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Health & Medicine

5 Essentials for Starting Your Own Medical Practice

— March 4, 2020

Opening a private medical practice can be a daunting process. Since medical assistance is involved, the procedure tends to be a bit more demanding.

The need and the demand for professional medical assistance are never fading. As unfortunate as that actually is, it’s a good opportunity for medical professionals to open their own medical practice and help those who need it the most. 

Opening a medical practice is a noble cause but, it’s also a challenging one. There are many steps to take and many factors to consider before you can get started. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to have a well-developed plan ready. Medical practice is similar to opening a business with a few exceptions, of course. Therefore, here are a few essentials for opening your own medical practice. 

Obtain the necessary funds

Just like starting a business, opening a medical practice requires initial startup capital. The only difference is that you cannot use most of the financing options available to startups, such as crowdfunding, investor aid and so on. That said, you’re left with a few options. For example, you can fund your medical practice from your own pocket – if you have enough funds, that is. You can also apply for a bank loan. Furthermore, if your medical practice will encompass research and development aside from providing Medicare to patients, you can also apply for a government grant. 

Grants are considered as gifts awarded to those who plan projects that will benefit a community. In Medicare, development and research of new treatments can be considered a cause worthy of a grant. Since a grant is basically a gift, you don’t need to pay back the money and you can use it to procure equipment, hire personnel, fund research, etc. 

Choose a business structure

A private medical practice is still considered to be a business per se, at least as far as the government is concerned. Therefore, opening a medical practice requires you to choose a business structure which will determine further paperwork, such as licenses, permits, taxes, insurances, etc. For example, the most common structures for medical practices are sole proprietorship and partnerships but you can also structure your medical practice as a corporation or an LLC (Limited Liability Company) designed for medical practices. 

Obtain the necessary equipment

Based on the nature of your practice, you’ll need to obtain all the necessary equipment. For instance, make sure to equip everything from waiting rooms and common areas to examination rooms. Furniture and other basic necessities are as important as medical tools themselves. 

Moreover, make sure your examination rooms are fully equipped with state of the art medical equipment to ensure maximum efficiency and top of the line medical assistance. Also, consider using LED lights in your medical practice. Proper installation and use of LED lights in hospitals is of the essence due to the improved illumination and hygienic standards. Furthermore, you’ll have to obtain proper clothing, sanitary materials, medicine and inventory for every member of your staff.

Get insured

Insurance is vital for any business, medical practices included. Oftentimes, insurances are mandatory obligations imposed by your government but in most cases, they are rather optional. In any event, providing Medicare to patients has a lot of risks involved so it’s in your best interest, as well as that of your patients to get proper insurances.

Doctor administering injection to patient; image by CDC, via
Doctor administering injection to patient; image by CDC, via

For example, general liability insurance protects you and your practice from legal claims and lawsuits. However, since a medical practice provides professional services, general liability isn’t enough. That’s why you must also obtain so-called Errors and Omissions insurance as well. This insurance is also known as professional liability insurance and protects your practice where general liability isn’t able to. For example, advice you give as a medical professional may result in claims of negligence or malpractice which general liability doesn’t cover. 

Enroll in the credentialing process

One of the most important steps in opening a medical practice is to obtain the necessary credentials. This means that you need to start accepting both government and private insurances from patients. This process can take up to 150 days so make sure you take care of it before you actually open your doors to patients. Before you can get your credentials, however, you’ll have to prove that your practice is properly licensed and insured. You must also show proof of your medical education, as well as proof of malpractice insurance. Malpractice insurance isn’t always mandatory but you may have to have it in some states, nonetheless. Moreover, you’ll have to repeat the process for each medical professional you have in your staff. In the end, it comes down to a lot of negotiating and providing paperwork to insurers, so brace yourself. 

Opening a private medical practice can be a daunting process. Since medical assistance is involved, the procedure tends to be a bit more demanding. However, if you want to open your medical practice and run it successfully, you’ll have to make sure that you have everything that’s required of you. 

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