Starting a new medical practice is a very exciting prospect, but it comes with all the challenges the business world has to offer. It also comes with all the stumbling blocks unique to the South African medical profession.
Planning your physiotherapy practice start-up
For your medical practice to be successful, you will need a clear and detailed plan at the outset to keep things moving on schedule.
Follow these following steps when planning your future private practice:
Put your dream on paper by creating a business plan including mission & vision statements, financial plan, practice structure (solo, association or incorporated practice) and have a clear vision of what will set your practice apart from your competitors. Think about where your patients will originate from. Will it be from doctor referrals in-or-out of hospital, or will you be relying on word of mouth and walk-ins. It is also a good idea to explore the option of starting a new practice versus buying an existing practice.
The tax man
It will be a good idea to ask the help of an accredited auditor to assist you with the registration of your business with SARS and also to assist you with your tax returns.
Get your legal sorted
Familiarise yourself with the legal requirements. In South Africa it is required to be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as an independent practitioner and a valid practice number is required, issued by the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF), to legally practice as a private Health Care Practitioner in SA. You will need to update your practice details with every medical aid in the country. A list of all the medical schemes can be obtained from the Council of Medical Schemes’ website.
Professional indemnity and business insurance
Remember, insurance is vital! Aside from insuring your business against risks such as theft and damage, you must obtain malpractice insurance to protect you against any possible malpractice claims being brought against you.
Management and billing
Practice management and billing systems is the lifeline of your practice and it is vital to do proper research on the commonly used systems in the local Physiotherapy community to avoid costly disappointments and frustration. You can always outsource your billing to a third-party company. You’ll still need a practice management system, but then your staff won’t be responsible for overseeing the billing process.
Some final thoughts
Yes we are a hands-on profession, but we still need some equipment. Make a complete list of the equipment needed and get comparative quotes from reputable companies. This will assist with your budget planning.
Spend time on your logo design as this will become the image of your services. You will be surprised what a professionally designed logo can do to your practice image.
Don’t forget to do your marketing. Once the rush and buzz to open your practice is over it can be easy to forget about marketing. Marketing and advertising are fundamental to starting a private medical practice, but there are some rules and regulations set by the HPCSA when it comes to marketing with regards to canvassing and touting. Make sure that you familiarise yourself with booklet 2 of the Ethical and Professional Rules of the HPCSA. Click here to be taken directly to it.
Finally, you should most definitely join a family of peers who can guide and assist you with all your business needs and queries. Choose the iZandla family today to be the solution to all your business needs.