Business Plan for the Coastal Virginia Medical Society

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This is the Business Plan for the new Coastal Virginia Medical Society representing a merger of three medical societies in Eastern Virginia, re-organized from the bottom up with the intent to make a difference in improving healthcare in our area and beyond. This organization will provide a new enhanced concept of medical societies to actively engage in advocacy for our providers and our patients. We intend to provide new benefits to our membership and new educational opportunities, not just in evidence-based medicine, but also in business, finance, leadership, better methods of patient care, and other disciplines. This new Society will be responsive to the needs of the membership and will be open to new ideas in improving patient care and improving the well being of our members. Communication and collegiality will be brought to the forefront again. We will use whatever new technology that becomes available to improve these efforts. We will develop groups of physicians that share educational interests and/or healthcare concerns. There is so much more we can do to help each other. Please join us in this new adventure. 

FOUNDING COMMITTEE: Greg Warth, MD, Lisa Barr, MD, Keith Berger, MD, Joel Bundy, MD, Duane Lawrence, MD, Cynthia Romero, MD, Marissa Galicia-Castillo, MD, Peter Laplace, MD, and assisted by Susan Herring

https://www.cvmedicalsociety.org


I.  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Coastal Virginia Medical Society (referred to from hereon in as the "Society") is intended to be established as a Non-profit Corporation in Eastern Virginia, with the expectation of rapid expansion in the healthcare community of that area.

Business Description

The Society shall be formed as a merger of the Norfolk Academy of Medicine, the Chesapeake Medical Society, and the former members of the Virginia Beach Medical Society into a new non-profit corporation under Virginia State Law. The Society was founded by the following group of highly dedicated physicians in Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, in no particular order, who have foreseen the need to combine our three separate medical societies for the purpose of improving advocacy for physicians and other healthcare providers and promoting better healthcare for patients in the Coastal Virginia area: Greg Warth, MD, Lisa Barr, MD, Keith Berger, MD, Joel Bundy, MD, Duane Lawrence, MD, Cynthia Romero, MD, Marissa Galicia-Castillo, MD, and Peter Laplace, MD. Our efforts were greatly assisted by Susan Herring, Executive Director of the Tricounty Medical Society, without whose help and encouragement, this Society would not have come forth.

The Society will employ one part-time employee as Executive Director, which will be a salaried position with the responsibility of assisting the Board of Directors in accomplishing the tasks requested by the Board, carrying out the decisions made by the Board and providing professional service and information for the membership and the public. The Executive Director will be a non-voting Board member.

Mission

The mission of the Coastal Virginia Medical Society is (1) to provide professional advocacy and representation for its members regarding their ability to provide for and promote better healthcare in the Coastal Virginia area, specifically for the cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach, and (2) to facilitate and/or promote communication, education, fellowship, scholarship, and other lawful benefits for its membership as determined to be reasonable by the Board of Directors, and (3) to assist in and/or promote the physical health and mental wellness of its members through the use of local resources, again as determined to be reasonable by the Board of Directors.

Services

First-rate service is intended to be the focus of the Society and a cornerstone of our success. All members will receive conscientious, one-on-one, timely service in all capacities, be they transactions, conflicts, or complaints. This is expected to create a loyal following, a high level of respect in the healthcare community and a reputation of compassion, action, integrity, better provider satisfaction, improved patient care and better healthcare overall.

The Society is prepared to introduce and/or maintain the following services:

Professional Advocacy: We will advocate for physicians and other healthcare providers collectively to improve the welfare of healthcare providers and patients alike. We intend to send delegates to the Medical Society of Virginia for discussions and voting on issues relevant to our members. We will utilize our connections with local hospitals, colleges, universities, businesses and other healthcare organizations to help further our promotion for better health in the community.

Professional Collegiality: Regular meetings for conduction of business, entertainment, and education will be scheduled. Improving fellowship and collegiality will be major goals of the organization.

Improved communication: A website and newsletter have been developed containing medical news, updates, and alerts specifically chosen for their importance to the membership. Other methods of better communication among members may be developed as technology allows.

Multiple member benefits: These will be outlined on the website as they become available. Local businesses will be vetted and recommended so our members can be assured of their integrity. Discounts will be offered by many companies in return for advertising.

