There’s something amazing about having a lightbulb moment for a business idea. When you make the monumental decision to start your own medical practice, you’re about to wade out of the pan and into the fire – you’re striking out on your own, and it’s a big deal. It takes years of training to get the credentials and board certification to be a respected and experienced doctor, but that doesn’t mean that you’re quite ready to start your own business – it’s an overwhelming process and it’s one that takes more than other doctors to consult with. You’ll need to have conversations with health care attorneys, the bank, accountants and other practice consultants who have been in the game longer than you have.
Not only that, but you need to consider how you’re going to fund this idea of yours. It’s not just about finding an office where you can practice medicine from. It’s the medical equipment you need to have on hand, the accessories like gloves and cotton swabs, the portable ultrasound machine to make for efficient diagnosis and even the x-ray machine you want to have in-house – just in case. Before you can launch your practice, you need a business plan and ideas for your funding, just like every other small business out there. You also have to set up a meeting with a legal team that are experienced in helping other doctors to set up on their own. There are laws that you need to be compliant with and you need to have a sound grasp of patient care and employee care; after all, you’ll need a receptionist or medical assistant. Below, you’ll find some of the most important things to think about as you get started with your new practice.
How To Fund It
It’s the piece of the puzzle that needs the most consideration, because none of your ideas are going to be possible without money. Most medical practitioners need a business loan or angel investment from the outside to get started with their practice. The start up costs can be steep, and if you’re still paying off your medical school debts, you may be quite nervous about borrowing more. This is where your business plan will come in handy, because you can use it to talk to lenders. Make a realistic list of the possible costs of your startup, from the real estate, construction, marketing, equipment, accounting and legal costs you have to face, to the medical records software and computers you will need to invest money toward. You may not consider what you use in your daily work, but there’s a lot there and it all counts. Once you’ve borrowed the money, you then have to work out your fees and what rate of patients you need to help to pay the rent and medical equipment costs every month while still pulling in a profit.
Get Your Credentials
There is a process that you need to go through to be able to accept health insurance – whether public or private. It can take several months to get this process completed, so it’s best to start it pretty early. Once you do that, you can set up properly. Insurers will want to you know medical education and residency background, and they’ll also want to know details of your malpractice insurance and your licence. Researching the private insurance providers in your state can help you to decide who to negotiate contracts with.
A Legal Structure
You’re a small business owner, which means that you need to choose a business structure for your business. This is what’s going to confirm how you pay your taxes and whether you are personally liable for any lawsuits and debts. This guide can tell you the ins and outs of the legal structures that work for medical practices and what you can choose from.
There are regulations set out by the government and your state which you will need to follow before your practice can open. Some of the things that you need to do include;
● Get licensed by the medical board in your state
● Get your NPI (National Provider Identifier). This is the number used by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance providers that keep track of health providers.
● Get your DEA number issued with the US Drug Enforcement Administration
This is a long process and not one for the faint of heart. You need to consider everything you will need as a doctor and what your patients could need, too.