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How to Start a Medical Lab Business: 6 Important Things You Should Know

Start a Medical Lab Business

The global healthcare sector is booming - but also undergoing a long-promised transformation. Today, medical services are shifting toward a patient-centered approach and focusing more than ever on prevention strategies.

In all this, medical labs play a vital role in boosting diagnosis accuracy and lowering overall healthcare costs.

So, if you have been waiting for the perfect time to start a medical lab business, this might be it. Medical services businesses are not among the easiest enterprises to launch, but they offer unparalleled rewards and returns. Learn what to keep in mind in your entrepreneurial journey in the sections below.

You Might Need To Focus on a Specific Niche To Beat The Competition

Medical laboratories are subdivided into research, development, and test laboratories. When it comes down to starting a test lab, you can choose to establish a general business that can run a range of tests.

Alternatively, you could opt to start a niche medical lab, which helps you become a trusted go-to resource in your field of expertise. Some of the popular niches and services offered by medical labs include:

  • Clinical urine tests
  • Hormone tests
  • Allergy tests
  • Blood tests
  • Specialized testing
  • Biomarker testing
  • Ultrasound tests
  • General tests

Your lab can either service individual patients or work in partnership with other local medical practices.

Don’t forget that, in 2022, there are nearly 30,000 medical and diagnostic labs in the US - and the number is on the rise. Choosing your niche wisely can give you a competitive edge over the competition!

Medical Labs are Highly Regulated: Keep Up With Licensing and Compliance

Medical laboratories - just like other medical services enterprises - are highly regulated. As a lab owner, you will need to obtain the relevant medical licenses, and comply with the regulations established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

These qualifications are not only essential to keep your business legal but are also an assurance for your customers that testing is done accurately and safely.

Choose Your Business Model Wisely

There are multiple business model options to choose from when starting your medical lab.

These include:

  • Independent laboratories
  • Franchise laboratories
  • Chain laboratories

The multiple options available allow you to choose between starting a lab from scratch or leveraging the support of a franchise. You might also consider re-launching an existing lab.

Medical Supplies Will Need to Be Carefully and Appropriately Transported

No medical lab is an island - especially in today’s fast-growing global supply chain. When starting a diagnostic laboratory business, you will certainly need to partner with local medical practices and clinics looking to outsource testing.

But even more importantly, you will require a supply network you can truly rely on. Not only will you need to find a provider able to guarantee a steady and accurate stream of medical supplies, but you will also need to find a dedicated lab courier service you can trust.

After all, medical supplies have unique transportation requirements that need to be respected to guarantee the safety and health of the patients, including specific refrigeration standards and anti-counterfeiting measures.

Protect Your Business (and Investment!) With the Right Insurance

Medical laboratories require a significant initial investment - especially due to the highly qualified personnel, cutting-edge equipment, and suitable premises you’ll need to set up a competitive enterprise.

While leasing the necessary medical equipment and obtaining funding can help you minimize costs, protecting yourself and your investment is even more important. Ad hoc insurance policies can provide financial cover against medical liabilities, omissions, malpractice, and human error.

A Medical Lab Business is Still a Business: You Will Need Marketing, Accounting, and HR Departments

Ultimately, your medical lab business is still a business. So, you will need to collaborate with several departments which, working together, can ensure that all aspects of your enterprise will continue to run smoothly.

In particular, you will need to hire experienced accountants, HR specialists, and marketing professionals. After all, just like medical practices need to acquire new clients, medical labs need to build their reputation and expand their customer base.

You should also consider outsourcing an IT team that can look after your booking and CRM software.

Don’t forget that hiring the right team and finding the right marketing channels can work wonders for your reputation. Not to mention your profit margins, and chances of success!

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