Collaboration: We will collaborate with EVMS (Eastern Virginia Medical School) and ODU (Old Dominion University) on providing CMEs for the membership. We will also collaborate with them on ways to improve healthcare and medical resources in our communities. We also intend to communicate with, collaborate with, and coordinate our efforts of advocacy with other surrounding medical societies as well as with the Medical Society of Virginia.

Additional Services: The Society will continue to explore the development of additional services and benefits that may be helpful to its members and/or their patients. We will remain open to new ideas, new technology, and new secure ways of respectful communication. We may consider developing publishable research programs in improving patient care. We could provide courses in leadership, business, taxes, investing, hobbies, provider etiquette, challenging patient cases, challenging office situations, how to schedule office visits, time management, risk management, psychology, balancing work and home life, how to start a side business, how to avoid burnout, how to recruit a new provider, and many other items of interest that we may not easily get anywhere else.

II.  BUSINESS SUMMARY

Business Goals and Objectives

Primary Goals:

  1. Advocacy
  2. Service
  3. Fellowship

Short Term:

To acquire a large enough group of healthcare providers (members) that we may collectively obtain a seat at the table where decisions are made regarding healthcare in Eastern Virginia.

Long Term:

Our combined organization can provide a stronger voice for our community, improve the welfare and workload of our healthcare providers, and help to make changes that will improve quality and compassion in patient care. We will provide delegates to the Medical Society of Virginia to participate in discussions and vote on issues that will hopefully create longstanding improvements in our healthcare system.

Legal Issues

The Society affirms that its promoters have acquired all legally required documents, including the Business Plan, Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation. These will be presented to the State Corporation Commission when requesting a change in the name of our Society from “Norfolk Academy of Medicine” to “Coastal Virginia Medical Society”, which is our intent. The legal documents will also show the inclusion of all members of the Chesapeake Medical Society, the Norfolk Academy of Medicine, and the former members of the Virginia Beach Medical Society. The former entities of the Norfolk Academy of Medicine, the Chesapeake Medical Society and the Virginia Beach Medical Society will be dissolved and immediately merged into the Coastal Virginia Medical Society using the same EIN number previously used by the Norfolk Academy of Medicine.

III.  MARKETING SUMMARY

Target Markets

The Society’s major target markets for membership are as follows:

Physicians and other healthcare providers, including students and faculty of EVMS and ODU.

The estimated number of potential members within the Society’s geographic scope is 1,000.

Financial Strategy

Our financial strategy is to collect dues from our members along with donations, grants, sponsorships, and partnerships with local businesses. We will use our website and newsletters to advertise for these businesses, restaurants, legal firms, accounting firms, and financial institutions, in order to develop an income stream that will allow us to accomplish our purposes and provide enough benefits for the members to maintain their presence and participation in the organization.

Promotional Strategy

The Society will promote membership using the following methods:

We will advertise to all healthcare providers in the Coastal Virginia area, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach, students, residents, fellows, and faculty at EVMS and ODU. We will consider using newspaper ads and articles, magazine articles, online ads, radio or TV promotions, emails, flyers, discounts for students and residents, website, newsletters, and word-of-mouth.

Market Analysis

Strengths

Strong market of relatively affluent professionals most of whom can afford the dues.

There is a need for advocacy and medical leadership in providing for better welfare of healthcare workers and patients, and improvements in healthcare efficiency, access, and delivery.

Weaknesses

Some healthcare providers may not realize the importance of this organization for their welfare and that of their patients.

Opportunities

Many local businesses are available for partnership with a large group of professionals who can provide an instant target for their advertisements, and who can provide special benefits for our members in return.

Concerns

There is a concern that not enough members will join to make it worthwhile. However, if we emulate what other medical societies, like the Medical Society of Northern Virginia, have done to maintain membership, we should do well. We must provide enough benefits to the membership that any decision not to join would not make sense.

Competition

Status quo vs. new ideas

Decisions made currently in our healthcare system are driven by large corporations, hospitals, insurance companies, managed care organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and medical and pharmacy boards, and lawmakers, many of which do not have the interests of physicians, or other health providers in mind. We will need a strong organization to negotiate with them to reduce the high workloads and inefficiencies created by current systems and to better understand the value we could provide in making these systems more reasonable, efficient, and helpful in providing better patient care.

We believe that the Society has the following competitive advantage:

Our main advantage is that we are highly trained in the care of patients, much more so than the administrators of hospitals and large corporations, and lawmakers.

