Many younger physicians with a better handle on technology and the future of medicine don't like being told how to provide care. If you're an original thinker with your own vision, the possibility of starting you own independent practice may have occurred to you.
Whether you are dissatisfied with your employer's processes, tired of taking orders, or just out of residency and anxious to make a difference, here are some tips for launching your own practice.
Choose a Location
Where you set up office can be critical. Start by looking for a community where there's a large patient population that doesn't have adequate medical care. This may depend on your chosen specialty, such as elderly patients or pediatrics.
There should also be an improving rather than weakening local economy. Weigh in factors such as lease or mortgage costs, commute time, parking, and location. It's important to have professional-looking surroundings that are also easy to find and get to.
Plan for Legalities
Before committing, check into any local permits or licenses that are required for your independent practice. Your state or county Department of Health will be able to help. Get approval for insurance coverage for both standard business policies and malpractice.
Try to do both these things early as there could be some wait time involved. Don't forget that today's practitioners must design patient privacy policies that comply with HIPAA requirements regarding medical records.
In addition to purchasing medical and office equipment and supplies, you'll need to set a budget for marketing. Don't expect word-of-mouth and a new sign to drive a flood of patients to your door.
Issue a press release to local publications and start developing an online presence. Hire someone to design a website that's attractive, informative, interactive, and search engine friendly. You could start a medical blog and use social media to connect with potential patients. Find ways to engage with your community, such as fundraisers or special events.
You're also going to be juggling finances before your cash flow improves. Be sure you understand the electronic billing process. You may wish to consult a financial advisor to develop a growth strategy. Look into purchasing finance and administration software. This will help to streamline and organize the routine tasks you need done to function efficiently, as well as make dispute resolution and management simpler. It will also free up more of your time and resources for devoting to patient outcomes.
Having your own practice is the ideal situation for many aspiring physicians. However, it's important that you also address business concerns in order to achieve and sustain success.