So you want to start your own medical practice? Congratulations! Having a private practice can be very rewarding in many ways. However, there’s a lot of things that you should prepare before you can start treating your first patient.
Starting a medical practice can be just like any type of business. Of course, you would need to be very meticulous – even more so than usual – especially as you are dealing in a business that can literally mean the difference between life and death.
That is why having a checklist similar to the one below is essential as this includes most if not all of the things that you would need to successfully start and operate a medical practice. The order of the items here can be switched around in some cases, but each of them is absolutely required.
With that, here is your checklist on how to start a medical practice. Use this to have a guided approach on how to bring your practice from an idea into a reality.
A business plan will serve as the blueprint for your business. What will you call it? Who will be your patients? What would your services be? How much will you charge patients for your services? These are the information that you would need to gather and finalize before you even begin to actually build your medical practice.
Other information included in your business plan would be any goals that you want your business to achieve, projections on how much you will spend and earn, your marketing strategies, and many more. As they say, a failure to plan is a plan to fail, and having a business plan can help you prevent that.
Find a location where you would actually be practicing medicine. It doesn’t matter if you would be treating patients personally or through telehealth services. You will need an office to work or to accept patients. This is also where you will be storing any equipment or other items you will purchase for the business.
Find a location that is accessible for your patients. The size of the location will matter also depending on your scope of services. In some cases, you may also need multiple doors and several rooms to accommodate patients. You can own the area or you may rent it, and make sure that you can cover upkeep costs or rental expenses in the coming months.
Documents and Permits
The first thing that you will need is to make sure that you are duly licensed to practice medicine where your practice would be located. You will need a state license to practice as practicing without one will be violating the law. You will also need to open a bank account as well as apply for a Tax or Employer Identification Number.
You will also need to apply to be accredited by insurance providers so that you can accept patients under them. Of course, you would need to acquire the necessary permits and licenses to operate. This would vary from state to state so you should refer to your local government about these requirements.
Equipment and Supplies
Your medical practice will need office furniture as well as other equipment that you will need to treat your patients. These would include tables, chairs, beds, and other medical equipment and tools that you will be using. You may also like to invest in some paintings or a television set for the waiting area.
You will also be needing office and medical supplies as well as cabinets to store your important files. Most probably, you will also be needing and using computer equipment and other peripherals. It is important that when buying equipment, to not skimp on quality for price. In this case, quality beats quantity each time.
It is also very important to purchase insurance. Aside from ensuring your equipment which can cost up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each, it is also very important to get medical malpractice insurance. Getting sued for medical malpractice without coverage can ruin your practice so having this is a must.
Having other types of insurance such as business interruption or disability insurance is also recommended. Take note that the higher the coverage, the better. You would thank yourself for shelling out more money for extra money if any unforeseen circumstances or disasters occur.
Hire doctors and staff that you can trust. Make sure to check their background and credentials before inviting them into your team. You will only be as strong as your weakest link so ensure that your team is professional, trainable, and competent even if they cost more.
Use the organizational structure included in your business plan to define tasks and responsibilities. Orient the team on what they need to do to make the practice a success. Train your staff regularly and provide incentives whenever applicable to make them happy which would in turn make them more productive.
If you don’t want to handle a large team, you can also go for outsourcing. Accounting and collection services can be outsourced so that you don’t have to do these tasks in-house. This keeps your overhead expenses small and it can also help you save up on precious office space.
Once you have all the things and people necessary to run your practice, it is now time to start getting clients. You can use different types of media to help promote your practice such as fliers, brochures, and even social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
It is also recommended that you create a website or at the very least a social media account for your practice. This will help you reach a huge number of potential customers. Make sure that you post informative news regularly and that you respond to inquiries responsibly.
You can hire social media managers and consultants to help your practice be more known. They can also help you appear in Google searches more regularly. Using the Internet to promote your practice is very cost-effective and can produce more results than traditional means of marketing.