Working in health care can be rewarding and satisfying work, but sometimes the pressures of working at a giant hospital or for a large corporation can get to you. That’s why many medical providers dream of breaking out on their own and starting a medical practice under their own name.
Starting a medical practice may sound challenging, and by some measures, it is. However, with the proper approach and the right attitude in mind, you can certainly turn this dream into a reality. You just need to know the steps required to get you there.
What do you need to know about how to start a medical practice? Read on and we’ll walk you through all the basics.
Craft a Perfect Business Plan
While you might be chomping at the bit to leave your current job behind and start your practice, there are a few things you’ll need to get to first. Any type of new business enterprise requires a lot of planning, and opening your own private practice isn’t going to be an exception.
A business plan is a document that can serve as a roadmap for yourself and a blueprint for your potential investors and collaborators. This document should contain information and answers on just about any topic someone might be curious about when it comes to your new business.
That includes your budget for expenses, anticipated revenues, brand identity, marketing strategy, and more. Every element of the business you’re planning to make should be laid out on the page ahead of time. Think of it as starting your private practice, but only on paper.
Things might change, and your business plan isn’t met to be set in stone. However, there are many benefits to having it done at the onset of your journey.
Having this document will ensure you really work through the reality of the medical practice before you put any actual money or work in. You might realize a number of things you weren’t aware of before.
For example, potential financial risks or shortcomings, or issues you might have in reaching your target audience. You likely hadn’t really worked through the expenses, down to the details of things like answering service cost.
These are all helpful to know as far ahead as possible, so you can mitigate the risk or decide against approaching your practice in a certain manner.
This document will also be necessary as you work with potential investors, talk to loan representatives, and try to get collaborators aboard your new enterprise.
Licensing and Paperwork
Opening a medical center and practicing medicine will require you to jump through a number of legal hoops. Becoming a doctor requires a good amount of red tape navigating, and starting your own practice isn’t going to be much different.
First and foremost, you’ll need to register your new business with the state. That means deciding how you’ll want to incorporate your business. There are a number of business entity types to choose from, and you may want to speak with a lawyer to determine which is right for you.
With an official name and entity type chosen, you can get paperwork from the state and complete your registration as a legal entity. Upon processing and completion, you’ll receive an EIN, or employer identification number.
An EIN is like a social security number for a business. It identifies you in the eyes of the government. You’ll use it to pay your taxes, open a business bank account, and conduct any manner of business tasks.
You also might need to register further locally, depending on where you live.
Medical Licensing and Certification
Of course, since you’ll be shepherding a number of medical careers at your private practice, the work doesn’t end there. There are a number of extra licenses and certifications you’ll need in place in order to start taking patients in.
You’ll need to register for and obtain DEA certification in order to prescribe any medication to patients. That’s a major one you’ll want to get out of the way as early as possible.
Other registrations will depend on the services that you’re planning to provide. If you’re going to have in-office lab work done, for example, you’ll need certification from the CLIA program, and so forth.
One lengthy certification process that many people overlook? Getting certified by various insurance companies. Most of the patients that come into your medical practice are going to use their insurance to pay, but the insurance companies need to certify your practice before that can be done.
This can take quite a while, often up to six months per insurance company. These insurance companies will require you to do a lot of paperwork, submit copies of your medical license and work history, and make you jump through a number of hoops.
It’s best to start this process with the companies as early as you can in your medical practice’s lifetime, as the process can be lengthy. Even once you are certified, there are negotiations that will need to be worked through in terms of how payment will be made.
Starting a Medical Practice
If you’re looking to branch out on your own and start a medical practice, you’re going to need to know where to start. The above information can help you work through this process one step at a time as you creep closer to making your new dream a reality.
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