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What doctors should consider before starting their own practice?

An exciting way of taking the practice of medicine into your own hands is with the opening of your very own medical practice. However, this is not a simple task and there are several things to consider beforehand. To make sure that the process will end in success, it is important to have a straightforward yet detailed plan from the start which can help move things along as necessary.

The success of a medical practice ultimately rests on the quality of the patient care that you provide. At the same time, keeping in mind that by starting a medical practice you are also starting a small business can help considerably in guiding you towards being successful. This can also increase your rewards, professionally and financially. Moreover, despite the numerous challenges and long hours that ensue, it can help keep you excited about your practice. As with any small business, starting your practice brings with it some issues to deal with, including:

 Applying for a Business License, which may also require a business name and normally requires posting notices in newspapers in the area.

 Obtaining a Federal Tax Identification Number.

 Selecting a legal structure for your practice, such as a limited liability company or partnership.

 Setting financial records and bank accounts, or alternatively outsourcing accounting services.

 Obtaining a variety of insurance, such as general liability, property, and worker’s compensation.

 Hiring staff and arranging for payroll and associated benefits.

 Setting up a website and developing your online presence.

In addition to this, physicians may have several things to consider when starting their medical practice, such as:

 Applying for National Provider Identifier.

 Applying to take part in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

 Deciding on what services you will offer, and how these will affect equipment, staff and space requirements.

 Obtaining professional liability insurance.

 Selecting an electronic health record and practice management system.

 Procedures and policies for handling administrative and clinical activities.

 Deciding on a competitive fee schedule for the local area.

After overcoming the initial obstacles of setting up your own medical practice, it is important that you also keep up with the activities of managing the practice. Among the items that should be monitored to maintain and improve performance include, among others:

 Appraising clinical service quality as well as customer service quality.

 Tracking productivity of physicians, if applicable.

 Monitoring profitability and cash flow of the practice.

 Assessing the performance of your staff.

 Assessing billing details, accounts receivable as well as collections.

 Monitor requirements relating to compliance and HIPAA.

 Analyzing the state of your online presence.

While starting a medical practice may seem like a daunting task, it is important to go slow. This way you can create a plan to follow through with, identify and prioritize what needs to be done and break everything down to manageable tasks.