Are you about to open a brand-new medical practice but aren’t sure how to build a checklist of necessary items? Don’t feel alone. Every first-time professional goes through the same process, one that begins with excitement but quickly morphs into unease and logistical challenges. Fortunately, there are several excellent strategies for bringing order to the situation and establishing your practice on a firm foundation.
In addition to identifying a suitable location for an office, it’s imperative to secure the right amount of funding to cover the numerous initial expenses that come with setting up a successful operation. You’ll also need to pay startup costs for staff, the right telephonic system, up-to-date billing software, at least two separate insurance policies, and the help of an experienced accounting pro. Here are more details about what every practice needs to get up and running.
Unless you work as a remote physician, what’s true in real estate is also applicable to the field of medicine: location is the most important factor when it comes to long-term success and property value. That’s why it’s so critical to find an address that will not only be convenient for your future patients but will also make it easy to find front office staff who are willing to work there. Think long and hard about where the majority of your prospective clients live. That’s the area where you’ll want to maintain a treatment office. While many physicians, consultants, and psychiatrists prefer to rent space near large hospitals, it often makes more sense to base your practice in a suburban neighborhood where a good many of your patients reside.
There are no two ways about it; every new medical-oriented business enterprise needs enough seed capital to get off square one. Taking out business loans makes perfect sense for the vast majority of owners in this competitive niche. When you stop to think about it, applying for a small loan for your practice is the fastest and most logical way to get funding in place at the exact right time. Even before opening the doors and accepting those first few patients, you’ll need to spend on things like legal permitting, office equipment, rent, software, and more. A loan serves another vital purpose: it helps first-time owners establish credit in the practice’s name.
Competent Front Office Staff
Many practitioners overlook the huge importance of having a competent, friendly, efficient, reliable front office staff. In the highly competitive field of patient-oriented medicine, consumers have plenty of choices when it comes to selecting a PCP (primary care physician) or specialist. Most of the major insurers offer up to a dozen names from which each patient can choose. Often, the deal breaker for a consumer is the quality of the team in the front office. Invest in a solid staff that has the experience to deal with people in a fair, friendly way. Having a top-notch front office squad is a doctor’s best form of insurance against financial failure.
Latest Billing Software
Physician and medical billing software has made giant technological leaps during the past decade. The latest applications are AI (artificial intelligence) focused and far surpass former versions that did nothing more than maintain basic ledger accounts on each patient. But, along with that super-power capability comes a higher price tag for the retail digital products in the niche. The good news is that for new practices, there are scaled-down packages that get the job done for a fraction of the price of a full-blown product.
Personalized Telephone System
Like the team at the reception desk, outbound and inbound telephone systems can serve as a first impression for a large number of potential patients. Be careful not to cut corners with these products. The small amount you save on a budget phone system could end up costing you a lot of business. Attempt to answer urgent calls with a human receptionist. For routine inbound traffic, use a high-end robotic answerer that efficiently routes all callers to the correct person or department.
Accounting and Insurance Services
Accounting for the profits and losses of a standard physician-based practice is a complex chore, so expect to pay for the services of an experienced CPA (certified public accountant) or firm that knows how to work with new practices. Then, be equally diligent about selecting a licensed insurance agent for your malpractice and liability coverage. You’ll likely have additional insurance needs, but those two are the ones that cost the most. Most states require specific malpractice minimums, while the liability policy amount is up to you based on the size of your office and the number of patients.