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Setting up direct care practice administration and logistics

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The practical aspects of setting up your practice administration involve considerations regarding finances, staffing, banking, and other areas of your practice that are more directly related to the business operations than to actually seeing patients. To accomplish many of the steps, you may need to work with a professional such as a lawyer or accountant.

The logistics of setting up your practice administration include:

  • Staffing and payroll. Once you decide who you need on your staff, you will need to set up a way to pay them. Determine how often you will issue paychecks, whether you will offer direct deposit, and whether you will use a payroll service or have one of your staff members be responsible for payroll.
  • Accounting workflow. As a direct care practice, you will need to manage incoming membership fees as well as accounts payable, such as payments for supplies or laboratory services. Set up a system of payments, including payment terms, to ensure you will have a profitable workflow.
  • Checking account / banking. To receive and make those payments, you will need to work with a bank to set up a checking account. You might need to enlist an accountant’s help to determine which type of account works best for your direct care practice. There are often fees associated with certain types of checking, but there can also be rewards such as with interest bearing accounts.
  • Business credit card. Some expenses for your direct care practice may require you to have a credit card. For example, if you are ordering supplies or purchasing an item from a store, either online or brick and mortar, you will probably need a credit card to complete the transaction. Work with an accountant or your bank to determine which business credit card is best for you and your practice.
  • Financing / capital. You will need start-up capital, to purchase equipment, to lease or buy office space for your practice, and to fund your initial payroll. Again, you might need to work with an accountant to run the numbers so that your start-up requirements are minimal. If you are not sufficiently funded, you will need to work with your bank on an appropriate financing plan.
  • Electronic health record (EHR) system. The right EHR for your direct care practice “will serve as a one-stop system for your patients’ records and histories, communications with other providers, lab and prescription orders, and information on your revenue cycle.”