Four Tips to Ensuring Success in Opening Your New Healthcare Practice

In 1983, 76.1 percent of physicians owned their own practices. By 2018, that percentage had dropped to 45.9%, with 47.4% employed by other doctors, healthcare systems or hospitals. However, some consultants have noted that the trend is changing despite the challenges of running an independent practice. In many cases, the reason is clear – running your own practice is personally and professionally rewarding. Independent providers have greater freedom, more intense relationships with patients, have the potential to work less hours, and can create an upbeat practice culture.

But how do physicians overcome the challenges of owning a practice and keeping things running smoothly? Experts advise doctors establishing a private practice to anticipate pitfalls, get good advice, use technology, and choose staff members wisely.

Kareo wants to help. Here are four tips to get your new practice on road to success.


1. Utilize staff to free up time for patient care.


A good example is having your NPs and PAs work up to their full credentials to perform some tasks you normally would do. Another example is leveraging your staff to help prescribe medications and accommodate refill requests. Depending on your state’s legislature, NPs and PAs may be able to authorize prescriptions on your behalf and can always act as a proxy for eRx refills along with clinical assistants.
 

2. Add marketing activities to the office manager’s front-office operations.


Start with a game plan for marketing your practice. Ask patients for referrals and take advantage of social media. An online presence helps to attract and retain patients. Also, have a high-quality website that looks professional and welcoming and include photos of your staff and practice if you can. In addition to listing your services and policies, provide intake forms for patients to download, fill out and bring to their upcoming office visit (see related blog here).
 

3. Be active on social media platforms to keep your practice in front of current patients.


It also makes it easier for patients to refer your practice to their friends and family. Improve your online reputation and search engine ranking when you leverage positive patient reviews and respond to both positive and negative reviews. Utilize staff or consultants to create the posts. See Kareo’s 4 Steps to Managing Your Practice’s Online Reputation here.


4. Purchase technology to help streamline administrative burdens.


Purchasing an integrated technology solution helps you to reduce steps in a variety of workflows from clinical to billing to patient engagement. It also saves time and reduces errors by eliminating double entry into different systems and stores all data in one central area.

Technology can also help with:
  • Offering patient online scheduling and intake forms, enabling patients to make an appointment and complete forms on their own time, without calling the practice.
  • Providing secure texting for appointment reminders and as a vehicle for patients to ask their provider clinical questions. Practitioners and staff members will spend less time on the phone, and everyone will benefit from responding when time permits.
  • Offering telehealth services to simplify provider and patient scheduling issues. Seek a telehealth solution that enables providers to charge patients to hold the appointment . For a secure telehealth solution, visit us here.
  • Automating collections to avoid strained patient relations. Find a payment terminal that accepts a variety of payments. Obtain credit card information so patients can easily make monthly payments. When establishing a patient financial policy, include multiple ways for patients to pay the day of their visit and for future payments. For help with your patient collections, visit us here

For more helpful tips to launching a succesful new practice, download our infographic Beyond the Basics: 5 Things to Consider Before Opening a New Healthcare Practice. For additional help with opening your new healthcare practice, visit us at Kareo.com/new-practice.

About the Author

Ilene Schneider, owner of Schneider the Writer, provides communications support to health care, technology, educational and service enterprises. Ilene has an extensive...

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