Drawing up a direct primary care business plan

Every business needs a plan for how it will bring in revenue, control expenses, market its services, and conduct its operations. A direct primary care (DPC) independent practice is no different. Drawing up a direct primary care business plan is an important step toward your success.

When starting a DPC practice, there are a number of important considerations that should also be included in the business plan. Your business plan will include short-term and long-term strategies and goals and should be referred to (and revised appropriately) throughout the life of the practice.

Specific elements of the direct primary care business plan include:

  • Location
  • Membership fees
  • Staffing
  • Marketing
  • Competition
  • Structure (pure or hybrid)
  • Arrangements with other healthcare providers
  • Projected expenses
  • Projected income
  • Technology

Drawing up a direct primary care business plan requires you and your team to be realistic, in your assessment of how many patients you can treat as well as your projected income and expenses. When the plan is completed, it should be treated as a living, usable document. Review it on a regular basis and make adjustments as necessary, reflecting your current situation and the healthcare environment in general, to ensure your continued success.

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As you plan your DPC practice, do some research to understand how others in your area operate. While the number of DPC physicians is growing, there may still be very few available to your potential patients. You can plan to differentiate yourself from those that do exist and learn from them in terms of how they market.

When you plan your marketing strategies, include tactics for emphasizing the benefits of the DPC model for healthcare delivery. In today’s healthcare environment, especially, your potential new patients will want to know how your practice can save them money, provide personalized service, and help them develop a quality patient-physician relationship. In your marketing plan, include plans to create a website and post on social media, and determine whether you will need to contract with a professional to help you with outreach and promotional efforts.

Your financial projections will be critical to your success as you are drawing up a direct primary care business plan. Given the structure of the DPC practice, it will be important to determine membership fees, both in terms of what will sustain the practice and of what your potential patients will be willing and able to pay. A realistic projection of your ideal patient panel – and how long it will take to get to that point – will also be important to include in your plan.Technology will be an integral part of your operations and plans for an appropriate electronic health record (EHR) solution should be detailed in your business plan. An EHR system will help you manage patient membership, recurring fees, and patient medical data.