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Drawing up a primary care business plan

Physician Writing Business Plan

Starting a new business of any kind requires a solid, realistic plan. For your new independent practice, there are many considerations that need to be researched, addressed, and put in writing so that you can use your plan as a guide to your success. You may also need a business plan if you are going to seek outside funding for your startup operations. Here are some tips for drawing up a primary care business plan for your new practice.

Even though your main goal as a provider is the quality care of your patients, as an entrepreneur, you will need to think like a business owner as you prepare the details of your primary care business plan. Your plan should include basic sections such as:

Executive summary. The summary will provide an overview of the entire plan, emphasizing the most important points of each section. If you are seeking funding for your new independent practice, this will serve as the funder’s introduction to your business operations.

Practice description. Here you will include your background and qualifications as well as a detailed description of the practice itself. Where will it be located? What sets you aside from other primary care practices in the area? Will you participate in the CMS value-based care programs? What type(s) of insurance will you accept? Do you have a specific area of expertise that you will emphasize in your practice? What is the “personality” of your practice? For example, are you laid back and casual or efficient and professional?

Target market, including patient profile. Describe your ideal patient. That does not mean that you will only serve that patient profile exclusively, but it will help in your marketing efforts and in your staffing strategies. Some considerations in this section, for example, will be whether you want to emphasize your ability to provide care to families or to elderly patients.

Projected income. A realistic projection of expected income over the short-term and the long-term are essential to ensuring your practice remains financially viable. This section will also be important when seeking outside funding for your new practice.

Projected expenses. Likewise, realistic details about expected expenses will be critical to your success when developing your primary care business plan. For this section, include furniture, equipment, staffing, marketing efforts, insurance, office rent and utilities, and any other expenses integral to your ability to provide quality care in your new practice.

Marketing plan. One of the most important sections in your primary care business plan is a description of how you will let your potential patients know about your practice. You will need a website, a social media presence, a plan for networking in the community, and a list of strategies with a timeline that will ensure that your new patients learn about what you have to offer.

Staffing plan. Your staffing needs may change as you establish your practice and grow your operations. Include a start-up staffing plan as well as projected needs for additional team members in the longer term.Technology. Your new practice will need a computer system, telephone system, and other pieces of technology that will enable you to communicate with patients, maintain accurate patient data, and track your patient’s progress. The choice of a full-service solution, such as that developed by Elation Health, is ideal for getting your new practice up and running and should be included as an integral element of your primary care business plan.