Leaving a group to start your own private medical practice can be an exciting proposition for any young doctor. There is plenty to consider and plan for as medical practice management is a complex field. Like any business, you will need startup capital to keep things going as clientele develops and the practice becomes profitable. Here we will highlight some of the primary planning that needs to take place in order to ensure future success.
Planning should begin at least six or nine months ahead of time. To begin, you need to find the right location and the right office space. There is a good possibility that the space you choose will need some renovations. Be ready to start paying rent or mortgage well before you see any patients. Basic office equipment could run as high as $50,000 or $60,000. That includes furniture, copiers, telephones, computers, and medical equipment. Consider used furniture and equipment to reduce this cost dramatically.
The six or nine month timeframe will also provide sufficient time to establish your business entity, get applications out to Medicare and insurance companies, and take care of the paperwork involved before you are ready to see your first patient.
It is best to consider obtaining an electronic medical record (EMR) system early on. This allows you to establish control of your records from the beginning. To some, this cost is prohibitive. Other options include cloud based EMR which are subscription based and usually don’t required upfront fees or costs. You should consider hiring a medical practice management firm such as ProMD to handle your start-up process, initial contracting, credentialing medical, insurance billing and other services.
Insurance coverage is a complicated issue which we will only touch on here. Rely on a good agent to determine the details of your required coverage. There will be malpractice insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and business liability insurance. Consider overhead insurance to keep the practice running if you become unable to work. Beyond those, there are benefits for your staff and yourself. The primary insurance benefit potential employees will be looking for is health insurance.
Finding the right staff is essential to establishing a successful practice. A good estimates for a primary care office is a minimum of two and a half staffers per doctor. Finding the right people is not easy. It is a limited pool. Word of mouth is the best path to hiring great employees. Just be careful not to steal employees from other established practices, especially the one you may be leaving. In the future you might find that maintaining good relationships with former colleagues is a great source for referrals.
This is all really just the beginning. Starting a new medical practice can be daunting, but in the end, rewarding. Consider hiring a medical practice management firm to help you get started and perhaps handle your billing early on. At ProMD we have years of experience helping to launch very successful medical practices.
If you’ve never run a business before, the complexities of setting up your own practice may seem daunting. One way to reduce the fear factor is to retain a consultant.
ProMD Practice Management is happy to help with your billing assessment needs so you can maximize profits and increase patient satisfaction. To learn more about how ProMD can make your practice run like a well-oiled machine, call 888-622-7498 or fill out our online form to request a billing assessment.