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      • #4
        I don’t see what the risk is in asking. Offer to sign an NDA. If they then refuse, that should tell you something, especially if other practices are transparent.

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        • #5
          Thank you that makes sense. I was worried practices would be shy about disclosing that info but NDA should solve that.

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          • #6
            I think this question has been answered on this board before and many responses were the opposite. That a candidate for an employed associate position should not ask for financials, at least unless they are very, very comfortable with the people they’re talking to. I certainly did not feel comfortable asking. For the partnership stage I definitely do plan to ask

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            • #7
              It's OK to ask but don't be surprised if the answer is no. Have some tact in asking. "Do you share/have you shared financial statements with prospective partners?" "Would you be willing to share them with me?"

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              • #8
                Don’t fall in love. Get past the first interview and if there’s still interest and all your cultural and practice type fit questions are addressed then get into the financial questions. I’d start by asking about payer mix and if that differs across practice locations. Then I’d want to know specifics like their net collections and overhead allocation. Then tell them you’ll be willing to sign a NDA and ask to see the financials but only if it’s going to make a meaningful difference and you can have someone interpret them. If they say no or can’t answer the other questions (ideally in writing via email) then tell them it was nice meeting them and move on. If you fall in love then you won’t be able to pull this trigger easily.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post
                  Don’t fall in love. Get past the first interview and if there’s still interest and all your cultural and practice type fit questions are addressed then get into the financial questions. I’d start by asking about payer mix and if that differs across practice locations. Then I’d want to know specifics like their net collections and overhead allocation. Then tell them you’ll be willing to sign a NDA and ask to see the financials but only if it’s going to make a meaningful difference and you can have someone interpret them. If they say no or can’t answer the other questions (ideally in writing via email) then tell them it was nice meeting them and move on. If you fall in love then you won’t be able to pull this trigger easily.
                  Thank you! That is very helpful. Overhead allocation is something I haven’t thought about.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lithium View Post
                    I don’t see what the risk is in asking. Offer to sign an NDA. If they then refuse, that should tell you something, especially if other practices are transparent.
                    THIS. If you are going for partnership track ask since it concerns your buy in "sweat equity" and potential reward once partner. Groups that wont share (after a NDA) are more likely to be the ones that churn through partner track associates. On the other hand if you are going employee track you can ask payor mix, average rvu, etc but I would not ask to "open the books"/ see all financials (overhead, collections) of the group if only interviewing for an employed position.

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                    • #11
                      I personally don't think most practices will be willing to share that so unless they offer, I'd be careful what you ask and how you ask it if it looks like the job for you. I'm not sure I would share this in all honesty as an employer. Groups don't usually share that information with employees, even with non-partner physician employees. They're generally not publicly traded.

                      If they don't, I wouldn't take that as a sign of poor finances, because you could be walking away from your best opportunity. More indirect questions like what type of overhead costs should I expect, what kind of income should I expect to earn when my practice is full, how do you manage insurance billing and denials, how long do physicians stay stay with the group on average, etc. are more likely to get you a response so you can evaluate the offer without potentially shooting yourself in the foot by walking away prematurely when private information is kept private.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by billy View Post

                        THIS. If you are going for partnership track ask since it concerns your buy in "sweat equity" and potential reward once partner. Groups that wont share (after a NDA) are more likely to be the ones that churn through partner track associates. On the other hand if you are going employee track you can ask payor mix, average rvu, etc but I would not ask to "open the books"/ see all financials (overhead, collections) of the group if only interviewing for an employed position.
                        "Need to know" is the key. If it impacts your current decision and the potential for staying, you need to know. For example, NG 457 means you need to have a picture of the financial stability. Nothing wrong with polite questions and subjects to be touched upon after mutual interest is established.

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                        • #13
                          I think it is completely reasonable to ask what you should expect to earn as a partner, where that income comes from (ancillaries, leeching off associates, etc), and for the mean income and range of income of those in your subspecialty (if the speciality group has multiple distinct sub specialties). This should include detailed information about your collections and your overhead. You should ask what the buy-in is as partner, and what it gets you. You should ask how you get paid as an employee (ie how the partners/owners are making money off you and how much). You should ask if the practice has any debt.

                          I interviewed at 5-6 private groups when I went through this and all of them were very upfront with all this info.

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                          • #14
                            I would get all the financial information I could once there is a job offer. I suspect few groups would give it to someone before they decided to hire them.

                            Taking a job without knowing the compensation past the first two years would be foolish. How could you know whether it is a good deal?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by afan View Post
                              I would get all the financial information I could once there is a job offer. I suspect few groups would give it to someone before they decided to hire them.

                              Taking a job without knowing the compensation past the first two years would be foolish. How could you know whether it is a good deal?
                              - and I was one of those fools, smh :/


                              I went through this with my previous practice and but i am in a medical subspecialty.

                              They never opened the books for me, the compensation model was flawed and they never really wanted to make any new associate partner.

                              Red flag is always when they may not put your compensation changes in writing beyond 2yrs and just tell you its an "hand shake agreement". If they dont follow through
                              on that, you cant legally do anything

                              Also you could ask about how many people have been through in and out of the practice in last 5 yrs, when was the most recent partner made full partner and what is their retention rate etc.

                              My employed practice showed me the compensation for one of their employees without identifiers with things like payor mix, amount of patients seen, net collections etc and that gave me a good idea.


                              Always have the lawyer review the contracts in detail.

                              Good Luck

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