9 Helpful Tips for Starting a Medical Practice
The mere thought of starting a medical practice can sound nearly impossible.
With all the legal hoops one has to jump through, and the task of having to find an appropriate space for your practice can make it feel like it’s not worth it. However, the freedom that comes with owning (or partially owning) your own practice the results well worth it.
If you’d like to know where to start, keep reading. We’re here to give you 9 helpful tips for starting a medical practice.
- Consider the Reason You’re Opening a Practice
Identify the reason you’d like to open your practice. Identifying your central goal and then creating a business plan can help keep your medical practice on track.
Keep in mind that there are no rights or wrongs when it comes to these things. They’re completely subjective and are going to be unique to you, your field of medicine, who you’re working with, and even the area you’re opening your practice in.
- What Type of Practice Are You Starting?
Obviously, the kind of treatment your practice is going to offer depends on your field of expertise, but there’s another thing to consider.
Are you going to open a private practice or a group practice?
Private practice comes with the freedom of creating your own schedule and working outside of any external influences. While this doesn’t mean you can ignore state and national laws, it does mean you’re free to make all the employment decisions, but it also means you’re always on call.
A group practice means split expenses. You won’t always be the only doctor-on-call, and you always have access to a second opinion when or if it’s ever needed.
You can’t run a business without funding, but where does that funding come from?
Often, a small business loan or other outside funding is where you’re going to find the cash that’s needed to cover the costs of starting a medical practice.
Even if you’re carrying student debt from medical school, it is still possible to find the necessary funding you need to make your dreams of starting a practice a reality.
- Gain Your Credentials
In simple terms, “credentialing” is the process one must go through to allow their practice to accept private and public insurance. The entire process takes several months and comes with questions about your background, education, and whether or not you have malpractice insurance.
- Choose a Legal Structure
When starting a medical practice, you’re going to need to decide on your business structure. This sounds daunting, but it really just affects how much you pay in taxes, personal liability, necessary paperwork, and even your ability to raise money.
Structures change based on whether you work alone or have a co-owner, and also how many employees you plan on having. If you
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, this needs to be done before you register with the state. You will also a Tax ID Number, and to gain the necessary licensing and permits.
In addition to employees and a sound business structure, you’ll also need to consider the best medical answering service.
- Don’t Forget Licensing
Before moving forward with any other business plans, you need to get licensed at the federal and state level. Necessary licensing might include state licensing, a national provider identifier number, a DEA registration, and other licensing.
Other licensing is needed if you have x-ray machines or some kind of in-office laboratory.
- Consider Organization
You have got to be thorough when you’re starting and learning how to run a medical practice. At a minimum, keep a dedicated notebook and document everything you do on a given day, no matter how small or big.
Also, don’t be afraid to get creative. If you work best on a computer, find an online program where you keep everything business-related—finance, human resources, insurance, operations, remodel, or building information.
If you can keep track of it, then do so. Chances are, you’re going to forget later.
- How Are You Going to Document Everything?
Documentation is important in all instances, but specifically when you’re starting a medical practice. Getting everything, especially negotiations and contract deals, in writing can save you a lot of headaches down the road.
If you communicate over the phone, be sure to take notes and then send a follow-up email. Review everything you spoke about, and send it to whoever you spoke with immediately following the conversation.
Keep track of dates and times.
- Give Yourself Extra Time
Planning everything for yourself can be easy, but you cannot always account for the extra time that someone else might need.
Whether it’s for city permits, health plan network enrollment, or other essentials needed when starting a practice, be sure to take it all into account.
Keep These Tips in Mind When Starting a Medical Practice
If you keep these 9 tips in mind when starting a medical practice, then you’re guaranteed to succeed. Don’t get bogged down in the mountain of work it might feel like it’s going to take get there.
With proper planning, accounting, and preparation, you’re going to achieve your goal in no time. Remember that things are going to vary from state-to-state, and you should not only do research on the national level. Be sure to look into necessary state licenses and credentials before moving forward with anything.
If you’re interested in having more of your questions on health, tech and business answered, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.