Have you been working for a considerable amount of time under the wings of nurse managers in various healthcare settings? Do you, as a nurse, want to take a step forward by starting your private practice as a Nurse Practitioner?
Beginning your private practice and working as your own boss has a handful of requirements you need to meet. Most importantly, it all depends on whether the state you currently work in allows you to open a private practice to provide primary care to patients or not. If it does, let us first discuss why opening a private practice is beneficial for the community’s overall health.
Why open a private practice?
Like every other business, every start-up comes with its fair share of risks and expenses. So why should you spend so much time, resources, and effort to establish your private practice? With your medical degree, you also can work in another hospital or clinical setting in a position that pays better. So what is the point of opening a private practice?
The answer is simple. According to research published by Policy Advice, in 2018, the global healthcare industry’s worth was at a staggering $8.4 trillion with an annual growth rate higher than 7.3%. However, most of the hospitals and clinics in the US are part of an enterprise. It means that this highly competitive industry is working under the hands of a few privileged elites. If you disagree with such a business model, starting a private practice will give you more autonomy over your work. It will enable you to contribute in ways you consider socially and economically fair. Private practice also opens up more opportunities to provide quality care to patients in more meaningful ways.
So, if you want to take a head start, consider browsing and enrolling in BSN to DNP programs online and get your degree and license to begin practicing independently. Once you achieve that goal, the entrepreneurial aspect of opening your private practice starts. Here are four steps that you’ll need to consider:
Step 1: Make a business plan and obtain finances
Like every other start-up, starting your private practice also calls for a proper business plan. The business plan must include investment and revenue projections, marketing plans, hiring, and logistics, etc. These numbers and forecasts must be realistic so that you can obtain financing from banks and other investors accordingly.
When you submit your pro forma, approach the medical division of the bank. They have professionals who specialize in the financial matters of the healthcare industry working in that division. These professionals can understand the risks and investment needs for your private practice venture even better. Apply your pro forma in at least ten banks so that you may get positive results.
Step 2: Hire a team and purchase equipment
Once the hard part of acquiring finances for your private practice is complete, you can focus on the next step. If you think that you can run a private practice yourself, you are gravely mistaken. Each set-up needs a support system that can help you with routine tasks and expand your practice. If no one else, your team must have at least one CPA and a business attorney to handle your work’s financial and legal aspects. Then work towards hiring staff that will support your practice and ensures it runs smoothly.
Additionally, you must purchase equipment and technology to support your work. This part requires extensive research about the best equipment in the market. But having a conservative approach in this regard is not a bad idea. You don’t need state-of-the-art equipment just yet; you will have time to upgrade eventually. Instead, focus on securing a system for storing medical records, billing systems, and management systems for your work. You can find many free online resources to help you save costs.
Step 3: Preparing to open
Once you have completed your set-up, it is time to start preparing for your launch. There are a few logistical steps you must take before you start your private practice. For example, you must secure a legal entity for business and a tax ID. As you establish your practice as a legal entity, you may open ways to some tax benefits that can help you grow your practice. Apart from that, there is the aspect of security. If you get sued, and your practice is not a legal entity, you expose yourself to substantial risk. The practice of being a legal entity limits the damage to the assets your company holds.
Also, it would be best if you established policies and procedures for your private practice. These policies and procedures must adhere to the legal and healthcare practice regulations of the state. These aspects can cover all the daily operations of your company.
It would also be wise to secure insurance for your private practice for medical malpractice and general liability. Having insurance can protect your business in times of dire need.
Step 4: Open the doors for business.
Once you reach this point, it is now time to cut the ribbon, welcome the first patient into your clinic, or visit them depending on your business model. Marketing your practice and building positive word-of-mouth will come in handy. Ensure that you have a website ready and your social media profiles are up and about for lead generation. If you feel that you need to spend money on paid advertising, do so.
Once you develop a proper patient flow, ensure that all the operations run smoothly. Take steps to establish an accountability process in case of problems and medical malpractice. If you think you won’t have the time for performance reviews, hire a consultant for the job. Doing so will ensure that your private practice provides the best healthcare services possible.
Having a private practice is a luxury many medical professionals don’t get to enjoy. So if you have successfully established yours, then you deserve a pat on the back. But keep in mind the first reason why you started this set-up. Don’t give yourself a hard time and follow the same systematic procedures used by the hospitals and clinics. Enjoy the autonomy of work and ensure good quality of care for patients.
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