Factors to Consider When Venturing Into Private Medical Practice
As a doctor, there are many advantages to setting up a private medical practice. Besides making your mark in the healthcare industry, it gives you more control over your work hours. It can also be a good way to bring medical care down to the community level.
However, given the sensitive nature of healthcare, setting up a private care practice facility can be a complex process. It is important that you do your research keenly to understand what will be required of you. Obtaining such information beforehand will help you prepare adequately and make your transition much smoother.
Here are some of the key factors to consider as you prepare to set up your practice.
Scope of Practice
The scope of your practice will depend on the number of services you can offer. If you are starting as a sole practitioner, your facility will be limited to your specialty. This would in turn also limit the number of patients you can attend to.
You could also explore the possibility of entering into a partnership with a fellow practitioner. They could bring in additional expertise and enable you to provide more services. This would likely bring in higher revenues which could help you grow the business. Nevertheless, a larger scope of operations comes with additional management challenges.
It is advisable to set up at a level that you are comfortable with and expand gradually. While you may be experienced in treating patients, you may not be as experienced in running your own facility. Allow yourself some time to learn.
Certifications and Registration
There are multiple government agencies that have to sign off on your facility before you can start operations. The number and types of health code certifications you need will depend on the scope of your practice. You will also need to meet other workplace compliances such as hiring standards and Occupational, Health, and Safety Administration recommendations.
In terms of insurance, like any other business venture, your practice has exposure to risks such as fire, floods, or theft. It would be prudent to protect your investment with a comprehensive plan. Malpractice insurance is equally crucial to cover you against any eventualities arising from patient care.
Further, make an effort to engage with and get credentials from healthcare insurance carriers. In the absence of such partnerships, most patients will have a hard time seeking services from your facility.
The quality of care you will be able to offer will largely be dependent on the standard of medical supplies you buy. While medical suppliers are a dime a dozen, factor in issues such as:
- The prices they offer
- Timely delivery
- Consistency of supply
- Adherence to medical supply quality guidelines
Additionally, consider that the Coronavirus pandemic may have forever-altered the practice of medicine. Face masks and protective gowns may now become a requirement for every doctor-patient interaction. As such, aside from standard patient care supplies, it would be best to invest in such protective gear as well. Aim for brands that are certified and experienced in the field such as Hisomedical. Visit https://www.hisomedical.com/ to learn more about them.
In recent years, the medical sector has become more profit than care-driven. Concerns such as unscrupulous over-billing, long wait times, poor bedside manner, and unnecessary tests are now commonplace. They are making patients increasingly wary of doctor’s visits.
Make an effort to tailor your operations in a way that provides a pleasant patient experience. Some ways to go about this include:
- An appointment system with reminders to reduce wait times
- A concise billing system
- Hiring staff with a proper bedside manner
- Availing methods for patients to provide feedback on your care and seek redress where necessary
There may be instances where patients may require care that is outside your scope. You would thus need to refer them to large hospitals or specialists. Developing a working relationship with such entities would also go a long way in making the referral process easier for your patients. Where possible, explore the possibility of being granted occasional privileges by partner hospitals to oversee your patient’s care.
Establishing a medical facility is a large undertaking that requires significant financial resources. It is highly recommended that you plan for it in advance. Such planning would mainly involve research on the cost of equipment, licenses, office furniture, and overheads. For purposes of accuracy, seek actual quotations as opposed to using estimates.
When you have adequate data on costs, you can go on to weigh your financing options. Keep in mind that you may not begin making profits immediately. Insist on a grace period for any debt you take on. Additionally, the less debt you take on, the better. You would be better off starting small and plowing back profits to grow the practice.
Alternatively, you could go into a partnership. Financial institutions find them safer to lend to and your risk exposure would be lower. On the downside, this would reduce how much control you have over the practice. The wrong choice of partner could also be a source of acrimony and failure.
Private medical practice can be a lucrative and rewarding venture once you overcome the initial set up hurdles. Most patients prefer such set-ups to large imposing hospitals so you will certainly not be short on clients. That said, be patient with yourself as you set out on the journey as there will be lots to learn.