Start Your Own Medical Practice: A Guide to All the Things They Don't Teach You in Medical School about Starting Your Own Practice [NOOK Book]

Overview

After years of school and maybe even after some years of practice, you are ready to do it on your own.

Running a profitable business takes more than just being a great doctor. Start Your Own Medical Practice provides you with the knowledge to be both a great doctor and a successful business owner.

Whether you are looking to open a single practice office or wanting to go ...
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Start Your Own Medical Practice: A Guide to All the Things They Don't Teach You in Medical School about Starting Your Own Practice

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Overview

After years of school and maybe even after some years of practice, you are ready to do it on your own.

Running a profitable business takes more than just being a great doctor. Start Your Own Medical Practice provides you with the knowledge to be both a great doctor and a successful business owner.

Whether you are looking to open a single practice office or wanting to go into partnership with other colleagues, picking the right location, hiring the right support staff and taking care of all the finances are not easy tasks. With help from Start Your Own Medical Practice, you can be sure you are making the best decisions for success.

Don't let a wrong choice slow down your progress. Find advice to:
--Create a Business Plan
--Manage the Office
--Raise Capital
--Bill Your Patients
--Market Your Practice
--Build a Patient Base
--Prevent Malpractice Suits
--Keep an Eye on the Goal

With checklists, sample letters and doctor's office forms, Start Your Own Medical Practice teaches you all the things they didn't in medical school and gives you the confidence to go out and do it on your own.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402235658
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/2006
  • Series: Open for Business
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 759,035
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Dr. Marlene M. Coleman has lived in a condominium community in Los Angeles for the past twenty-five years. She has held positions as a Committee and Board member, as well as served two terms as President of the Board of her Community Association-having turned it around from near disaster. She is also actively involved in both state and national Community Association organizations. Dr. Coleman is Associate Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Southern California Medical School, an Attending Physician in College Health at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, and a pediatrician in private practice in Newport Beach, California.

Judge William Huss is a full-time mediator and arbitrator, overseeing individual, institutional, and corporate cases. He was named one of the Master Mediators by Verdict Magazine. Judge Huss was on the Los Angeles Superior Court, presiding over both civil and criminal trials. He also served on the Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Committee and was the Chair of the Education Subcommittee.

He was a cofounder of an Alternative Dispute Resolution company and served as its president from 1996-2001. He has successfully conducted over 2,800 mediations on the subjects of construction, business, employment, personal injury, eminent domain, malpractice, real estate, homeowners association, and many others.

Before becoming a judge, he founded a law firm in downtown Los Angeles, and he is now Of Counsel to the firm. Having been an associate and partner in small, medium, and large firms, as well as founding one himself, Judge Huss is well-qualified to share insights and experiences that will benefit lawyers who want to start a law firm themselves.

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Read an Excerpt

How to Start Your Own Medical Practice

Excerpted from Start Your Own Medical Practice by William Huss and Marlene M. Coleman © 2006

As you think about setting up your practice, you will feel that you have to do everything at once. The urgency of locating and equipping a space, hiring staff, finding patients, getting a business license, beginning some cash flow, paying off your loans, and scores of other responsibilities will press in on you. There are, in fact, many parallel processes involved in starting your practice. However, your practice begins as an idea, and before you can act on the idea, you have to define it, describe it, and put it in writing. You have to create a business plan.

WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN
Whether you plan to practice medicine on your own, with another physician, or in a large, multi-doctor office, whatever your specialty and wherever you locate, the road map for reaching your goal lies in a well-executed business plan. Your business plan will not only help you steer your practice's development and keep it on track, but it will also assist you when you are seeking credit, applying for financing, taking on new doctors, and managing your public image.

Most of the decisions you have to make in starting a practice will end up costing you money, so it makes sense to look at the pros and cons of each option. If you make wise and well-informed decisions, you will not have to waste time later undoing problems you could have avoided. The process of creating your business plan will help you know which decisions you have to make as you move toward your goal. When you begin, the plan will have a lot of questions and blank spaces, but by the time you have filled in some of the blanks, you will have created something more than an idea: you will have a medical practice.

