Starting a business can be daunting for anyone. If you’re starting a medical practice, it can be even more challenging.
Less than half of doctors own a private practice. That’s a shocking statistic, considering that 76% of doctors owned their practice in 1983.
There are many reasons for such a dramatic shift. Larger organizations are buying out small practices. It’s also expensive to start a practice.
For healthcare startups, you need to take these shifts into consideration. That shouldn’t discourage you from starting a private practice. Read on to learn the top tips to make sure your practice thrives.
1. Choose Your Location Wisely
You probably want to have a very short commute to your office. That’s reasonable for you, but what about your patients?
You want to keep them in mind. This is why knowing your target market from the very beginning is important. For example, if your practice is a family practice, it wouldn’t make sense to plant your flag in the middle of a retirement community.
You want to be close and accessible to families. One study in Washington State found that people are willing to drive about 28 minutes for a routine doctor’s visit.
You also want to make sure that there is plenty of parking available at your office. Your patients may get frustrated trying to find a parking spot in a downtown location. You also don’t want them to have to walk far from their parking spot.
2. Write Up a Business Plan
Do you need a business plan for your healthcare startup? Absolutely.
You’re likely to seek financing for your medical practice, which will require a formal business plan. You’ll need to show that your practice is profitable.
You’ll want to include everything from the type of practice, the competition, legal structure of the business, and marketing the business.
The most important part will be the financial projections. You’ll need to provide details on the startup expenses, operating expenses, and projected revenue.
3. Get a Team Together
When you treat patients, it’s normally with an integrated approach. There’s the general practitioner who handles routine health issues. There are also specialists such as oncologists or physical therapists.
This team approach works in medicine, and you can also make it work in your medical practice. You’re not an expert in every facet of running a business and healthcare startups.
You’ll want to have people by your side who are experts in insurance, marketing, and hiring practices. A practice startup team is going to be critical to your success.
4. Financing Healthcare Startups
Starting a new medical practice isn’t a low-cost endeavor. You have to think about staff, equipment, systems, and so much more. It can discourage you from starting a private practice.
Unless you have already made a small fortune in medicine, you’re going to have to turn to financing, such as obtaining a physician loan, to get started.
Are you still paying off student loans from medical school? You might think that it’s impossible to get financing for your business with a lot of debt.
You can get creative in financing your business. You can get a small business loan from the Small Business Administration.
5. Get Your Credentials
You’re running a medical practice, which means that you have to deal with insurance companies. You want to make sure that you sign up with the right plans in your area.
It could take months to show up in an insurance carrier’s system. The sooner you can get this taken care of, the sooner you can accept more patients and get paid.
If you let this part go until you open your doors, you can miss out on new patients at a critical time for your practice.
6. Licenses and Legal Structures
To make your healthcare startup official, you’ll need to register your business with your secretary of state’s office.
Should your practice register as an LLP or an LLC? That largely depends on the type of practice and your location. Some states require that professional organizations such as doctors and attorneys register as an LLP.
If there are two or more doctors, you may need to form a general partnership. There are a number of factors to take into consideration, which is why you want to have a business lawyer or tax attorney advise you.
After you register with the state, you’ll need to have the appropriate medical licenses. You’ll need to get licensed from your state’s medical board. You’ll also need to register with the Drug Enforcement Agency to legally prescribe medications.
You also need to have a national provider number, which is usually required when you’re submitting insurance claims.
7. Hire Your Staff
Your staff will be the backbone of your practice. You want to make sure that these hires help you run your practice. Think about your business needs and what kind of assistance you’ll need.
You’re likely to need a medical assistant, office manager, and someone to work with insurance claims.
8. Create Efficient Systems
Do you have a way to schedule patients online and accept payments?
That may be something that you haven’t even thought about. You want to make sure that your office runs smoothly from the very beginning.
It’s important to work with your staff to develop policies and procedures for your office. You’ll also need to invest in computer systems to make it easier to track patients and submit claims.
Tips for Healthcare Startups
For doctors that decide to go into private practice, the risks are greater than ever. It costs a lot of money to start a new practice. When faced with huge student loans and competition, the pressure is huge to be a success.
Healthcare startups can thrive in such a challenging environment. You have to choose a great location for your practice and take care of the details. You’ll want to surround yourself with a team of experts who can guide you as you’re setting up your practice.
Keep coming back to this site for more tips on running your medical practice.