Starting your own medical practice is an exciting way to take the next step in your journey as a medical professional.
However, when considering how to start a medical practice in Texas, the law can be complicated and challenging.
Whether you are an entrepreneur considering providing financing to a medical business or a physician striking out on your own, healthcare is a booming business in America.
For your medical business to be successful, you need a clear and detailed plan to keep things moving on schedule.
At Massingill, we provide this very guidance for our clients in the medical profession every day.
As with starting any business, we help clients divide and conquer. Our step-by-step guide can help put you on the path to success as you start your private medical practice in Texas.
Types of Medical Practice Formation
There is no one right way to form your business when considering how to start a medical practice in Texas. We will cover a few ways doctors and their staff form their practices below.
Solo Medical Practice
A solo medical practice means you own the entire practice, but also bear all the responsibility and costs. It gives you full control of how your practice operates.
However, you may encounter higher startup costs for things such as marketing and medical equipment.
You may also struggle to obtain financing unless you are able to self-fund your start-up costs.
Medical practice formation of a group practice means sharing the cost and work burden evenly with other medical professionals.
Shorter work hours come at the expense of full control of the practice. However, you may have easier access to working capital.
An increasingly popular medical practice formation option is to open a hospital-owned practice.
You will become an employee of the hospital, so you will have the least amount of control over your practice.
However, the hospital will likely give you a working capital budget and assist you with marketing.
Opening a hospital-owned practice can considerably minimize your personal risk in opening a new business.
Additionally, if you are interested in urgent care or emergency care, a hospital-owned practice may be right for you.
Be aware that the agreements for hospital-owned practices can be lengthy and complex. If you are interested in a hospital-owned practice, it may make sense to retain a healthcare business lawyer right away.
An experienced Texas healthcare lawyer can help you understand how to start a medical practice in Texas, particularly if a hospital joint venture is the direction you are headed.
Four Steps to Medical Practice Formation
Once you know what type of practice you want to form, the next step is to form it. There is no universal formula for how to start a medical practice in Texas.
Many physicians hire healthcare business lawyers to assist them with this process. A knowledgeable healthcare business lawyer can help you navigate the red tape of forming your business entity.
They can also assist in obtaining proper permits for operating a medical office and other business items that might not be on your radar.
Our team at Massingill have helped many physicians open thriving practices. Our handy checklist can help.
1. Creating a Business Plan
As a part of your medical practice formation, you will want to create a business plan. The goal of creating a plan is to help you obtain the financing to open your medical practice.
You will need to purchase equipment, tools, and supplies to stock your practice. A good business plan accounts for your expenses, debt, and anticipated revenues.
Usually, business plans project three to five years into the future. Speaking with an accountant or consultant is a common part of the process.
2. Finding Financing
Finding financing is one of the toughest parts of owning a solo or group practice.
For some practices, like dermatology, providers may turn to management service organization (MSO) agreements. MSOs allow entrepreneurs to own part of the practice.
This arrangement can be lucrative for both physicians and entrepreneurs.
However, it is very important to speak with a healthcare business lawyer in Texas before considering any such agreement. You need to protect yourself and your medical license first.
A firm like Massingill can help keep you and your practice safe.
3. Handling Operations
Medical office business operations are complex. Sometimes this comes as a surprise when thinking about how to start a medical practice in Texas.
In fact, physicians often find it to be one of the most costly and difficult parts of medical practice formation.
Some necessary operational items include:
- Electronic medical records software,
- Medical billing software,
- Medical transcription software,
- Credit card processing software,
- Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone software, and
- Network security hardware and software.
This list is not comprehensive and does not even include the personnel to run the practice.
4. Opening Your Doors
After you have obtained financing and fitted out your office, you are probably about to open your doors to patients.
A few items to confirm that you have completed include the following tasks:
- Complete your legal entity registration,
- Obtain a state and federal tax identification number,
- Confirm your practice complies with any guidelines necessary for your specialty,
- Credential with payors like insurance companies and Medicare, and
- Complete employee onboarding.
Once you have finished these tasks, you will be ready to see your first patient.
How Massingill Can Help
The Austin, Texas healthcare lawyers at Massingill can help physicians and entrepreneurs navigate how to start a medical practice in Texas.
We have years of experience providing legal representation to health care professionals in Texas.
We pride ourselves on taking the time to consider the details of your situation and offering the legal solutions best suited to your needs.