One of the most daunting questions for any practitioner is whether or not to start a private practice. Although having a private practice is a huge accomplishment in itself, it is not a cake walk. To be able to deal with the innumerable barriers, streamlining processes and the whole gamut of operational workflows and the ever-changing healthcare rules, the entire thought centers around the one core question -will overcoming all this ensure a successful practice? A private practice means a higher level of responsibility as it gives complete control over the practice. There would be no additional heads or extra facilities that one would be associated with. Challenges in the way are seen in form of having the right technology in place, ensuring extra finances in case of losses or unexpected expenses, staying updated with the latest healthcare reforms, unable to provide around the clock care to patients and a slow income in the initial years getting the required staff that stays productive and committed, knowing the ins and outs of payers, etc – operational efficiency for an effective financial Revenue Cycle Management (RCM).
Are your shoulders already sagging with the burden? Wait there is more… With such countless hurdles in your way to setting up a practice, the most important area is medical billing and coding. You cannot be handling patient care as well as the billing part, since this would divide your attention, and taking you away from your core job of providing care. Ever given a thought of how you would maneuver your way through the most intimidating aspect? Medical billing and coding is no child’s play and a profitable business depends on the dexterity and ability of billers and coders. This also translates to an additional burden of hiring your own staff and paying their salaries. Investing in up-to-date systems is another expense that will burn a hole in your pocket. Thus, a private practice not only includes start-up costs but has continuity in expenses. However, with all of your staff and systems in place, you need to ensure you are the best at what you started off to do- tending to the patients.
The next question lined up is whether you want to outsource your billing services to professionals thereby reducing your costs of setting up and maintaining the infrastructure required for the entire billing process which also includes hiring staff. One of the brightest sides of having your own practice is that you are the boss and have everything under your control. At the same time, outsourcing your billing and coding to professional coders outside will take away the control factor to some extent. Your accounts will not be as accessible as they would in-house. However, outsourcing ensures minimal errors and zero threat of being sued in any situation whatsoever.
Thus, starting your private practice is certainly challenging as starting any other business, however an accomplishment in itself, once you cross the obstacles and see your way to profits. Yes the initial years will be with your nose to the grindstone – hard work and on your toes 24X7…but wait…when you see your patients walk out feeling satisfied and your treatment giving them “new life” so to speak, can only uplift your spirits and staying true to your profession – the joy of healing. So yes private practice is challenging but also very rewarding in itself and it’s not just the jingle of coins, but the smiles that bring cheer to you and the staff.