Some doctors don’t think of themselves as business owners, and that’s fine.
They might think it’s too risky to start a medical practice when they’re quite happy working as a hospital employee. However, there are some physicians who think otherwise. Even if they’re aware of the challenges, they still want to go ahead and launch their practice.
Does that sound like you? If yes, then reading this guide would be a good starting point. Read on to learn about what you need to prepare for when launching your own practice.
How to Start a Medical Practice: 4 Things to Remember
In some ways, a medical practice is like any other business. You need money to put it up, choose a legal business structure, and obtain licenses to operate it. Unlike other businesses, however, you have to undergo “credentialing,” which allows you to accept health insurance from patients.
Here’s a closer look at those 4 requirements.
There are different ways to finance your practice. You can get loans, use some of your savings, look for investors, etc.
Just remember that aside from renting office space, there are also equipment and other expenses like medical records software to consider. Your startup costs will also include fees for an accountant and a business attorney. In most cases, it’s also recommended that you hire a consultant before opening a medical business.
Of course, these will all add up, which is why it’s advisable to work with a consultant who can help you plan accordingly.
2. Legal Business Structure
This is where hiring a business attorney helps a lot. He or she can advise you on which legal structure (e.g. S-corp, LLC, C-corp, or general partnership) suits your medical practice best.
This is because each legal structure or entity comes with certain tax benefits, which your attorney will discuss with you in detail. Your lawyer will also help you prepare the documents needed for the structure you’ve chosen.
When you start your own medical practice, it has to follow the regulations set by your state and the federal government. These include being licensed by your state’s medical board, obtaining a national provider identifier number, and so on.
There are also extra rules to take note of depending on the type of medicine you practice. For example, you have to have the right certification before you can offer laboratory services.
Do your homework before offering such services so you remain in compliance with all legal regulations.
Before getting credentialed, insurers will want to make sure you have the proper licenses and that you have malpractice insurance. Now, this process doesn’t only involve Medicare and Medicaid. It also applies to private insurance providers.
For private insurers, you don’t have to contract with all of them. You can choose those whose terms are reasonable (and hopefully favorable) to your practice.
Other Things to Consider When Starting Your Own Practice
Aside from financing, credentialing, etc., you also have to think about staffing and marketing.
There are tons of online resources to help you hire the best people for your practice. For the latter, you can check out these tips for online healthcare marketing.
Ready to Start Your Own Practice?
Now that you know the basics of how to start a medical practice, don’t stop here.
The more you know about the requirements for launching your medical business, the better. For more business tips and advice, feel free to check out our other articles.