While medical private practices are fairly common, they are not a simple endeavor to start or maintain. Running a private practice is a mix of running a hospital and a small business. For many medical professionals, it can be very consuming to run a small business while also practicing medicine. Many interested in setting up a private practice will seek out a business partner or a law firm to help facilitate the startup and help manage ongoing administrative matters.
In order to legally have a private practice, you need the requisite accredited education, medical board certifications, and any other certifications that your sector or state might require. Following the educational and professional certification requirements is key to creating a safe and trustworthy practice for both your patients and yourself.
This also extends to any employees of the practice and any firms the practice deals with. It’s crucial to run thorough background checks to ensure that all employees are certified in their specialties if it’s required by law. It’s also important to ensure that your practice doesn’t do business with unreliable firms or those that circumvent state or federal regulations. Once you have a private practice up and running, you need to ongoingly ensure you’re not cutting corners or breaking any laws/regulations, even inadvertently.
Each state has different laws about what’s required from medical providers setting up private practice. Billing services are one aspect of private practices that differ from state to state. Insurance requirements and prescription compatibility are other areas that may look different from state to state. For example, in California, prescriptions issued by licensed prescribers must be done electronically, through e-prescriptions, with some exceptions. If a practice is found to not be following this California e-prescription guideline they “will be referred to the appropriate state professional licensing board solely for administration sanctions, as deemed appropriate by that board.” Conversely, the state of Oregon allows but doesn’t require prescribers or pharmacies to use e-prescriptions.
While funding might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you consider starting a private practice, it’s very important to know that you can cover the costs of the practice, which might include staff salaries, building rent, and equipment, among other expenses. If you work for a larger healthcare organization, you may not think about each individual expense required; if you do, you’re probably thinking it comes from the revenue the organization brings in through its patients. When you’re starting a private medical practice from scratch, you don’t have revenue or patients yet. You need to fund the startup before your business can run.
When organizing funds to start of your private practice, it’s important to ensure that these funds are coming from legal and ethical means. If you need investors to help with funding, you must ensure they don’t have any conflicting business interests. If you’re borrowing money, you should make sure that you’ve accounted for debt in your business plan and are prepared to take it on for an extended period. You also need to ensure that any debts will not affect your practice in terms of patient or employee experience.
Whether you are planning on starting a private medical practice, currently own and operate one, or are looking to better understand the law around private practices, Fenton Law Group can help with next steps. For more information on how you or your practice can benefit from hiring an attorney, fill out our online contact form today.