The Ultimate How to Start a Medical Practice Checklist
There are over 756,800 jobs among physicians and surgeons in the country. The job outlook between 2018 and 2028 is expected to grow by 7%, which is faster than most other industries. If you plan on starting your own medical practice this year, it helps to have a plan.
Keep reading to discover our How to Start a Medical Practice checklist!
With these tips, you can make sure you don’t skip a single step. Instead, you can plan for an efficient, effective start before opening your doors. Starting a medical practice on your own will give you the freedom to control your own business.
Instead of working at a hospital, you can discover your own set of patients by opening your own practice.
Discover how to start a medical clinic with this helpful guide!
Calculate Your Budget
Before starting a medical practice, it’s essential to consider your budget. Otherwise, you’ll likely struggle to stay afloat after opening your doors.
Make sure to overestimate your costs. Chances are, learning how to start a medical clinic will likely cost more than you realize. Imagine opening your doors for the cost of $250,000.
Where do you plan on finding that money? It’s unlikely you have that sum in your pocket, especially if you recently finished a fellowship.
Consider looking into outside sources for funding. Before you start that search, however, you’ll want to consider what startup capital you’ll need.
Start with an estimate of your initial costs. What do you need in order to get your medical practice running? Then, add the estimated costs of daily operating expenses for at least six months.
It can help to have a list of the expected costs you’ll need as part of your How to Start a Medical Practice checklist. Here are a few expenses to consider:
- Real estate/construction
- Consultant fees
- Accountant fees
- Attorney fees
In addition to your medical equipment, you’ll likely also need computers and medical recording software. Don’t forget to calculate the cost of your office furniture, too. Finally, you’ll need disposal medical supplies such as bandages, gloves, and gauze.
Don’t underestimate these startup costs. Remember, you want to create a cushion for at least a few months. Otherwise, you’ll start relying on credit cards, which can add to any debt you already have.
Now that you know how much starting a medical practice can cost, it’s time to find funding.
Most small business owners look for small business loans in order to cover their initial costs. In some cases, getting approved for a loan can feel exhausting. If you already have medical school debts to deal with, it can add to the stress you already have.
Instead, you might want to look into options that will make your debts easier to handle.
For example, you might want to first refinance your medical school loans before applying for a small business loan. You can also work with a retiring doctor. Ask if you can take over their practice. If they’re not retiring anytime soon, ask if you can expand their exiting practice instead.
Either way, you have a cost-effective alternative before starting your own medical practice.
Otherwise, you’ll need to find another way to find funding. You might want to consider a few ways to save money as well. You can visit this page to learn more about positioning your startup for early profits.
Determine Your Legal Structure
In order to open any practice, you’ll need to select a legal business structure. The structure you choose will determine how you pay your taxes in the years to come. It can also determine how personally liable you are for:
You might decide to become a form S corporation, which will require you to pay taxes on your personal income. You could also choose a C corporation. In that case, you’re taxed at the entity level and on personal income.
Consider hiring a lawyer who is experienced with health care businesses. They can help you acquire the documents you need.
Don’t forget to apply for an employer identification number, too. The federal government will use this number to identify your medical practice. Otherwise, don’t forget to register for your state and local taxes.
Before you can start bringing in patients, you’ll need to complete the credentialing process. Otherwise, you can’t accept private or government health insurance from your patients.
Make sure to start this process as soon as possible. In some cases, credentialing can take a few months. Begin this process while you’re still in the planning stages of starting your own medical practice.
In order to prepare ahead of time, here’s what insurers will ask for:
- Malpractice insurance
- Medical education
It helps to know that not all states require you to have malpractice insurance. However, it can help protect you in the future.
Acquire Your Licensing
Follow the right federal and state laws and gather your licensing. You’ll need to apply for:
- A national provider identifier number
- Licensing by the medical board for your state
- A DEA number to prescribe medications
- You might also need other types of licensing depending on your medical practice and services.
Choose a Location
This is the fun part. It’s time to choose the location for your medical practice!
Make sure your office is in a location that’s easily accessible for your patients. Once you have an office, it’s time to acquire the equipment you need. Don’t forget:
- Medical equipment
Make sure your location and equipment suit your budget.
You might also want to start your medical practice with a few staff members. Don’t forget to calculate the cost of their salary, health insurance, time off, and other benefits you’ll offer.
Start Attracting Patients
Once you’re through the first steps on this How to Start a Medical Practice checklist, you need to start marketing! About 84% of adults have contacted a health care professional in the past year. In order to reach those patients, consider creating a website, writing a blog, and using digital ads to attract people to your practice.
Open Your Doors: Your Ultimate How to Start a Medical Practice Checklist
Ready to open your doors? Don’t forget to use this How to Start a Medical Practice checklist first! With these tips, you won’t miss a step!
Explore the Health section of the blog today for more tips for your practice.