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Tips for Developing a Healthy Medical Practice

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  • Recognize that your practice is a business and in order to succeed, you have to have the mid-set of a business person
  • Pay attention to details
  • Don’t sign anything unless you fully understand what you are signing and if you need clarification, get advice from your accountant and/or lawyer
  • Always negotiate for what you want – remember this is a business where negotiation not compromise is the norm
  • Hire an experienced accountant and lawyer who have experience with the healthcare field
  • Get professional advice from you local and federal medical associations (they often have FREE service for members or check2 out their websites for information)
  • Define your dream career and practice – this dream should translate into your professional strategy and will guide your negotiations and development of your practice
  • If you decide to partner with someone, make sure you seek out individuals with matching values and goals
  • Never start working (locum, part-time, full-time) without signing a written agreement that is transparent (see our contracts section for example of an employment contract)
  • For a group practice, develop with the aid of a lawyer and accountant a Practice Agreement to protect you and your partners
  • Establish yourself a Professional Corporation (see accounting section for a guide on this)
  • You have to carefully select your office space
    • Make sure reception area is comfortable and appealing
    • Design a layout that allows for patient confidentiality in and out of patient rooms
    • Handicapped access
    • Adequate Parking availability
    • Capacity for multiple phone lines, internet and fax lines
  • Complete a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) to ensure you are compliant with your local and federal Health Information Act regulations
    • Consider your file access points, file sharing protocols, storage and labeling standards for paper files and electronic files if EMR
  • Equipment- ensure you purchase/lease excellent quality
    • Exam room equipment
    • Personal office equipment (chairs and desks)
    • Office computers (desktop vs laptop vs. iPad)
    • Reception area for staff and patients
  • Billings- remember to do this your self (95% of practitioners who leave their billing to someone else are under-billed by tens of thousands of dollars per year)
    • You know your patients best and can bill to the fullest
    • Learn the billing codes fully and take advantage of seminars put on by your local medical associations
  • Human Resources
    • Develop basic pay grades and job descriptions and a reporting structure
    • Develop a performance management plan and evaluation schedule
    • Understand labor laws and hiring/firing standards
  • Income Tax issues
    • Remember to put aside the anticipated amount of tax owing each month for your first year (your accountant can help you with this)
    • In your second year, this should be easy as you can estimate this from the first year or the federal tax agency will likely advise you
    • Maintain a solid system for record keeping, keep and file all of your receipts for business expenses
    • Have a separate business account for all business related transactions
    • Determine a long term financial plan that includes retirement, maternity/paternity leave, sabbaticals, disability- speak to a financial advisor
  • Advertising your self
    • Be sure to set up a personal and/or business website, hire a trained designer with experience in the medical field as your patients will definitely look you up before visiting your office and initial impressions are important! See our Rates and Plans page on for more information

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