Opening a private medical practice is a great way for doctors to run a medical practice their own way. You can devote the time you want to patients, offer the types of treatments you think are best, and ditch a lot of the administrative oversight. However, this doesn’t eliminate your need to follow a host of regulations, and there are many other issues that you’re left to face on your own. Here are five things to consider when opening your private medical practice.
The Financial Aspects
You need to have a realistic business plan so that you can generate enough revenue to pay overhead expenses like the rent, labor costs like the nurses’ salary, insurance premiums, and the money you’ll live on. You should have a plan to cover these costs while the revenue of the practice is growing. Whether this comes from savings, a line of credit or investors needs to be determined and secured in advance.
The Regulatory Requirements
Doctors must have the right insurance before they see a single patient. Furthermore, they need the internal regulatory framework, the right company policies, and the systems to enforce them, before they’re officially up and running.
This includes electronic medical records systems and an internal IT infrastructure like your practice management system to give everyone access to the right information. Doctors can simplify the process of getting set up by working with healthcare IT support – Medicus IT. A firm like Medicus IT can recommend or outright install the IT systems you need. They’ll provide cybersecurity, backups of records, and everything else your medical practice needs.
One of the benefits of outsourcing IT security is that you don’t have to find and hire dedicated IT support staff. You turn IT support into a predictable line item on your budget and a known cost when you’re initially setting up the practice. Then you can focus on establishing the policies, procedures, and documentation that show you’re in compliance with regulatory requirements.
The Human Resources Side
Doctors shouldn’t be pulled away from the exam room to handle patient billing or other administrative tasks. This is why you need to assemble a good front-office team of receptionists and billing experts in addition to nurses. Then you need a reliable office manager to take care of everything.
You must set up systems to minimize the possibility of mistakes and control costs. For example, you may want to rely on medical transcription software or select a service to transcribe your conversations with patients and their voicemails. Your medical practice is based on trust. You need to set up formal HR procedures for hiring people that include background checks that are far more thorough than the standard background check. For example, you need to verify that nurses have the proper credentials and active licenses.
The Potential Ways to Grow the Practice
When you’re setting up the practice, the goal is to get up and running and generate an income. However, you should start exploring ancillary services. These services should be based on your specialty and your patients’ needs.
These ancillary services could allow you to generate more revenue and differentiate yourself from the competition. As you start meeting with patients, ask them what they wish you would do and what they’d pay you to do. Run the numbers before you start buying equipment and paying for training.
Consider the issues we’ve discussed before you jump into starting your own practice, and you’ll have a clear, detailed plan that gets you up and running as fast as possible.