Almost half of American doctors work in private practice. Doctors are working in larger practices with at least 50 other practitioners.
These are the primary options if you’re starting a new medical practice.
There are benefits of working at a larger practice, but it’s far from being a self-employed doctor. Patients prefer private practice doctors because they get better treatment.
They can develop relationships and trust with their doctor. The doctors are more inclined to make decisions based on the patient’s best interest.
Plus, you can be your own boss without having to answer to dozens of other doctors. The main challenge is that you have to handle the business side of running a medical practice.
How can you make your new medical practice successful? Read this guide that shows you the steps to start a new medical clinic.
1. Know Your Skillset
The business side and delivery of services are two very different things. You know how to diagnose patients, but you don’t know how to run the business.
Ask yourself if you have the temperament to handle cash flow issues, collections, hiring decisions, and maintaining a work/life balance.
These are only some of the challenges you’ll face in business. Make sure that you have the right mindset going into starting the new medical practice.
2. Don’t Overlook the Business Plan
A business plan gives you the chance to create goals and define the mission and values of your practice. You decide how you’ll serve patients and who they are.
The most important part of the business plan is financial. You’ll create financial models to help you create a path to a profitable medical practice. This is your roadmap to use as you establish your practice.
3. Work With Competent Professionals
There’s no way you can open a medical practice on your own. You can, but you unnecessarily expose yourself to a lot of risks.
For instance, you might not know enough about tax laws to comply in your first year in business. Tax agencies will levy fines and penalties against your practice.
Getting a team of professionals who know different areas of your business takes the pressure off of you. You’ll need to have a business attorney, insurance agent, real estate agent, CPA, medical devices consultant, and HR consultant.
4. Set Up the Business
Work with a business attorney to set up the business entity. They’ll help you with the paperwork and make sure that you have the right business entity.
You’ll set up your business bank accounts and get financing for your practice.
5. Find a Suitable Location
The location really matters in private practice, even though many people got used to telehealth appointments during the pandemic.
You should know how much space you need and the ideal location for the practice. Keep your budget in mind as well.
A commercial real estate agent will help you find a suitable space and negotiate the lease. From there, you’ll need to get the space inspected, furnish the office, and get signage for your practice.
Check with your municipality to see if you have to get a permit to have a sign at your practice.
6. Create Administrative Workflows
Your business systems are a crucial step in setting up your new medical practice. Poor systems lead to many problems, such as cash flow problems and a poor patient experience.
Business systems also determine your ability to scale the practice. Create workflows for scheduling appointments, billing insurance, collections, hiring, and patient care.
Use this time to finalize your service prices and how you’ll bill patients without insurance.
7. Get Insurance
About a third of medical practitioners get hit with a lawsuit at some point in their careers. You can’t control that, but you can take precautions to protect yourself and your medical practice.
Get the right insurance policies for your practice. General liability, malpractice, worker’s compensation, and business interruption are a few policies to consider.
8. Purchase Equipment
Equipment and business technology are next on your list. Investing in practice management and electronic health record solutions ensures you manage the business and patient sides of the practice.
Get the necessary medical equipment and supplies to open your doors and work with patients. You can add supplies and equipment as you grow your practice.
9. Hire Staff
What positions do you need to help you manage your practice? Some practitioners do fine with an office manager. Others have a medical coder, physician assistant, and office manager.
Create your hiring policies and procedures. You’ll also need an employee handbook and enticing benefits package to attract the best talent out there.
10. Invest in Compliance Training
The healthcare industry is full of regulations and policies. You have to comply with these regulations.
HIPAA and OSHA regulations are the two to start with. These govern worker safety and patient privacy. Your practice may have to undergo training for Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA).
Invest in this training early in your practice to save time and to prevent non-compliance issues from coming up.
11. Market the Practice
Create a mix of ways to market your medical practice. Attend networking events and become a member of your local chamber of commerce.
Digital marketing is another way to get new patients. Get your website to appear in search results. People looking for a new doctor will find your practice in search results.
Build a Successful New Medical Practice
Starting a business from nothing isn’t easy. It definitely isn’t easy to start a new medical practice. They taught you a lot in medical school. They didn’t teach you about running a business.
You’re left to figure it out on your own. It’s an expensive risk that could cost thousands of dollars. Lower the risk by surrounding yourself with smart professionals and working the steps in this guide.
Your new medical practice will thrive in no time. For more business and marketing tips, head over to the home page of this site.