When a midwife starts out practicing, last thing she is thinking about is retiring. Many midwives want to care for families until her back doesn’t allow her to bend for catching a baby anymore. Thinking in advance about how your midwifery practice will close, merge with another practice, or transition to another newer midwife is really importance to the established client load. Having women not left with no care provider or practice in area abruptly is really important for patient satisfaction and good outcomes.
Independent hospital birthing midwifery teams have a little bit easier time merging or transitioning their practice to another midwifery group. The birth location isn’t changing for women. With EMTALA, women will get someone to care for them whether midwife is available or not. Out of hospital birth practices need to support women in their homes and private birth center they created. If midwife retires, women will have a harder time finding that unique service versus another midwifery hospital birth practice.
There are many ways to end your practice. You can talk about years in advance with another practice about negotiating a price for inventory and brand that has been created by your midwife business. Selling your practice has many legal dynamics to think about. Keeping things confidential so clients aren’t having anxiety about your retirement is really important.
There are tax benefits to selling practice rights over time and partial orientation to business ownership to green midwife. If there is a three year mentorship to a new graduate midwife that will gradually increase care and business responsibilities, so past midwife owner can gradually decrease responsibilities going into retirement. Do a six month partner trial to see if there compatibility of personalities between midwives. Last thing someone wants in a legal binding low term relationship working side by side that neither can walk away from easily.
Hire an outsourced, professional company that appraises business for a living. It will be very different to put a quantifiable value for each client’s “business worth.” Most of the value will be in trade name in community and inventory accumulated over long period of time. There is tremendous value in not drudging through years of start up expenses when buying another midwife’s practice directly.
Have a legal team draft up proposal that has exit strategies and business plan timeline from smoothly transition from one midwife to another. You can always sell your practice completely at a certain date, but that is more difficult when care is given over an extended period like pregnancy. Women become very connected to their midwives and want to grow a relationship with new midwife taking over practice before part of the birth experience. Abrupt business transitions are much more sensitive with health care and direct patient care.
Searching for the right apprentice to train can speed up much of the transition time. Her training to be a midwife can be in conjunction with taking over business responsibilities present. There wouldn’t be anything legal binding either direction, just clear expectations from beginning that seasoned midwife is only training someone seriously interested in toking over midwifery practice after midwifery training is completed.
There is the option to completely close a midwifery business, but have prior worked out relationships with local midwives that can accept the additional work load demands that will be created from your decision. Last thing a woman wants is to find out her midwife is retiring for last three births and there isn’t any other midwives available to do her home birth. Be proactive with business planning and your stress level and financial profits will benefit from ending your practice.