Guidelines for Setting Up a Medical Office

Eight Steps to Establish a Successful New Medical Office

Medical office building
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If you are in the process of opening a medical office or reviving an existing one, there are eight areas that need to be addressed.

  1. Credentialing and licensing: Credentialing is the process by which insurance networks, healthcare organizations, and hospitals obtain and evaluate documentation regarding a medical provider's education, training, work history, licensure, regulatory compliance record and malpractice history before allowing that provider to participate in a network or treat patients at a hospital or medical facility.
  1. Hiring Office Staff: Hiring the best medical office staff is essential for having a solid start up and maintaining a successful practice. Each position within the medical office should have a job description prior to hiring in order to aid in the hiring process.
  2. Compliance: Compliance is simply abiding by the rules and regulations set forth by regulating organizations designed to protect the public interest from any wrongdoing. Local, state, and federal compliance guidelines must be identified, implemented, and strategies developed in order to achieve compliance and maintain compliance. 
  3. Financial Policy: A financial policy for a medical practice includes a wide range of aspects including payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, operations, and internal controls.  Without a financial policy, the financial stability of the entire organization is in jeopardy. Financial policy planning is essential for the stability and financial health of the organization.
  1. Marketing and advertising: Marketing identifies the types of services that should be offered based on the demands of the community, analyze the performance potential, and develops strategies and goals necessary to maintain a competitive edge.
  2. Medical equipment, office furniture and supplies
  3. Electronic Health Record Implementation: EHR implementation should be an automatic part of a medical practice if you are reading this.  Many practices have experienced challenges trying to implement EHR in an existing practice.  For a startup, it is easier to start a practice with an EHR system in place.  The start-up staff begins from day one utilizing the system and all patient information begins this way as well.  No paper records to chart, organize, or store.
  1. Practice Management Software: Choosing the best practice management software available that suits the needs of your medical office is essential to long-term success.  Scheduling, billing and coding, and collections, just to name a few, are key components of a practice management system that should help guide your decision.

Many office managers make the decision to hire a consultant to assist with everything from finding a location to building a website. However, if your medical office is operating on an already limited budget, you may want to consider handling everything yourself. These eight areas are essential for ensuring that your practice has a great start because how you start will determine how your practice will develop and maintain in the future.

If you are a physician starting a private practice, it would be practical to hire an office manager that is experienced in medical office set up. Whether you choose to hire an office manager or consultant or if you choose to handle everything yourself, make sure to weigh the pros and cons.

Whatever you decide, be sure to seek legal advice to ensure all bases are covered.

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