How to Start an Independent Medical Practice
Opening an independent medical practice is a step that most doctors are apprehensive of taking, and for a good reason. Starting a business is daunting and requires many formalities to be sorted out beforehand. To ensure that it’s successful, you need to have a clear roadmap to estimate how long it’ll take you to launch and turn your practice into a profitable business.
As daunting as it sounds, it doesn’t mean it’s not doable. 46% of doctors in the United States have their own practice, with 65% in surgical specialties. It only goes to show that it’s possible for you too.
This article will discuss the benefits of opening your practice and the steps you need to set up a strong foundation.
Benefits of opening an independent practice
Before we get into how you can set up your own practice, let’s look at the benefits. The main reason would be the autonomy you get over your skills and expertise. With the current healthcare system being heavily reliant on large conglomerates, it’s hard to be your own boss and have a say in the operation side of things.
Having an independent practice will allow you to set up workflows to work best for your working style. You also have great control in choosing who works with you, resulting in a team with which you can work well.
With unreasonable expectations such as needing doctors to be on call most of the time, it’s not surprising that 49% of physicians are willing to take a pay cut for more free time. With your practice, you can choose your working hours.
You also have more control over your income because how you serve your customers and market your clinic decides how much revenue you bring in over time.
Steps to open your independent practice
Create a business plan
Developing a project plan is crucial to your success as it decides whether or not your plan is feasible and if you’re going in the right direction. Create a list of ongoing tasks such as compliance, credentialing, hiring, marketing, resource management, finance, etc.
Fund your independent practice
Like any other business, you need to think about how you will raise capital for the business. Is it through savings or a small business loan? Think about your current financial liabilities, such as medical school debt, personal loans, etc. If needed, partner up with other physicians or buy an existing practice.
Register the business & complete formalities
Once you’ve decided where to open the clinic, you need to formalize the business. Register the company with your local authorities and choose a legal structure like S-Corp, C-Corp, etc. You can hire a healthcare attorney to help you through the process and enroll you in tax-saving schemes where needed.
Purchase equipment & recruit staff
Once you have formalized your business, the next step is to purchase equipment and start staffing your office. In terms of equipment, you need to think about electronic healthcare records systems, practice management systems, billing services, transcription services, credit card processors, etc.
To hire your staff, think about the essential and supporting roles within the clinic and prioritize based on that. This is the most comprehensive part of launching the business, so we’d recommend outsourcing it to a managed service provider.
Prepare to launch
Start documenting all your processes to ensure you implement a streamlined workflow once you open. To work with insurance payers, you also need to begin the medical credentialing process, which could take months to complete. As a medical service provider, you also need to apply for malpractice insurance to protect your business from challenging situations. Once these steps are done, you’re ready to launch!
Starting an independent practice can be an exciting yet overwhelming time for any first-time business owner.
There are too many aspects to account for to ensure that the business launches successfully. When you have the right systems in place, it’s easy to scale your business over time. If you’re looking for a managed service provider with decades of experience to help you launch your independent practice, reach out to us today.