What Medical Doctors Need to Start a Private Practice
Becoming a doctor takes years of hard work, dedication, and persistence. It’s the dream profession for so many, and parents have been hoping that their children are able to pursue this career since time immemorial. Getting through the long exhausting slog of medical school, then finishing a residency builds a resilient character that can withstand pretty much anything – not to mention the experience required to start a private practice.
Most medical professionals hope to start their own clinic eventually, regardless of their area of specialty. It’s the ultimate benchmark of success, and there are specific steps that need to be taken in order to achieve this goal. If you are ready to embark on this journey, then this article should help walk you through the process of starting a private practice.
Decide Which Kind of Practice to Open
First off, you’ll want to decide upon which kind of practice to start. There are several types to consider, be it a solo practice with just you as the main practitioner (which also means you carry the responsibility of running the office entirely on your own), a group practice through which you can split the duties evenly with other medical professionals, or a hospital-owned clinic that will be attached to the resources and capacities inherent to the hospital’s infrastructure. Then, there is the fairly popular route of starting a federally qualified health center, which is in many ways similar to having a hospital-owned practice.
Finally, you can look into the possibility of having a practice working within the academic health system, which is another way to help you minimize the economic risks of striking out on your own, while still working within the considerable resources afforded by a major institution. Once you are clear on the kind of practice you should start, then you will become better informed on how to kick things off accordingly.
Outline the Services
Next, you’ll want to begin working on figuring out the sorts of specialized services you’d like to offer and ensure that you and your staffers are properly certified to handle both the main and other miscellaneous services you offer to the public. Depending on your subfield of expertise, you should consider offering patients services that will help meet their needs while setting you apart from the pack. After all, you still need to maintain a competitive edge while practicing medicine. You can click here for more information on different essential services that will help you meet your fiscal and marketing goals early on. Not only do you need to be state-certified, but also your patients will trust you more if you can showcase condition-specific certifications you passed.
Purchase Equipment and Software
Now that you have decided upon the central and auxiliary services your practice will offer, it is time to decide upon the sort of equipment you will purchase. Hopefully, you have already secured the essential financing to help you be able to get your house in order, as it were: you’ll mostly just need a strong line of credit and perhaps apply for a loan. Then, you can begin investing in the equipment you need from vetted suppliers, and most importantly, set aside considerable financial resources for an IT system and official bookkeeping mechanism.
The base of private practice is an electronic health record system, which can best be described as the backbone for all your central operations. A good system offers an excellent way to digitize important patient records and streamline your communications amongst both staffers and your clients. Without this, it would be absolutely impossible to run an efficient and safe practice that meets your patients’ healthcare needs. As well, be sure to check into and maintain the security of your software.
Implement a Secure Billing System
Next, you’ll need to implement a sound billing system. Some practitioners prefer to employ a third-party entity to help manage this, as opposed to doing the accounting internally. Either way, you’ll still need a system that will help you keep track of the billing process between your clinic and patients. Even if your staff will not be dealing with health insurance claims head-on, and will be siphoning this chunk of the job over to a third party, you will still need to instate a clear way of getting paperwork through. Claims are a huge headache, and they are oftentimes rejected or denied, resulting in a doubling of the bureaucratic hustling. It is important to decide upon the central mechanisms you will employ to help smooth out the billing process as much as possible.
The healthcare industry changes all the time, and there is always a new service a provider can offer or a new bookkeeping system that staffers can employ to help keep things moving along smoothly. Before deciding whether to start a private practice, it is important to decide upon the main infrastructure first, then research the best tools that you can use to develop a successful entity.