You’re sure to stumble across pitfalls when you launch any startup. Minor mistakes can lead to big and costly headaches later on. Urgent care centers are also prone to some of these mistakes in the beginning stages. Here are some ways you can prevent these mistakes when starting your own urgent care center.
Choose the Right Location for Your Urgent Care Center
The worst thing you can do is choose the wrong location for your urgent care center. Moreover, choosing the right location requires some sort of balance. For example, you might want to stick to your hometown. However, that’s not always the best approach. You should consider opening a center in your hometown only if there’s a desperate need for urgent care in your area.
Another big mistake you can make is opening an urgent care center in an area with a low population. On the other hand, launching your center in a community that is densely populated area will increase the potential for incoming patients.
Also, choose the right location by knowing about the competition in the area. Specifically, select a location with a high population of residents who don’t have access to urgent care services. Launching in a high traffic area is critical for your success.
Determine How Much Money You’ll Need
Most startups need some money to launch. Further, sometimes there’s a waiting period before you receive a return on your investment. Underestimating the money you need to get started is a mistake that many entrepreneurs make.
However, how can you determine the amount of money you’ll need to launch your urgent care center?
First, determine the challenges and financial needs of your urgent care startup. Note that your capital costs will go to a wide variety of necessities . These will range from medical equipment to medical staffing agencies and everything in between.
Moreover, you need to have enough cash to keep you afloat as you get your accounts receivable going. This process could take three to four months. Therefore, set realistic expectations of your money flow to prevent a financial crisis for your urgent care center.
Create a Solid Business Plan for Your Urgent Care Center
One of the biggest mistakes that an urgent care center can make is not having a strong business plan. Therefore, create a solid business plan.
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Moreover, make sure your plan is based on accurate data and recent statistics along with your projections for the future. Also, ensure that your business plan is flexible enough in the beginning so you can tweak it as needed.
If you create the business plan for your urgent care center on facts and data, it will hold up well, even if you find you need to make changes as your business grows.
Invest in Practice Management Software
Choosing an electronic health records (EHR) software for your urgent care center can be overwhelming and confusing. As a matter of fact, you might be tempted to bypass this entire process altogether.
However, if you want to keep your costs low, you should invest in quality software that boosts your productivity. This can save you from making costly mistakes in the long run.
So do your research on the various EHR systems. Ask other business owners in the urgent care industry which practice management systems they use. Find out about the different EHR systems, including their advantages and disadvantages.
Also, visit vendor websites to compare the features of various systems. And when it comes time to sign the contract, resist the urge to choose the cheapest one. Choose a vendor that best fits your business model and the stated mission of your urgent care practice.
Focus on Efficient Patient Billing
There are so many ways to mess up patient billing in an urgent care center. The two biggest mistakes you should avoid are choosing an inexperienced individual to manage your billing and not having a clear billing process.
Since the patient billing operations in your urgent care center will make up your entire revenue stream, it’s important to receive payments on time. So the first thing you need to do is to determine if you’ll hire in-house billing or outsource work to a third party.
Most urgent care clinics use a revenue cycle service (RCS) to handle their patient billing needs. If you want to work with an RCS, find out the list of services you’ll be receiving.
On the other hand, if you want to hire in-house billing, search for medical staffing agencies who have experience with handling insurance claims and using patient billing software. Define your billing process in the early stages, so you know exactly what to look for.
Further, it’s important to find qualified staff for your urgent care center who know the importance of keeping patient records secure. They should be aware of the HIPAA policies and procedures, and their utmost focus should be on patient privacy.
Follow These Tips When Starting Your Urgent Care Center
It’s easy to make mistakes in the beginning. But create a strong business plan, choose an ideal location, and be realistic about your funding. Then focus on defining a clear billing process and choosing the right EHR software. Keeping these factors in mind will help you get your urgent care center successfully off the ground.