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Review Our Medical Practice Startup Checklist

Starting a medical practice is not a linear process. Opening and running a healthcare business is complicated, and goes well beyond the owner’s knowledge of clinical medicine. In fact, a physician entrepreneur that seeks the guidance and advice of experts with experience is aspects of medical practice management in which the physician lacks experience, will lay the foundation for a successful private practice that can startup on time, on budget, and in compliance, if managed correctly.

Table of Contents:

Many of the tasks listed below must be performed in the proper sequence prior to moving on to the next step. It is essential, therefore, that certain credentials, licenses, privileges and certifications be obtained before advancing to the next step toward practice ownership. This checklist is a guide for practice startup, but is not a substitute for practice management consulting, which could save the physician owner time, money, frustration and potentially costly business mistakes.

With a carefully crafted business plan and a trusted healthcare business advisor, a physician can start on the path to having a successful private practice, protecting their new business, and preventing unnecessary delays.

1. Planning

  • Identify Private Practice Goals
  • Determine new Medical Practice Location
  • Assess Demographics of the proposed service area
  • Determine Service Lines
  • Perform Feasibility Study
  • Prepare Business Plan
  • Calculate Capital Requirements
  • Develop Cash Flow Projections
  • Establish Corporate Entity
  • Consider Startup Costs
  • Apply for Business Loan

2. Preparation and Administration

  • Obtain Group National Provider Identifier (NPI)
  • Obtain Tax/Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Obtain Board of Medicine Registration
  • Credentialing with State and Government Payors
  • Certificate of Occupancy
    • Fire Inspection
    • Safety Inspection
    • City Inspections
  • Select an Attorney
  • Select an Accountant
  • Draft Shareholder Agreement

3. Initial Setup

  • Finalize Practice Site Location
  • Finalize Practice Name
  • Reserve Domain Name and Practice Phone Numbers
  • Create Website and Digital Marketing Plan
  • Identify Medical Equipment and Medical Supply Needs
  • Plan and Install IT Infrastructure
  • Select and set up EMR

4. Space Design/Development for Medical Offices

  • Negotiate Lease or Purchase Agreement
  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • Obtain Malpractice, Business Risk, Work Comp and Property Insurance
  • Obtain CLIA, OSHA AND HIPAA certifications
  • Design Patient Flow, Confirm ADA-compliance
  • Manage Buildout or Remodel of office space
  • Order Landscaping and Parking Improvements (If needed)
  • Order Exterior Signage
  • Select and Furnishings and Fixtures
    • Reception
    • Exam Rooms
    • Back Office
    • Break Room
    • Laboratory Equipment 

5. Credentialing & Contracting

  • Begin Credentialing Process
  • Submit Medicare Registration Paperwork
  • Apply for Hospital Privileges
  • Review and Negotiate Provider Contracts

6. Practice Operations

  • Establish HR Policies and Procedures
  • Screen and hire Staff
  • Select payroll services and benefits
  • Monitor workflow and fee schedules
  • Implement electronic health records (EHR/EMR) for proper electronic medical records tracking
  • Install IT, Telecom, and Network Security
  • Define Collections Process
  • Open Bank Account
  • Select Merchant Services
  • Track liability insurance and malpractice insurance
  • Enroll in a Group Purchasing Organization

7. Vendors & Suppliers

  • Payroll Administrator
  • Medical Waste Management
  • Accounting Firm
  • Collections Service
  • Janitorial and Maintenance
  • IT, Cloud and Internet Security
  • Office Equipment Lease

8. Liability & Risk Management

  • Customize Compliance Manuals
    • HIPAA
    • OSHA
    • CLIA
    • Develop Human Resources Policies and Procedures
    • Prepare Disaster Response
  • Establish Laboratory Certification and Directorship
  • Prepare for Annual Compliance Audits

9. Human Resources Management

  • Hire and Train Staff
  • Employee Handbook
  • Create Employee Job Descriptions, Wage Ranges
  • Performance Appraisals
  • Employee and Benefits Administration

10. Marketing & Patient Loyalty Development

  • Branding
    • Logo
    • Business Cards and Stationary
    • Announcements
  • Develop Physician Practice Website and Maintenance Plan
  • Social Media Plan
  • Loyalty Program Training
  • Referral Resources
  • Grand Opening
    • Media Announcements
    • Reception for Referral Sources
    • Community Outreach

11. Miscellaneous Items

  • CPT, ICD-10, HCPCS Coding Books
  • Forms
    • Prescription Forms
    • New Patient Registration
    • Patient Medical History 
    • Return to School / Work
    • Release of Medical Records
  • Medical Journals and Newsletters
  • Exam Room Supplies
  • Filing Cabinets
  • Petty Cash Box
  • Magazines for Reception

How you start your solo practice or group practice can impact your profits for years to come. 

DoctorsManagement can assist you with guidance and coaching for your new practice startup. Whether you’d like help with a feasibility study, credentialing, determining your business structure, or would like guidance and coaching through the entire process, our team can help. 

Contact DoctorsManagement to schedule your free consultation.

Valora Gurganious | Partner, Senior Management Consultant

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