Building A Medical Practice Using Legos
I love Legos! The bright colored, rectangular blocks appeal to my sense of being a “would-be” architect. Of course this was until I had children and found myself stepping on one of these in excruciating pain at 2am. The decision to build a medical practice is quite like these little bricks of torture. While really appealing as a complete structure, by themselves these tiny pieces are nothing more than pain waiting to happen. That is unless you have the ultimate Legos’ building a medical practice plan.
Start with a Plan
Do your research! The plan of your new practice venture is crucial for success. Talk to other physicians who have gone out on their own and get their insights as to what were the biggest challenges. Scout out locations before putting down blocks. Ask some important questions.
Choose The Right Location to Build
Before putting down one block and setting up your office, choose your location carefully. Select a location close to the services you AND your patients will frequent. Being close to the hospital is usually pivotal for physicians but can come at a huge price tag.
Rent first! Commercial properties are a very risky investment especially when first starting a new practice. Also, keep in mind your commute. Plan to spend a great deal of man hours at your new office. Remember, no one likes finding their Legos structure in pieces because they built it in the wrong location.
Get Good Architects
Once you have your physical location chosen the hard part begins, you need great architects in the way of insurance, attorneys and accountants. Select these wisely.
When purchasing Malpractice Insurance go for the best, a Grade A-rated. Do your research on insurance and options such as “Occurrence” and “Tail.” Remember credentialing can take up to six months, so allow for that time. Do not cut corners on your insurance and ALWAYS pay your premiums!
Finding a great attorney and accountant can mean the difference between your practice standing tall or toppling from the weight of common financial and legal standards. Look for individuals who have experience in the medical industry as the needs can be very specific.
Get Experienced Builders
You staff is going to make or break your medical practice. They are the first voices and faces your patients will come in contact with. You will need a team you can depend on to build a strong structure while you are managing the patient care.
It used to be that if a patient left unhappy, it was just one patient. Now with the world of social media, if a patient is unhappy, they communicate it to at least ten other people in lightning – internet speed. A bad reputation can kill a medical practice even before the first level in built.
Have the Proper Permits
Make sure you have experts (staff) who know the challenges of billing, coding and insurance. Also, make sure that your practice has proper HIPAA, OSHA and CDC Compliance Plans in place and knows the intricate details of working with Medicare. Without the proper certifications, your practice could be shut down for improper permits.
Outfitting a new medical practice can be a great expense. Medical supplies and equipment should be monitored well by your practice administrator. Look at online resources such as Amazon, which can be less expensive than standard suppliers. Purchase large equipment at the end of the year when there are great price reductions.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Marketing and Networking is crucial for a new medical practice. When it comes to marketing the costs can range drastically among agencies. It may be worth it when first starting out to hire someone who can fit a dual role in-house of administrative and marketing. But be careful, your marketing is important, you do not want it to be a side thought due to other duties being a higher priority.
Include networking, you will want to know the other physicians you refer patients to. Plan some face-to-face time with local neighbors such as the police and fire departments in your area. Stage “learning” information seminars at libraries and with your local chamber of commerce.
You Are the Owner
Last but not least, as the owner the buck stops with you. All building final decisions are yours. Be sure to avoid pitfalls like special treatment and side stepping of rules when it comes to your patients (and the processes). This will hurt you in the long run and drive your practice administrator crazy! In the end know that you are the final brick in your Lego structure.
If you are considering starting a new medical practice do not go it alone. Let the expert “builders” at Medical Consultants Group guide you through the steps of setting up your practice operations to build smoothly and grow revenues assuring your medical practice success.