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5 Simple Steps To Creating Your Own Private Practice

1. Plan: Formulate Your Business Plan

A good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business. You’ll use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. It’s a way to think through the key elements of your business.  There’s no right or wrong way to write a business plan, what’s important is that is meets your needs and the needs of your customers.

There are a few key aspects of a business plan, and these are all covered in the Business Model Canvas.  The Business Model Canvas is my go-to resource for creating a new business plan (or a plan for any new venture/project).

The key aspects of the business model canvas are,

  1. Customer Segments: Who are you selling to?
  2. Value Propositions: What and how are you solving your customer’s problems and needs
  3. Channels: How do you reach your customers
  4. Customer Relationships: What methods will you use to acquire new customers, retain existing customers, and boost sales
  5. Revenue Streams: How the value proposition makes money.
  6. Key Resources: Assets required to make business model work (buildings, intelligence, patents)
  7. Key Activities: What things must you preform in order to deliver your business model? (Producing a product, solving problems)
  8. Key Partnerships: Network of strategic and competitive partners needed to establish and grow business model.
  9. Cost Structure: All of the costs of this business model including variable and fixed costs.

Key Resource:  Business Model Canvas

2. Act: Develop & Protect Your Business

Key types of insurance coverage to protect your practice,

  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance:  Workers’ compensation insurance helps protect businesses and their employees from financial loss if/when an employee is hurt on the job or gets sick from a work-related cause.
  • Professional Liability Insurance:  Professional liability insurance helps cover you and your company if you make a mistake or omission in services your business provides.
  • General Liability Insurance:  General liability insurance helps cover physical risks and costs, such as property damage, medical expenses for bodily injuries occurring at your business, and advertising injury claims.

Keep this insurance information in a safe place in case of the unfortunate case where you need it.  Embark EMR actually offers an easy and secure method of storing this information right within your practice manager in the “Practice Quick Reference” tab.

3. Process: Designing Your Workflow

Questions to answer,

  • How will you attract new customers and then onboard them?
  • What services will your practice provide?  Do you want to be known for something?
  • How will you take payments?  Insurance is an option, but can be cumbersome.  Private pay clients may utilize varying methods of payment – cash, check, debit card, HSA card, PayPal, Venmo, etc.

4. Marketing: Networking & Developing Your Brand

Many providers from across the world state “word-of-mouth” advertising is one of their key customer attraction mechanisms.  So how will you get your first client, and then have them share your business with potential clients?

5. IT Strategy: Decide Your Data & Information Management Systems

In today’s digital age, planning your IT and security strategy early on will pay dividends in the future.

Common IT systems,

  • Website:  Purchase a domain name, identify your hosting vendor, and content management system (E.G. WordPress)
  • EMR/EHR:  An electronic medical record system is a purpose built application designed to streamline your practice worklfow.  An EMR includes methods to add/manage your clients, schedule appointments, create and manage session notes, and manage your practice.  Research has proven that utilization of an EMR improves patient outcomes and reduces the burden on therapists.  Embark EMR offers everything a growing practice needs to get started, and with one of the lowest rates in the industry at $20/month, Embark doesn’t break the bank.
  • Email:  Google’s Gmail is a world class and heavily utilized email system.  Ensure you complete the Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with gsuite prior to using google services with private health information (PHI).  Refer HERE for more information on achieving HIPAA compliance and completing a BAA with google.

Steps to reviewing and accepting Google’s Business Associate Amendment,

  1. In your Google Admin console (at admin.google.com)…
  2. Go to Account settings > Legal and Compliance.
  3. In Security and Privacy Additional Terms, under Google Workspace/Cloud Identity HIPAA Business Associate Amendment, click Review and Accept.
  4. Answer all three questions to confirm that are a HIPAA covered entity.
  5. To accept the HIPAA BAA, click OK .

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