Diabetes is a preventable disease that has devastated the lives of many Americans, so diabetic clinics are needed now more than ever. Uninsured diabetics typically cannot afford the costs associated with their condition, which means access to a diabetic clinic could be life-saving. Opening a clinic is a serious and potentially expensive career change.
Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of opening a diabetic clinic at the local, state and federal levels. For example, you must obtain an Employer Identification Number, a state narcotics license, Medicare provider number and arrange for hospital privileges.
Create a business plan that highlights your expectations for your diabetic clinic. You should include important information regarding insurance plans that you will accept, expected monthly expenses and other financial obligations that you anticipate.
File the necessary paperwork to create your clinic's legal entity. In general, you may chose from a proprietorship, partnership, limited-liability company or corporation. Each form of organization has different risks and tax obligations attached, so consult with a licensed business attorney or certified public accountant before registering your company with the state.
Seek start-up funds for your diabetic clinic by applying for a business loan. You will in most cases need collateral, which means that you may be forced to seek alternate funding sources such as a private or federal grant. These grants provide the monetary means to get your clinic up and running without ever having to be repaid. You may also call up old business associates, meet with friends and family members and network with others you come in contact with to find investors.
Buy, build or lease an office space that will comfortably house your staff, medical equipment, files and other items you will need to successfully run your diabetic clinic. Each option has its benefits, so weigh each one carefully. You diabetic clinic will also need room for your patients to comfortably wait to receive treatment. If it is overcrowded, you may lose a few patients.
Purchase the equipment you will need to operate your diabetic clinic. You will need lancets, blood-drawing needles, cotton balls, band aids, and many other items. You will need computers and file folders for a filing system that will house medical records. Designate a portion of your office space for free sample medications that you will receive from pharmaceutical representatives.
Hire nurses and office personnel to help you operate your diabetic clinic. It is wise to hire nurses who have experience working in other diabetic clinics, as this will decrease the time and money you must spend to train them. Verify their educational background and double check their credentials. An experienced office manager is a must-have to keep your diabetic clinic running smoothly and your records, including payroll, accurate and up-to-date.
You must know or at least be familiar with state and federal labor laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, so that you can be compliant.
Create the paperwork you will need patients to complete or sign regarding their medical history, privacy laws and consent to treat. These forms must be signed, dated and in each patient's file.
Network with other general practitioners. If they have a patient that needs to see an endocrinologist, they will refer them to you. This is another way for you to build a patient base. Also consider scheduling speaking engagements on the dangers of untreated diabetes, delivered to audiences at large companies, universities or other venues. Spreading the word about how to treat the disease will not only save lives, but increase your income and number of patients.
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