Starting a private surgical practice is exciting, especially for young doctors out there. Nothing feels more enthralling and challenging as health care professionals than to take the practice of surgery into their own hands and facility. However, it’s a huge responsibility, and there are a lot of things to consider.
The process is daunting and complicated. Hence, it is crucial to have a clear and well-detailed plan before even starting. In this way, you will have a smoother transition to keep up with the schedule set. With the comprehensive planning, which includes putting the right people in the team together and choosing the latest equipment for your surgical practice, there are ample things that you need to examine carefully.
Other than that, you also have to pay attention to the relevant legal papers and necessary prerequisites involved in opening your private surgical practice. It is evident how rigorous the task that you need to undertake. It’s a long-term investment, money-wise, but most importantly, career-wise. You are also establishing a solid reputation in health care services along the way.
Here are a few tips and steps that you need to take into consideration in starting a surgical practice. We laid out a detailed outline for you to help you with the process.
Things to take note when starting your surgical practice
The first thing that you need to know in planning a private surgical practice is the proposed structure of the business model that you would like to operate.
- What is the surgical practice you want to operate?
- Traditional surgical medical practice
This type of practice operates by having the surgeon collect patient’s payment through billing their respective health insurance company to receive reimbursements for the service they rendered. Therefore, they have more patients to see to cover the costs.
- Concierge or retainer medicine
It partly follows the traditional type. The only difference is that the patient pays an annual retainer fee. In other words, the surgeon will request a membership fee from every patient for the medical services offered and bill the health insurance provider for the rest or whatever comes in the agreement.
Patients who signed up for this agreement are expecting that the surgeons or medical professionals under this practice are more accessible compared to the traditional.
- Direct Primary Care (DPC)
Unlike the other two medical practice types, Direct Primary Care (DPC) or direct pay practices, do not accept insurance, but similar to retainer medicine, the patient needs to pay a flat fee for membership, which is for the medical services requested.
However, fees are more affordable because they are usually lower. The surgeon or medical professional also has the choice to either be more accessible or not to the patients.
- Legal works and prerequisites
When you know what type of practice you want to follow, you can now begin with relevant legal works and prerequisites, such as financing or loan application, finding an accountant, opening a checking account, and obtaining Tax Identification Number (TIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business or practice.
Then, you can now organize your operation. First, you will need to obtain malpractice insurance. Second, set up a list of the services you will offer for your surgical practice or your fee schedule. You can get ideas from fellow providers within the area.
You may need to pass applications to individual insurance companies to get reimbursements for traditional and retainer practices.
- Purchasing and procurement
Next, purchase and procure an Electronic Health Record (EHR) System. You can find many online, but you must make sure that you are getting from a trusted source. At this phase, you also need to determine if you want to keep everything within your practice or you need to outsource some functions.
You can either acquire a medical billing system or hire services outside. After securing all that, you may now procure the necessary equipment and other medical tools that you need for your surgical practice.
At this stage, you should already know how many people you need. You should have the list of the staff with their corresponding roles and descriptions that you will hire to help you run your surgical practice. It is highly advisable to hire a compliance officer when you require health insurance reimbursements.
Once you established the roles, you should lay out each of your employee’s benefits. You should also have your employee handbook ready and handy before even hiring.
- Security Risk Management
Running a private surgical practice requires you to run a comprehensive and thorough check on possible security risks and patient’s privacy management. It is imperative to ensure each patient’s privacy and security concerns. Hence, it is a must to perform in-depth assessments on security risks before even opening your practice.
You should obtain an overview of the creation, receipt, or transmission of all Protected Health Information (PHI) and a copy of the list of all the PHI physical and digital storage. Moreover, you should also conduct an assessment of your practice’s security measures and possible threats.
Finally, it is time to promote your surgical practice. You can start by networking with your colleagues. Online platforms, such as social media sites are the best place to reach many leads and possible patients. You can also create an official website. Make sure that your website is attractive and easy to navigate.
When you already have a website, you can make your presence known more by creating social media accounts or pages with engaging posts every day. You may also want to participate in outreach programs. It’s also one of the most effective marketing strategies.
Finally, it is of utmost importance that you should comply with the law. With the ever-changing rules and policies governing the healthcare industry, you have to be extra cautious and meticulous. That is why it would be best and wise to hire a seasoned compliance officer. So, you will no longer have to worry about any changes or updates regarding the policies and rules involving the healthcare industry.