Episode 09: Figuring Out Your Business' Capacity

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November 10,  2020

How many patients or clients do you need in order for your practice or business to be full (at capacity)?


In order to figure out how successful your business is going to be or how to scale it depends on understanding your capacity.

The answer is--it depends. Now there are some simple formulas to figure out the panel size that you will need but they really don't flesh out the whole picture.  Panel size refers to the number of patients or clients that you need to have a full business. Here is one of those formulas:

Panel size × visits per patient per year (demand) = visits per provider per day × number of days worked per year (supply). 

For example, if a physician provides 20 visits per day, 220 days per year, and see the average patient for two visits per patient per year, the ideal panel size would be 2,200. 

You can quickly see from this example that it does not take into consideration the type of visit (new patient, follow-up or procedure), how much time is spent per visit (which obviously depends on the service offered) and more.

In this episode, I talk about some of the considerations when figuring out what your capacity is. You will need to consider how many people can utilize your service in any given day, how often they will need the service and how many people you can accommodate in any given day.

So why do you need to figure this out?  For a couple of big reasons:

  • You will need this information in order to come up with your financial projections including your ramp up.
  • Everything from space to number of employees and more depends on understanding this number.

I totally get that you may not have all of the answers. You will have to make assumptions. But let me reassure you that these assumptions can be based on information that you have readily available. Where? Right in front of you. Look at your current situation--how many new patients and follow-ups? How long do you spend with each of them? If you are looking to add a service or another business--what does that utilization look like. For example, if you want to start a Physical Therapy center and are currently referring to PT--what does your script look like. Hint--I would write for 3x per week. And most commercial insurances and Medicare will cover up to 12 weeks.

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