Medical school and residency do little to prepare a doctor for the business side of medicine. Every physician electing to start their own practice must consider their business foundation. Here are a few tips to get started on making your dreams of starting a medical practice a reality:
The number of physicians coupled with the number of patients must be considered, along with hours of employment and on call time. A suitably sized practice location must also be selected with visibility to the public, hospital proximity and sufficient parking. Once you have these major factors figured out, you can move on to the other details of the business.
Arrangements must be made for an attorney and accountant. An attorney who is also a CPA might be a good selection. You’ll be working closely with these people from time to time. The practice entity should then be created in the form of a corporation or limited liability company.
You probably won’t forget malpractice insurance, but you’ll also want appropriate coverage for any vehicles that the practice might own, liability coverage for the business, the office premises and workers compensation insurance for your employees.
Staffing and support
Compliance with federal and state labor standards is required. Detailed job descriptions and compensation must be laid out. If benefits are to be offered to employees, appropriate arrangements for those should be made. Your accountant can arrange for payroll services. All medical and office equipment must be purchased and/or leased.
When was the last time that you saw a phone book? A professionally designed website establishes the presence of your practice and offices in the community. A high tech medical practice is expected to have a high tech web presence. Patients can be educated regarding certain conditions, directions to offices can be laid out and frequently asked questions ordinarily taking up valuable employee or physician time can be addressed. In the 21st century, electronic medical records, reports and imagery are delivered to hospitals, physicians and other health care providers by e-mail. Find a an easy site that can help you get started like Dr. Leonardo to make this task less stressful.
Be on the ground running on opening day. Announcements to other physicians, pharmacists and patients should already have been mailed. Be sure to have subscribed to magazines and the like for the waiting room. Have a patient registration packet in place and start taking appointments.
Running any business is a complex endeavor. You may want to practice medicine and not be an administrator. Surround yourself with a good business plan and the right people to optimize your actual practice skills.