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 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 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. Then, 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. So get started with these tips!
1. Develop a Budget
The first step to starting any new business is first to 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. Unfortunately, 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 break down the starting capital you’ll need.
First, estimate the initial costs needed 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 ensure you have a small nest egg available in an emergency.
When you consider your startup costs, don’t forget to calculate how much you’ll need for:
- Real estate
- 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:
- 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. Developing a specific budget before you start can avoid raising 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. However, acquiring a loan can feel daunting, especially if you already have medical school debts. 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 consider expanding or taking over for a retiring doctor as a cost-efficient alternative to starting your medical practice.
You’ll need to pay for expenses, including rent, to keep your doors open. As you research how to start a medical practice and get the funds you need, consider creative ways to save.
3. Gather Your Credentials
You’ll need credentialing to accept patients’ government or private health insurance. This process can take several months. Therefore, getting started while you’re still in the planning stage of forming a medical practice is essential.
Insurers will ask about your:
- Medical Education
- 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 resolve the extent to which 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 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 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.
5. Get Licensed
As you learn how to start a medical practice, you must follow the proper 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.
Next, apply for a national provider identifier number. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies need this number to keep track of your practice.
You’ll also need a DEA number to prescribe medications for your patients.
You might also need other licenses depending on the medicine you practice and your services.
6. Choose the Right Spot
There are approximately 883.7 million physician office visits scheduled every year. You’ll need to choose your location wisely to bring in as many patients as possible. After all, you will have difficulty keeping your doors open if patients can’t find your practice.
Make sure to choose a location within your budget, easily accessible, and close to your ideal patients.
7. Choose Your Equipment
Don’t forget to gather your equipment, including:
- Medical equipment
Complete thorough research before determining 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. Of course, 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!
Practice Makes Perfect: How to Start a Medical Practice in 9 Easy Steps
Ready to start your trial? You won’t miss an essential step with these nine tips on creating a medical procedure. That way, you can start strong and attract patients as soon as possible.
Check the Health section of the blog today to keep up-to-date with your industry!