How Location can Make or Break your Medical Practice
At some point, every new physician has the thought, “Should I stay with my current group, or should I open up my own medical practice?” Owning and operating a business isn’t for everyone, but for a select group of men and women, nothing less will do. Operating your own practice allows you to be in control of the day-to-day operations and the level of service administered to each patient. While the rewards are great, the challenges that come along with autonomy can appear daunting.
One of the most important things that will contribute to your practice’s long-term health will be in selecting the practice location. When you understand the factors that comprise an ideal location, you’ll have the clarity and encouragement to take the plunge and become your own boss.
Form your team of experts to assist you with your start-up, which will include your accountant, banker, and attorney. Oh, there’s one other expert to contact… a medical practice consultant who can assist you during the start-up phase. Your accountant can assist you with selecting the best type of legal entity for your practice, such as a professional association or a limited liability company; and the accountant can assist you with obtaining an employer identification number (also known as a tax ID number) as well as file your taxes. Your banker can assist you with loans and establishing a line of credit. Your attorney can assist you with legal documents for your practice. And finally, your medical practice consultant will essentially be your project manager through the entire process. Keep in mind that to ensure success, you must plan 6 – 9 months in advance of your desired opening date.
Selecting a Location
One of the most important things that will contribute to your practice’s long-term health will be in selecting the practice location. You might have found a fantastic location with the appropriate economic and social demographics you need, but hold on a second. Is the space you’re considering medical practice friendly? Analyze appropriately to make sure you won’t be paying more to renovate your new space. Sometimes it’s better to look for buildings or space that have been designed with medical practitioners in mind. Your medical practice consultant can help you select a commercial real estate broker to assist you with this task. When you understand the factors that comprise an ideal location, you’ll have the clarity and encouragement to take the plunge and start your own practice. If your practice will have hospital admissions, where is the nearest hospital located to your office? The commercial real estate broker can provide you with a large amount of demographics to help you make the decision on where to open your new practice.
Who’s the competition?
Before you jump on the first great deal you see, it’s important that you first know what your new practice will be up against. How many primary care/specialist physicians are there? How big are they and what’s an estimate of the number of patients they treat on an ongoing basis? Find out which practices are healthy and viable and which ones may be struggling. With adequate research you can find your niche and avoid direct competition with physicians offering similar services.
What’s the economy look like?
This can be a tricky one, because as we all know, economies are different on a macro/micro scale. Don’t just look at a particular state’s economic health. Dive deeper and see which cities and then which neighborhoods are going to drive the growth of your practice most. Does the area have schools or large corporations? What’s the payer mix makeup as far as commercial insurance, Medicaid and Medicare are concerned?
Who lives there?
You need to get to know the people who will become your patients. What are the population, age, ethnic makeup, and educational demographics of your preferred location? If you’re a pediatrician, you want to be certain you’re in an area that is convenient for families to get to from home and school. If your area of expertise is elderly care, making sure you’re close to retirement and senior living areas would be beneficial.
Find your ideal practice location today.
It’s all about location, location, location. It’s true for any business, but particularly critical for medical practice success. If you’re thinking about going into business for yourself, we’d love to help ensure your success from the start. Contact Concordis Practice Management today for a practice start-up consultation.