Starting your own medical practice is a huge milestone for any healthcare practitioner. Your name will be on the door and the letterhead. You’ll retain control over how you manage your business. You can carefully interview potential hires and put together a winning team. Your office management style will be all your own—which is both rewarding and daunting.
But establishing a medical practice is also a huge undertaking, and comes with a number of risks. For instance, it’s up to you to provide a safe, accessible office for your staff and patients alike. You’ll be liable for injuries and accidents occurring on your premises, meaning small business liability insurance is a must-have. As the owner of the practice, it’s up to you to protect your operations with necessary behind-the-scenes logistics. This way, you’ll be ready to provide patients with the front-line healthcare they need.
First, you need a place to practice. Consider these three commercial setups when you’re deciding where to house your medical office.
Many fledgling practices need a waiting room, reception area, and exam room to start. It’s typically better to grow with your needs than to buy a larger, costlier space from the outset. Otherwise, you’ll just be paying more than necessary to keep the lights on and maintain your facility.
Many practitioners decide to share office space with one or more other medical practices. As Medical Economics writes, “Doctors' offices can look for ways to optimize their space utilization, thereby diluting their fixed overhead costs.” Splitting your commercial space with a neighbor or two is one way to keep costs low.
However, it’s important to maintain distinct identities, even while sharing a space. Set up your practice management software to differentiate between users. Keep phone lines separate and train your administrative staff to identify your office upon answering. You can help patients avoid confusion by maintaining distinct identities, even within shared space.
If you anticipate your practice will grow considerably in the coming years, leasing may be a savvier option. However, buying your building can be an investment for the future; it allows you to spread out costs over time. There’s something attractive about putting down roots and staying for the long haul. Plus, your patients will get used to your location. If you own it, you can stay in one place longer—and have more control over your commercial space.
Whether you choose to lease or buy your medical office space ultimately depends on your specialty, financial situation, and location.
Standalone commercial space is not the only way to go. Specialists may be better off setting up in a “major medical building in close proximity to large, referring practices.”
Indeed, running a hospital-based practice provides access to more resources and stability than typically found in a solo one. Healthcare providers may find they have less control over their day-to-day operations in this environment, however.
Whichever type of commercial space you choose for your medical practice, cover your premises with small business liability insurance. Start with a free quote from CoverHound!