Mitigating Your Risks As A Private Medical Practice

If you have started up your own private medical practice, then there is a good chance that you have done so with every intention of helping the people who come through your doors. While the medical profession is primarily based around helping people, there are also business realities that come with working in the field. Here, we’re going to look at some of those realities and how underestimating them, or not preparing for them, can leave your business vulnerable. Take note of the steps below to mitigate the risks that could end up closing your practice if you’re not careful.

Document everything

In order to ensure that you’re able to address any complaints or conflicts that might arise in the future, be it from your patients, staff, or otherwise, you want to ensure that you have the supporting documentation on hand. To that end, ensure that you have the appropriate kind of filing system, follow electronic health record regulations where necessary, and keep a note of all interactions with patients, including phone calls, emails, consultations, and more. This includes being proactive in attaining and storing the appropriate consent documents.

Maintain premises standards

Healthcare business premises have to operate at standards well above the typical business. Not only do you have medical waste that you have to be able to handle effectively, but you also have to ensure great levels of hygienic practice, including routine cleaning and the provision of hygiene stations, including hand wash stations. Lacking any of these could not only make your patients feel a lot more uneasy about spending too much time in your practice, but it could see you in violation of industry regulations on cleanliness. These practices are here to prevent the spread of preventable diseases, after all.

Bill transparently

One of the concerns on the rise for patients, beyond the level of treatment that they get, is that they’re not paying more than they should for it. You have to ensure that you’re able to pay for all resources used by the patients, but you should also ensure that the details of all of them are included in the bills. Have codes for each item that you bill, which can be double-checked to ensure consistency across the board, and make itemized bills available for patients to clarify any potential charges of unfair billing practices.

Know the insurance you need

Because the work that you do is so closely tied to the health and well-being of the people that you work with, your patients, you have to ensure that you’re ready to deal with claims of negligence and the like. One of the most important ways to do just that is to ensure that you have adequate medical professional indemnity insurance. This can cover your costs in the event that you are accused of negligence or other behaviors that could see you having to pay out to patients. Don’t assume that your standards are so good that you will never need it, that’s an easy way to land in hotter water than necessary.

Have legal help on standby

Of course, aside from being able to pay any fines or fees your way, you may well want to be able to stand up for yourself and your private practice in the event that you are wrongfully accused of negligence, malpractice, improper business practices, or otherwise. To do that, it’s a good idea to start working with a medical business lawyer as soon as possible. Not only do you want them ready to be on your defense in the event of an accusation, but they can help you establish the best practices to avoid such accusations as best as possible, too.

Invest in patient satisfaction

Aside from managing your legal risks and ensuring that your premises offer the best and safest standards, you also want to take care to ensure that your patients are as pleased with your treatment as possible. This includes not just doing what you can to improve their outlook medically but also providing the level of service that leads to higher patient satisfaction scores. Being attentive, ensuring that you have enough time for each patient, improving communication, and following up with them on past appointments can help patients feel like much more than just another number to you.

If you don’t take note of the steps above, and do everything that you can to protect both your business and your patients, then you run the risk of hitting some trouble that could end up closing you down, greatly reducing your ability to help those in need. Be smart, be careful, and take the preparatory steps required.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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