Dr. John Xenos, Colorado Orthopaedics

4 Keys to Building a Successful Practice

Three years ago John Xenos, M.D. made the decision to embark on a new career path and start his own medical practice, Colorado Orthopaedics, where he is a managing partner and an orthopedic surgeon. Prior to this he was the Director of Adult Reconstruction at Walter Reed Medical Center and a Lieutenant Colonel for the U.S. Army Medical Corps. Andrew Graham, President and CEO of Clinic Service interviewed Dr. Xenos to talk with him about his decision to start his own practice and if the experience of running a private practice had actually met his expectations.  

“It’s actually exceeded my expectations, said John Xenos, M.D. “I think what matters first is being a good physician. We based the practice on providing quality care with the belief that everything else would follow. We have built a good clinical reputation and that has really paid off in terms of the patients we see, the referrals we get, and my overall satisfaction with the job.”

Dr. Xenos said the key to their success was laying a solid foundation based on strong principles. This meant focusing on the following four interrelated areas:

1.      Establishing a great culture with clear goals and values

2.      Hiring the right people

3.      Choosing the right EMR

4.      Hiring a great billing service.

With this foundation in place, Colorado Orthopaedics expanded and now has three office locations and three partners—and growing quickly.  Having a healthy cash flow is what has allowed Colorado Orthopaedics to invest in other parts of the business and keep pace with their vision.

“The best way to grow is to capture your cash, said Dr. Xenos. “And the best way to capture cash flow is to have an efficient billing service that allows you to capture the fruits of your labor. Not only is it good for the practice but its good for patients as well. Patients want to be billed properly. If you don’t have a good billing company that does that you’ll be cash poor.”

Andrew asked Dr. Xenos about his decision to outsource medical billing or do it in-house and the criteria he and his partners considered to make a decision about the best approach to use for their practice. 

“There are a lot of advantages to outsourcing,” said Dr. Xenos. “The two main benefits are expertise and cost.  Clinic Service is always up on latest changes and I think the efficiency is much greater than it would be if we had two-three people in our office doing the billing. In terms of cost, I think it’s similar, or maybe even less costly to outsource instead of someone in my office doing it.”

 You need to have a good billing service you can work with and that takes team work. For example, we work with our billing company to make sure notes are complete, documentation is done properly and patients are charged appropriately for what we do.

Relationships between the billing firm and patients are also important “Make sure the billing service has a good relationship with the patient because they interact with the billing service as well. One thing I really like about Clinic Service is they interact very well with our patients. Patients always rave about how well we work together.

What is Dr. Xenos’ advice for doctors just coming out of training and thinking about opening a new private practice? “Do not be afraid. People are told many things like the Affordable Care Act and how bad it is for example.  But physicians didn’t get where they are by not being intelligent. We can figure things out. We can find a way to succeed in this environment and we will. I think if you focus on being a great doctor, then everything else will follow. That has really been the philosophy of our practice and I believe it is the key to our success.”