They know about business and law, but they do not know how their decisions may adversely affect healthcare workers or patients. Policies and mandates do not fit every application correctly. Doctors understand the nuances and complexities of patient care and should have some say in many of the decisions made regarding healthcare. Therefore, we plan to always have representation at the Board level of as many of these entities as possible. We do have a representative on the Sentara Board now. We wish to continue and foster that relationship and others that will connect us to people who can help us accomplish our goals.

The current sentiment among many providers is that we have lost much of our autonomy that we had in the past as a result of programs like Medicare and DRGs, HMOs and managed care organizations that so restricted our incomes that we were forced to sell or turn over our practices to large hospital and insurance conglomerates. Medicine is more about big business now, than it is about patient care. It is very difficult and/or nearly impossible for many to start and/or maintain an office practice independently, so it seems that we don’t have any choice but to join a large company.

Most people agree that in general, the status quo in healthcare in this country is not good. We spend far more money than for healthcare than most other well-developed countries and yet the quality of our healthcare is far less than it should be. Our country, and our corporations have tried to fix the system from the top down and that does not seem to be working. Perhaps we should change perspective and work to improve the system from the bottom up.

For example, concierge, or direct care, practices can survive in this climate because they are not dependent on restricted insurance payments. Physicians and patients alike find that these practices are very satisfying to all parties. There may be other models of independent medical practice that could be explored.

So, there are ways to improve healthcare, but they are only available on a small scale right now. Our Society would be open to these types of independent practices and would potentially encourage direct care or hybrid direct care, or any other practice model that would improve efficiency, access to care, compassion, and personized patient care that would benefit the well-being of providers and patients alike.

In short, we want our new medical society to be different, to be better than the status quo. We want to consider new ideas that may help change the system for the better. We will appeal to our members and to the Medical Society of Virginia and to the other local medical societies to think of new ideas and be open to new opportunities to improve the system. Inaction is not an option. This system is not going to fix itself. We intend to start the process here.

IV. Committees

Finance – Management of all income, expenses, budget, dues, donations, grants, sponsorships.

Advocacy – Reviews concerns, problems, complaints from members. Decides what issues on which we should be focusing. Works with and advises delegates. Communicates with MSV and representatives to state legislature.

Marketing – Advertising to and recruiting members.

Services – Development, implementation, and management of services provided for members and patients. (Recruitment, finding a doctor, helping set up a practice, providing resources. etc.)

Benefits – Development, implementation, and management of all member benefits.

Social – Arrangement, scheduling and management of all meetings, and/or social gatherings.

Better Patient Care – Discussion and implementation of programs to improve patient care, including healthcare delivery, access to care, advocating professionalism and bedside manner,

Communication – Website and Newsletter, enhancing communication with providers and patients. Spreading information. Communicating with other medical societies around the country. Finding the best methods of operating and advocating. Exploring telehealth and other related technologies.

Mission and Direction – Keeping everyone focused on our mission, goals, and direction for the future of medicine. Development and consideration of new ideas. (Could be a function of the Board rather than a separate committee.)

Education – Collaborating with EVMS and ODU on developing CME programs and courses. Helping members keep track of their CMEs. Develop webinars and lectures on various topics, not necessarily related to medicine. Help members learn about business, starting an office, tax considerations, finances, hobbies, investing, other topics of interest. Help teach patients correct information about medical issues. Clear up myths and misinformation.

V. Financial Plan:

12-Month Profit and Loss Projection:

Yearly expense for salaries and overhead (projected): $75,000

Revenue for first year of business (projected): $75,000

Gross profit for first year of business (projected):  $0


(Revenue is based on charging dues of $250 per member and estimating that only 300 members will join the first year. There should be additional revenue from advertising, donations, grants, and sponsorships, but these are not certain and are not counted here.)

(Expenses include the salary for the Executive Director ($45,000), quarterly dinner meetings (est. $5,000 per dinner , and other miscellaneous expenses.)

Breakdown: (subject to change)

Annual Income:

Dues: $250 x 300 members                                                        $75,000

Annual Expenses:

Salary:                                                                                         $45,000

4 dinners/year                                                                              $20,000

Miscellaneous expenses/benefits                                                 $10,000

Total Expenses                                                                             $75,000

Profit:                                                                                            $0

We will need to set up a credit line, checking and savings account at a local bank for financial flexibility. We will plan to start with a new account after the name change has been completed.

We will provide membership for free to medical students, 50% off for residents and fellows, and 10% off for members of large groups if the entire group joins.          

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