Your business plan defines the nature of your business, your customers (patients), your resources, your competition, your short- and long-term financial projections, and your marketing. It should be built on specific and realistic terms-measurable objectives, identified responsibilities and deadlines, and practical budgets. Avoid hype, jargon, superlatives, and uncontrolled optimism. Work toward a plan that is straightforward and simple, so it is easy to implement and easy to update as your business grows.

There are numerous books on how to write a business plan. You may also want to consider using one of the software programs that will guide you step-by-step through the development of your plan, such as the following.

BizPlanBuilder from Jian jian.com

Business Plan Pro from Palo Alto Software paloalto.com

PlanMagic Business from Plan Magic Corporation planmagic.com

PlanWrite from Business Resource Software, Inc.
brs-inc.com

In addition, you can find free, downloadable business plan templates at score.org/template_gallery.html, provided in various formats by the nonprofit SCORE (a resource partner of the Small Business Administration), and at bplans.com, a website devoted to business planning resources.

However you approach the process, you will find that business plans have standard components. While this book cannot provide all of the details you will need to write a business plan, the following list gives a general idea of the sections and scope of a typical plan.

• Cover sheet: identifies your practice's name, the date, and your contact information.

• Table of contents

• Executive summary: a single page that describes in brief and simple terms the highlights of your plan-the who, how, when, what, where, and why of your business.

• Overview: describes your practice in more detailed terms, including type of medicine, patients, location and physical plant, business structure, goals, general marketing approach, competition, strengths and weaknesses in the marketplace, operating procedures, staff, insurance, and financial overview. Some of these topics are developed in further detail in the sections that follow.

• In-depth financial plan: provides very specific and detailed information on business capitalization, including loans, credit resources, equipment, personnel, office improvement costs, deposits, and other start-up costs; balance sheets, with assets and liabilities; breakeven analyses; profit and loss statements; cash flow, including assumptions; write-offs; draws on income; and, accounting systems. Also provides a three-year operating budget, including a detailed first-year analysis, with all rents,
salaries, insurance, loans, taxes, marketing, etc., and quarterly budgets for the second and third years. Includes supporting documents, such as copies of leases, licenses, partners' personal résumés, tax returns and financial statements, and other relevant documentation.

• In-depth management plan: describes in very specific terms what skills you bring to the business in addition to your knowledge of medicine, and how you will manage and use staff to complement those skills and get the work done. Expands upon the information in your résumé, including your management experience, and identifies all staff tasks, responsibilities, resources, costs, benefits, and reporting and decision-making structures.

• In-depth marketing plan: details who your patients are and how you will attract them, including all marketing/ advertising strategies and associated budgets, sample materials, measurable goals and system for review, competition information, and specifics on how you will establish your pricing.

You might think that you cannot write a business plan before you have a business, but you may be surprised at how many ideas you have once you start writing them down. These are the ideas that will help you create the practice you really want. As you begin to gather your thoughts and the necessary data, you may discover that your goals are unrealistic-or more easily within reach than you had anticipated.

It takes time to put together an effective business plan, so do not wait until your banker or future partner asks you for one. Take the time now to create a well-reasoned business plan to serve as an action plan that sets out your priorities-a checklist that will continue to guide your business's growth even when you are successfully preoccupied with the practice of medicine.

The information in the chapters that follow will help you fill in the blanks and create the plan that will be the foundation of your business.

NEW OPTIONS IN MEDICINE
While you may feel quite certain that you will be hanging out your shingle and opening a general or specialist practice, you should also be aware that there are new options available in the practice of medicine. These are ways of structuring a practice that did not exist twenty years ago, and they may offer some physicians better quality of life with more balance and more time for personal pursuits. In particular, practicing concierge medicine; being a hospitalist or intensivist; practicing academic or corporate medicine-any of these arenas may be viable choices for today's physician.

Concierge Medicine
Concierge, or boutique, medicine reduces the doctor's patient load and establishes a fee-based enrollment for patients. As an example, a practice might be limited to approximately six hundred patients. The patient pays a retainer-typically $1,500 per year for an individual or $4,000 for a family. For this retainer, the patient receives:

• a comprehensive annual physical exam, which may include lab work-ups, chest X-rays, and EKGs;
• same-day or next-day extended appointments;
• follow-up appointments within twenty-four hours of patient's request;
• recommendations for a nutritionist, fitness trainer, or chiropractor;
• information and follow-up on tertiary care;
• house calls as needed;
• phoned results and recommendations after a lab test or special appointment; and,
• special access phone numbers.

