In the United States, private corporations conduct the majority of healthcare. Military hospitals exist, but members of the armed forces use them rather than the general public. Under the Affordable Care Act, Americans have access to programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. However, these healthcare plans are for people who cannot afford private programs. As a result, there are many ways to enter the healthcare scene as an entrepreneur. Whether you’re thinking about opening your own practice or starting an insurance company, here’s what you need to do to get ahead in this industry.
Don’t Be Afraid of Politics
Politics have received a bad name lately, but if you want to cause lasting change, you must get involved with the American political process. This is particularly true if your business plan goes against major trends in the government right now. Reach out to independent political action groups such as No Labels and see if they’ll support you. These groups have vast networks, allowing them to point you to potential investors.
Educate Yourself About Healthcare Laws
Similarly, once you start providing healthcare in any form to your clients, you must understand the laws that govern this industry. Most Americans are familiar with the ACA, but you must also know about laws that protect your patients’ rights:
- The Stark Law
- The Anti-Kickback Statute
- The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
- The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Remember that laws in the United States are not static, so you must keep up with developments in medical legislation. Some acts take effect immediately whereas others only apply to new practices, so consult your lawyer if you’re confused.
Know Your Credentials
Given how complicated healthcare is, you need certain qualifications for each job. For example, if you want to start a counseling office, you must have your doctorate in psychology as well as licenses from your state or county. If you simply want to own a practice, you must find someone with these credentials to provide services to your clients. Make sure to include your ideas about earning credentials or hiring someone with them in your business plan. Otherwise, your potential company begins to look like a scam.
Develop a Business Plan
Even though your future company will provide medical services, you’re still trying to start a business. As a result, you must create a business plan that documents your timeline for opening and your purpose. Completing this plan allows you to take concrete steps towards opening your doors and helps prove to your investors that you’re serious about this idea. Don’t forget these key sections:
- Overall summary
- Description of your services or products
- Competition recognition
- Analysis of trends within your industry
- Company structure
- Marketing strategy
- Potential budget
- Capital sources
- Projected profits
- Appendix with supporting documents and references
If you don’t have a background in business or you’re overwhelmed, find a template online and simply type your information into each section.
Work With Trends
As you craft your business plan, you must research your market’s trends; find out what your competitors are offering and what your clients are likely to expect. For example, if you want to run a counseling office, you must hire psychologists who favor new practices over Freud’s theories. Additionally, most modern patients prefer their therapists to share their personal experiences rather than avoiding self-disclosure. Keep up with these developments by reading journals in your field, speaking with fellow medical entrepreneurs, and asking your clients for their feedback. Don’t be afraid to be trendy; if these patterns are backed by science, you must follow them to meet your patients’ needs.
Prioritize Quality of Care
Although you are an entrepreneur, always remember that your business helps people to recover from illnesses or stay healthy. As a result, you must provide the highest quality of care possible. Never provide a substandard treatment to keep costs low. Instead, admit that you cannot provide a service and refer your patient to a specialist. For example, if you own a small family doctor’s office, you cannot afford sonogram machines and other essential tools for prenatal care. Develop a working relationship with your local obstetrician/gynecologist, and refer your pregnant patients to that practice. If your funding issues are so severe that you cannot perform regular services at a professional level, you must work with your accountant to find a solution.
The medical industry is so complicated that many entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed as they prepare to start their companies. Furthermore, the healthcare world changes rapidly, especially when political shifts take place. While healthcare is not simple to understand, by taking these actions, you ensure that you’re knowledgeable about your responsibilities. Finally, prioritize your patients’ needs, and you’re more likely to provide quality care for years.