Many nurse practitioners are open to the possibility of opening their own clincs, but few ever take the leap. It can be difficult to know how to get started with the process. What things do you need to take into consideration? While the idea of owning your own practice seems overwhelming, with the right approach it can be a manageable and exciting endeavor.
MidlevelU intern Stephanie Bauer spoke to experts in the subject of medical practice management gleaning some tips for nurse practitioners looking to venture out on their own. Here’s are a few words of advice she received from those with experience in founding and managing their own medical practices.
1. Get a support system
A support system is essential in opening your own practice. You will need help along the way. These individuals should be people capable of assisting you with setting up the financial and legal aspects of your practice as well as maintaining these aspects of practice over time.
2. Double check your paperwork
Finding out which licenses and permits you need to set up your open medical practice is a must. These documents vary from state to state. You will need an NPI number and a tax ID number for your new business to start. You will also need to go through the credentialing process with Medicare so you can be reimbursed for the care you provide. This can be a long process. Make sure you have a reminder system in place for renewing your licenses as these must be kept up to date. Staying organized will help prevent lapses in licensure that could jeopardize your ability to keep the doors of your clinic open.
3. Location, Location, location
Finding the right location for your practice is extremely important. Make sure you choose a high traffic, central location for your business. Take into consideration not only the amount of space you need right now but also plan for the possibility of expansion in the future. You may consider leasing options, buying a retail space, or even building on land. Make a financially prudent decision in the beginning so you aren’t stressing about affording rent later on.
4. Don’t neglect liability insurance
If you are opening your own practice, make sure you put some time into researching liability coverage. Most payers want to see proof of your practice’s liability coverage before credentialing you and your staff.
Make sure your community knows about your new clinic! Marketing is a big deal. Consider advertising through Google to get the word out about your practice. Make sure your new clinic’s contact information is available in the phone book, and consider other print advertising such as local magazines and newspapers. Word of mouth based on good customer service is the best and most cost effective marketing strategy.
Do you own your own practice? What words of advice can you offer to other nurse practitioners looking to do the same? Share your advice on the MyMidlevelU message board. Create a MyMidlevelU account to start posting!
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