Starting a private medical practice in healthcare gives you the opportunity to be your own boss. Still, it involves various tasks, including business planning, market research, financial management, regulatory compliance, credentialing process, and startup costs.
Also, you want to ensure you’ve completed the small tasks like setting up your business entity to have a valid tax id, registering your NPI number, and having a business bank account.
It can be a complex and time-consuming process, but with careful planning and attention to detail, launching and operating a private medical practice successfully is possible.
Step 1: Business Plan
Starting a private medical office typically involves securing financing, finding a suitable office space, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and hiring staff. In a professional setting, having proper medical equipment and facilities and a system for managing appointments, billing, and patient records is also important.
Depending on the size and scope of the practice, it may also be helpful to have a website and social media presence to attract and communicate with patients. Healthcare providers should prioritize providing quality patient care to receive client referrals in the future.
Step 2: Startup Financing
Starting a medical practice typically requires significant capital to cover expenses such as rent, equipment, supplies, and salaries. Here are some steps to consider when financing a new medical practice:
- Determine your budget: Make a list of all the expenses you will incur while setting up and running your practice, including one-time costs like equipment purchases and ongoing expenses like rent and salaries. This will help you determine how much funding you will need.
- Explore financing options: There are several options for financing a medical practice, including a business loan from banks or credit unions, crowdfunding, and investment from partners or investors. Research the pros and cons of each option to determine the best fit for your needs.
- Create a business plan: A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals, target market, marketing strategy, and financial projections. It is often required when applying for financing.
Step 3: Credentials required to
You will need the appropriate credentials and licenses to start a small business medical practice. Here are some common credentials and requirements for starting a medical practice:
- Medical license: To practice medicine in a particular state, you must obtain a medical license from that state’s medical board. This typically requires passing a licensing exam, such as the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
- Business license: Depending on your location demographics, you may need to obtain a business owner license to operate your medical practice.
- Other credentials: Depending on your specialty and services, you may need additional credentials or certifications, such as a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license for prescribing controlled substances.
Step 4: Insurance your practice will need
Medical practice may need several types of insurance to protect against potential risks and liabilities. Here are some common types of insurance for medical practices:
- Professional liability insurance: Also known as malpractice insurance, this type of insurance protects you and your practice from claims of professional negligence or malpractice.
- Workers’ compensation insurance (OSHA): If you have employees, you may be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job.
- Disability insurance: This type of insurance provides income protection in the event that you become disabled and are unable to work.
Step 5: Location of your private practice
Finding a suitable location for your physician practice is an important step in starting a new business. Some factors to consider when searching for a location include proximity to other medical facilities and services, accessibility for patients, and growth potential.
It can be helpful to work with a real estate agent or broker who is familiar with the local market and can assist you in finding a location that meets your needs. When working with a realtor, clearly communicate your requirements and budget, and consider negotiating terms such as rent and lease length to ensure that the location is a good fit for your practice.
Step 6: Office supplies and medical supplies you will need
There are several types of office and medical supplies that you will need to start a medical practice. Some common office supplies include:
- Furniture: You will need desks, chairs, and other furniture for your office and examination rooms.
- Office equipment: This can include computers, printers, and other equipment for managing appointments, billing, and patient records.
- Stationery: You will need letterhead, envelopes, and other stationery for communicating with patients and insurance companies.
- Marketing materials: Depending on your marketing strategy, you may need brochures, business cards, or other promotional materials to attract patients.
Step 7: Which insurance companies should you work with?
When starting a medical practice, it is important to choose a reliable health insurance company that offers a range of plans to meet the needs of your patients. Some factors to consider when selecting a health insurance company include the following:
- Network of providers: Make sure the insurance company has a network that includes the hospitals, specialists, primary care, and other health systems your patients may need to see.
- Coverage options: Look for a company that offers a range of coverage options, including plans with different deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximums offering Medicare and Medicaid.
- Claims process: Choose a company with a straightforward and efficient claims process to ensure that you and your patients can get the coverage they need and make sure they have a positive reimbursement history.
Step 8: Staffing your medical practice
Hiring the right staff is important in setting up and running a successful medical practice. Here are some steps to consider when hiring staff for your practice:
- Determine your staffing needs: Consider the size and scope of your practice and the specific roles and responsibilities you need to fill. This will help you determine how many staff members you need to hire and what qualifications and skills they should have.
- Develop job descriptions: Have human resources create a clear and detailed job description for each position you are hiring for, including responsibilities, qualifications, and relevant experience or skills.
- Advertise and outsource the positions: There are several ways to advertise open positions at your practice, including posting on job boards and websites, placing ads in local newspapers or trade publications, and utilizing social media.
Step 9: Practice Management
Electronic health record (EHR) systems are used by many medical practices to manage patient records, appointments, billing, and other electronic medical record aspects of practice management.
Choosing an EHR system is an important decision that can impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your practice, so it is important to consider your options carefully.
Step 10: Opening day of your medical practice
On the opening day of medical practice, using social media and a marketing plan to promote your practice and attract patients can be helpful. Here are some steps you can take to use social media effectively on the opening day of your practice:
- Create social media profiles: Set up profiles on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Include information about your practice, such as location, fee schedule, hours, and services offered.
- Share updates and announcements: Create a workflow to share updates and announcements about your practice, including information about your opening day, any special offers or promotions, and any events or activities you plan.
- Engage with your audience: Use social media to interact and build relationships with your patients. Respond to comments and messages, and encourage your followers to share their experiences and feedback.