Physician investment in ASCs — 6 considerations

By investing in a surgery center, physicians can set themselves up "for a profitable income stream" while providing a helpful option for patients, according to healthcare-focused financial planning firm Spaugh Dameron Tenny.

Six considerations for physician investors from SDT:

1. Investing in surgery centers, which have lower overhead than hospitals, provides a win-win for patients and surgeons; surgeons make more of the profit and patients benefit from lower costs.

2. Buy-in opportunities are typically offered within two to three years of a physician entering practice, but physicians sometimes must wait longer for an investment opportunity to arise.

3. Surgery centers typically cost $100,000 to $700,000. Total cost is determined by what kind of space and surgical equipment is required.

4. Older surgery centers tend to come with more accurate payout projections than new facilities do. However, new surgery centers are more likely to be structurally sound and equipped with updated technology.

5. Surgery center investments don't automatically translate to payouts, so any investor should evaluate how that would affect their personal income, set aside an emergency fund and develop a financial plan to prepare for business fluctuations.

6. Surgery center investments involve personal loans, not business loans. Banks may pile on more interest for loan recipients who appear to be a bigger financial risk to the institution. Surgery centers with monthly loan payments typically have payouts on a quarterly basis.

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