The health reform has caused physicians to make changes in their current practices such as consolidating with other practitioners, taking employment with hospitals and aligning with hospitals. Though this is true and studies suggest that physician private practices are on the decline, research completed by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2012 showed that 53.2 percent of physicians were self employed. Despite the current trend to move to hospital employment, there is still a strong percentage of physicians staying with private practices. So what do physicians need to consider?
Location is an important factor to think about when planning out your practice. You will have to think about details such as the size of the office, local demographics, local referral sources, and patient accessibility. The location of your office should be justified by your research. You will also need to consider the legal structure of your business.
Competent and trustworthy staff is critical in healthcare. You are trusting them with your business so it’s important that you take the time to recruit the right people. Set up an extensive hiring process to include background checks for both administrative and clinical staff. It is also important that you ensure you have enough staff to run the office. Think about the roles you need and create job descriptions to ensure your office runs smoothly.
With the required electronic health records deadline fast approaching, you will need to do your research on the best systems for your practice. Ensure you do research for practice management systems that include areas such as scheduling, accounting, human resources, and customer relationship management (CRM).
Compliance with regulations is a nightmare if not planned out correctly. Surveyors from insurance companies, state organizations, and Medicare can come out at any time so it is important that you stay educated. The best and quickest way to do start is to hire a consultant. Though they may be a bit pricier, consultants can make business start up so much easier.
Marketing can be overlooked in the process of starting a practice but it is the key component in keeping your business afloat. Referrals are hard to come by these days so it is important to strategize. Create a marketing plan that will include an analysis of your competition, the current market, pricing, promotion, sales forecasting, services, location, mission statement, and action plan.
There are numerous other factors to consider when starting your own practice. The AMA gives excellent guidance on establishing a private practice as well as a detailed guide.
What other factors do you think are important?