5 Medical fee and billing issues to consider when starting your own practice
One of the fundamental considerations when starting your own practice is your medical fee and billing structure. MedicalDirector’s latest Guide, ‘Calculating the cost of starting your medical practice,’ reveals key fee and billing questions to consider when starting your medical practice.
1. What will your fee per consult be?
Charging the proper fee for a consultation and determining billing types can be critical to ensuring the financial viability of your practice.
And every year, medical billing surfaces as a hot topic of regulatory debate, and constant changes means a medical practice needs to be on top of the latest changes.
2. Will you offer bulk billing, private or both?
It’s crucial to stay on top of any changes with Medicare, as this could have a direct impact on your billing and expenditure.
This also means you need to know the MBS item numbers relevant to your practice, so that your practice is billing appropriately and understand the rules around them and any restrictions.
Charging appropriately for item numbers also ensures the practitioner’s consultation is being valued and the practice is properly remunerated.
3. What are your projected fees, costs and charges?
Make sure you identify which fees, costs and charges will be one-off, which are monthly, quarterly, and annually. This will help you better manage and set up your budget, and organise your cash flow from the outset. It is important to identify and budget for this from the beginning, so you don’t get caught out in the future.
4. How many patients can your practice manage?
According to Professor (Dr) Martin Samy, founder of the Samy Medical Group in Western Australia, said, choosing cloud clinical and practice management software had a direct impact on how many patients the Samy Medical Group could forecast to manage from the start.
“Cloud software influenced how many patients we can forecast to see a day and helped us see clearly from the outset how we could make money,” he explains. “It even impacted whether we wanted to go bulk billing or not. In fact, we wouldn’t go for bulk billing if it wasn’t for cloud. That’s how much of an influence cloud has on your business plan.”
5. What is your projected weekly income?
The best business plans are simple, agile and offer scope for scalability. As a start, you need to consider not only your projected weekly income, but also how you will build your patient base, attract and retain new patients, and whether you need any referrals to help grow your practice sustainably.
To find out more, download our free ebook: ‘Calculating the cost of starting your medical practice’