With this annual retainer, doctors become available to the patient twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They have fewer patients and are happier being able to give more personalized, quality care to their patients. Also, the patients are happier not having to struggle with complex billing, long waits, or hurried, overbooked, stressed doctors running late or unavailable after hours.

Concierge practices can be set up as franchises, affiliations, or independent ownership. Practices can be opened as concierge practices or they can transition to this service model from a more typical practice. There are many decisions to be considered prior to transitioning a practice into concierge service. Many who have made the transition find this new experience extremely rewarding, enabling them to be doctors who care for patients with focused, unhurried time and attention to quality personal care.

Hospitalists
Hospitalists, sometimes called intensivists, are physicians whose primary focus is the care of hospitalized patients. Hospitalists' activities include patient care, research, teaching, and leadership related to hospital care. Recent research studies indicate that hospitalists decrease patient lengths of stay, hospital costs, and patient mortality rates while increasing patient satisfaction. This has galvanized the hospital medicine profession and spurred demand for hospitalists. Currently, there are approximately 15,000 hospitalists nationwide. This number is expected to grow to 30,000 by the end of the decade. The Society of Hospital Medicine was established in 1997 to support and enhance the practice of hospital medicine.

Other Options
Other physicians find that a full-time or part-time focus on academic medicine, teaching, or research is more suited to their personality and interests. Some doctors are able to develop a practice working as consultants to corporations, structuring health care programs that will ultimately reduce a company's insurance costs. Whatever your interests or specialty as a physician, there are more options available to you than ever. Before you open an office, it may be worthwhile to explore some of them.

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Table of Contents

Preface -

I. Setting Up Your Medical Practice

Chapter 1: Finding the Right Location -
Locating Your Practice
Office Space
Negotiating the Lease

Chapter 2: Creating Your Practice -
Writing a Business Plan
New Options in Medicine
Structuring Your Practice
Sole Practitioners
Partnerships
Limited Liability Partnerships
Corporations
LLC or Subchapter S Corporations
Firm Agreements

Chapter 3: Business Formation Fundamentals -
Important Preliminaries

Chapter 4: Office Design, Layout, and Furnishings -
Work Space Planning
Doctor's Office Checklist
The Waiting Room
Basic Waiting Area Checklist
Support Staff Area
Common Spaces
Employee Lounge Checklist
Filing Systems
Décor
Maintaining the Office

Chapter 5: Equipment -
To Buy, Lease, or Rent
Basic Office Equipment Checklist
Examination Room and Lab Supplies Checklist
Office Supplies Checklist
Supply Inventory Form
Telephones
Communications Checklist
Telephone Intake Form
Telephone Log Sheet
Gearing Up: Computer Hardware and Software
Day-to-Day Operations
Electronic Health Records
Computer Discussion and Planning Checklist

Chapter 6: Personnel -
Civil Rights
Work Safety and Fairness
Medical Office Personnel
Who to Hire
The Interview
Policies and Procedures
Policy Manual Checklist
Procedures Manual Checklist

Chapter 7: Outside Support Services -
Finding Trustworthy Consultants
Business Managers
Accountants
Banks
Insurance
Insurance Checklist

Chapter 8: Your Medical Library -
Getting Books
The Electronic Medical Library
Essential Medical Library Starters
Medical Library Checklist

Chapter 9: Financing -
Raising Capital
Debt Management
Budget
Cash Flow

II. Managing Your Medical Practice

Chapter 10: The Organized Office -
Indexing
Setting Up the Charts and Files
Office Management Forms
Sample Symptom Diary
Patient Transfer Form
Missed Appointment Notice
Referral Acknowledgment
Administration

Chapter 11: Fees, Billing, and Collections -
Establishing a Fee Structure
In-House Billing
Outsource Billing
Overdue Payments
Delinquent Accounts
Unpaid Bill Letter
Skippers
Collection Agencies

