Starting a privately owned medical clinic can be exciting and add a more intimate and personal touch to your medical practice. However, starting up your medical services can be complicated and can vary from state to state. Starting a private medical venture requires focus, dedication, and passion for it to be successful.
Aspiring clinic owners must also consider that it comes with significant financial risk if managed improperly, like all private business ventures. One must also grapple with the reality of changing insurance company policies and healthcare legislation. However, starting a local clinic in your area can be one of the most profitable and satisfying things to accomplish despite the challenges.
What Will You Need?
Starting a local clinic is a capital-focused business venture, and the cost can vary depending on staff, clinic size, location, and medical equipment. Medical entrepreneurs should plan a budget of around $600,000 to $850,000 when starting from scratch. This budget range will cover the start-up costs from licensing, location, staff, equipment, and the operating expenses for the first four to three months.
The budget’s primary concern should be payroll, taxes, insurance, medical equipment, professional fees, maintenance, rent, and cleaning. This budget will ensure that the business will operate without any major complications.
It would also be worth-while to find potential investors to mitigate some of the upfront costs potential losses.
You could have the friendliest staff and the best medical mind that the country has to offer, but if nobody knows about it, chances are no one is going to patronize your practice. One of the best ways to market your clinic without breaking the bank is through social media.
Building an online presence can avail your clinic a significant boost in customers, especially if the marketing is done professionally. Consider allocating some of the budgets to hiring professionals to build a website dedicated to your clinic services.
A part of almost every business can charge customers for the services that you’ve rendered. Although billing might seem like a simple task, it’s not as simple as most people think, especially in the healthcare industry where intricate procedures and operations have to be done to the patient. Thus, a fully-functional clinic should hire medical billing and coding services to help with the billing process.
A robust billing process can also streamline payments that enable the clinic to get their money on time to ensure that the profitability and operations costs are compensated right away. The billing system will also provide patients with a convenient way to pay their bills without any hassle.
All local clinic start-ups must undergo a process called “credentialing” wherein the owner or medical practitioner’s credentials are investigated. This process can take several months. Credentialing allows the clinic to collect payment through private and government health insurance from their patients.
It is recommended that extensive research be conducted on the poplar insurance companies in your state to ensure that the credentialing process proceeds smoothly and to negotiate reimbursement rates.
Operating licenses are the heart of your clinic, and without the license, the clinic cannot legally operate. Everyone must follow the federal government’s regulations and the state that you want to operate the practice. The following are the licenses needed to run a local clinic.
- State license — State licenses are obtainable via the medical board in your state.
- DEA registration — A considerable function of a clinic is to prescribe and dispense medication. To do this, a clinic must have a DEA license number issued by the U.S. Drug enforcement administration.
- National Provider Identifier — The National Provider Identifier or NPI for short is a unique identification number for covered healthcare providers. Various health insurers use this number to ensure that health providers are legal and following the rules and regulations set by your state.
- Special licenses — There are multiple other specific rules and regulations for every state and every specialized medical practice that requires additional special permits. Contact your local government agency to obtain a full list of operating requirements for your state and medical practice.
Choose a Legal Business Structure
Choosing a legal entity is a huge part of determining how much taxes you have to pay as well as the liability if the company gets sued. Most practitioners recommend the form S corporations because they only have to pay taxes on personal income from the business. Form S corporations can increase the company’s profitability, especially during the crucial first few months of opening the clinic.
Starting a local clinic can be a daunting task. Still, with the right tools and business strategy, it is sure to bring in massive amounts of profit as well as enable medical practitioners to help their community.