Striking Out On Your Own: How to Start a Medical Practice

There’s currently less than one doctor available for every 1,000 people on the planet. As the demand for doctors continues to grow, more physicians are beginning to open their own medical practices. However, there are a few steps they’ll need to consider first.

Eager to strike out on your own? Keep reading to learn how to start a medical practice!

Opening your own practice will give you the freedom you can’t find while working at a hospital.

At the same time, you can dedicate yourself to helping patients in need. With the right tips, you can streamline the process and get started as soon as possible.

With these eight easy tips for starting a medical practice, you can open your doors in no time. Get started with these tips!

1. Develop a Budget

The first step to starting any new business is to first develop a budget.

As you learn how to start a medical practice, you might find it’s more costly than you first imagined. The overall cost for opening your doors could equal somewhere near $250,000. Many people don’t have that large sum of capital on hand.

Seeking outside resources for funding can help. Before you do, however, you’ll need to breakdown the starting capital you’ll need.

First, create an estimate for the initial costs you’ll need to get your medical practice up and running. You’ll also want to consider the day-to-day operating expenses for the first few months.

When calculating their budget, many people forget to consider unexpected costs. You’ll want to make sure you have a small nest egg available in case of an emergency.

Startup Costs

When you consider your start-up costs, don’t forget to calculate how much you’ll need for:

  • Real estate
  • Construction
  • Equipment
  • Attorney fees
  • Accountant fees
  • Consultant fees

You can speak with a construction management team experienced in the healthcare industry to find out more about architectural costs.

You’ll also need to consider expenses such as:

  • Computers
  • Medical recording software
  • Office furniture
  • Disposable supplies (gauze, bandages, gloves, etc.)

Underestimating your startup costs could leave you short the first few months your business is open. As a result, you could end up leaning on credit cards and scrambling to find capital. By developing a thorough budget before you get started, you can avoid raking up unnecessary debt.

2. Fund Your Practice

Once you have your budget in hand, you can start gathering funds.

Many small-business owners, including medical practitioners, seek small-business loans to cover startup costs. Acquiring a loan can feel daunting, especially if you already have medical school debts to deal with. In that case, you might want to look into payment options to make your debt easier to manage.

For example, you might want to consider refinancing your medical school loans.

You might want to consider expanding or taking over for a retiring doctor as a cost-efficient alternative to starting a medical practice of your own.

In order to keep your doors open, you’ll need to pay for expenses, including rent. As you research how to start a medical practice and get the funds you need, make sure to consider creative ways to save.


3. Gather Your Credentials

In order to accept government or private health insurance from patients, you’ll need to undergo a process called credentialing. This process can take several months. It’s important to get started while you’re still in the planning stage of starting a medical practice.

Insurers will ask about your:

  • Medical education
  • Residency
  • Licensing
  • Malpractice insurance

Not all states require malpractice insurance. It can also depend on your specialty or location. However, you still might want to consider malpractice insurance to protect your assets, just in case.

4. Choose a Legal Structure

Every small business owner will need to choose a legal business structure. This structure will determine how you pay taxes. It can also determine the extent to you’re personally liable for lawsuits, debts, and losses.

For example, you might want to become a form S corporation. In this case, you’ll only pay taxes on your personal income from the business. Otherwise, you might choose a C corporation, where you’re taxed at the entity level and on personal income.

You might want to consider hiring a health care attorney to help you make this decision. They can also help you draft your legal documents, including your:

  • Articles of organization
  • Articles of incorporation
  • A partnership agreement

Once you choose a legal structure, don’t forget to apply for your employer identification number. You’ll need this number to identify your business with the federal government.

You’ll also want to register for state and local taxes through the SBA website, too.

5. Get Licensed

As you learn how to start a medical practice, it’s important you follow the right federal and state laws.

For example, you’ll need to get licensed by the medical board for your state. You can visit the Federation of State Medical Boards’ website to get started.

Next, apply for a national provider identifier number. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies need this number to keep track of your practice.

In order to prescribe medications for your patients, you’ll also need a DEA number.

You might also need other licenses depending on the type of medicine you practice and the services you provide.

6. Choose the Right Spot

There are approximately 883.7 million physician office visits scheduled every year. In order to bring in as many patients as possible, you’ll first need to choose your location wisely. After all, you’re going to have a difficult time keeping your doors open if patients can’t find your practice.

Make sure to choose a location within your budget, easily accessible, and in close proximity to your ideal patients.

7. Choose Your Equipment

Don’t forget to gather your equipment, including:

  • Medical equipment
  • Furniture
  • Software
  • Supplies

Complete thorough research before you determine the medical equipment and technology you’ll need.

8. Plan for Staff

Take the time to screen and hire employees for your new medical practice as well. You’ll want to consider their salary, health insurance, time off, and other benefits while you’re at it.

9. Attract Patients

Once you’ve gone through these steps for starting a medical practice, you’ll want to market your new business. Create a well-designed website that can schedule appointments online. Then, use a blog and search engine optimization (SEO) to attract patients to your practice.

Don’t forget to utilize social media to keep people up-to-date about your practice, too!

Practice Makes Perfect: How to Start a Medical Practice in 9 Easy Steps

Ready to start your practice? With these nine tips on how to start a medical practice, you won’t miss an essential step. That way, you can start off strong and begin attracting patients as soon as possible.

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