Chapter 12: Ethics -
Ethical Rules
Ethics and Personnel
Unauthorized Practice of Medicine
Doctor Relations with the Public
Sex in the Workplace
Doctor/Patient Fee Disputes
Conflicts of Interest
Terminating a Patient
Patient Termination Letter

Chapter 13: Marketing Your Practice -
Building a Base
Advertising
Keeping Patients

III. Personal Considerations

Chapter 14: Medical-Legal Issues -
The Physician/Patient Relationship
Physician/Patient Communications and Privileges
The Patient's Privacy Rights
HIPAA
Informed Consent
Advance Directives
The Physician as Witness
Professional Liability
Anatomy of a Professional Liability Trial Chart
Anatomy of a Professional Liability Trial
Mediation
Arbitration
ADR Training for Physicians

Chapter 15: Preventing Malpractice Suits -
Confronting the Unexpected Outcome
The Healing Value of "I'm Sorry"
Clear Communications for Healthy Outcomes
Managing Risk and Reducing Liability
Checklist for Developing a Risk Management Policy
Additional Suggestions for Risk Management
Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire
Checklist for Conducting Meetings
Medical Board Comments for Physicians
Avoiding Common Medical Practice Mistakes

Chapter 16: Prescription for the Doctor -
Diagnosing the Doctor
The Stressed Physician
Burnout Assessment and Reduction
Spirituality
Healing...and Staying Healthy

Chapter 17: A Perspective from Experience -
Closing Comments

Appendix: Resources -
Index -
About the Authors

Judge William Huss is a full-time mediator and arbitrator, overseeing individual, institutional, and corporate cases. Verdict Magazine named him a Master Mediator. Judge Huss was on the Los Angeles Superior Court, presiding over both civil and criminal trials. He also served on the Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Committee and was the Chair of the Education Subcommittee.

He is cofounder of an alternative dispute resolution company and served as its president from 1996 to 2001. He has successfully conducted over 2,800 mediations on the subjects of construction, business, employment, insurance, bad faith, personal injury, eminent domain, malpractice, real estate, homeowners association, and many others.

Judge Huss received his JD degree from the University of Southern California School of Law. As a captain in the United States Naval Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps, he specialized in the law of war. He founded a law firm in downtown Los Angeles, and he is now of counsel to the firm. Having been an associate and partner in small, medium, and large firms, as well as founding one himself, Judge Huss is well qualified to share insights and experiences that will benefit professionals who want to start a firm themselves.

Judge Huss is a coauthor with Marlene Coleman, M.D. of Homeowners Association and You; The Ultimate Guide to Harmonious Community Living and the author of Start Your Own Law Practice, and the audiotape, "Winning Ways in Court."

Dr. Marlene Coleman is a board-certified Pediatrician practicing in Newport Beach, California for over twenty-five years. Her subspecialty is in travel and adolescent medicine. She was honored as one of the Top Pediatricians in American for 2004-2005.

Dr. Coleman received her MD degree from the University of California at Irvis School of Medicine and is an Associate Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC), where for over fifteen years she taught freshman medical students "Introduction to Clinical Medicine" and produced the audio tape, "Enjoying Your Practice of Medicine." She is also an attending physician at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), employing her skills toward keeping students healthy as they study, lecture, and travel all over the world.

She serves on the Board of Trustees and Quality Review Board for the Cooperative of American Physicians/Mutual Protection Trust, a medical malpractice cooperative. As a Captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve Medical Corps, Dr. Coleman served in Washington, D.C., at the Navy Annex to the Pentagon.

She is the author of many articles and two books, Safe and Sound, Healthy Travel with Children, and a coauthor with Judge William Huss of Homeowners Associations and You; The Ultimate Guide to Harmonious Community Living.

Dr. Coleman's broad experience in medicine and medical liability management enables her to give a great deal of insight to those starting their practice.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2010

    Good for students.

    This is a clear and concise book that is well-laid-out. It is good for a medical student or for a resident / fellow more than one year away from starting a practice.

    It does not have enough detail, however, about taxes, permits and laws to get one through the actual nuts-and-bolts of starting a practice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

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