You’ve done seven years of medical school and residency and you’re ready to start your medical practice. This is when it may occur to you that some business classes would have come in handy. Many general practitioners choose to join an established medical practice with a group of other providers. There are advantages to pooling funds for overhead and better purchasing power. If, however, you’re thinking about starting your own practice you’ll have a degree of autonomy that is unavailable in a group practice. If choosing your own hours, own staff and every detail about your office policy sounds appealing to you, read on for tips on getting your medical practice started.
Hire an Attorney
Some of the things that staff at a group provider would take care of will be your responsibility. From state licensing, National Provider Identifier (NPI) to get paid by insurance or Medicare, and DEA registration to be able to prescribe medication, there are a host of legal loopholes through which you’ll need to jump. An attorney can also take care of setting up the business organization side of your business. You’ll need to decide whether to form an S Corporation or C Corporation. They’ll also be able to guide you through confusing issues like whether you need a separate NPI for yourself and your corporation. Either style of incorporation requires paperwork that is updated each year, so having an attorney on which to rely will keep the details from bogging down your business.
An attorney can also help you with credentialing where you will work with insurance companies to accept their insurance. They will want information on your background and areas of expertise. Your lawyer can take care of that paperwork and negotiate with them to get you the best insurance reimbursement possible.
When you start a practice you’ll be paying for a location and staff while you build your practice. Sometimes it can be months between when you provide a service and you are reimbursed. Use the resources at the US Small Business Administration to help you find the right low-cost loan for your business. The SBA will find lenders who will work with you even if you don’t have established business credit and it has rules in place for its lenders requiring them to offer fair terms without hidden fees. They can also provide you ongoing support to make sure your new business venture succeeds.
After the years you’ve put into becoming a physician, owning your own practice can be a dream come true. It’s a dream that can become reality with the right planning and help.