Like all professionals who run successful businesses, physicians rely on their staff to help their offices run smoothly. These employees include physician's assistants, nurses, receptionists, and office assistants who help with billing health insurance companies, Medicare, and others. When starting a medical practice, expanding services or opening a new office, doctors frequently require an infusion of cash. Insurance companies are notoriously slow in paying, dispute claims and try to negotiate rates.
When calculating your staffing budget requirements, don't forget to include benefits and employer tax responsibilities. This is generally an additional 17%-22% of an employee salary that employers are obligated to pay.
If you are a sole practitioner and you will hopefully be attending to patients throughout the day. You will likely need to have a support staff that can manage scheduling, billing/collections, book-keeping as well as a nurse or assistant.
These expenses and occasional expansion (new hires) can cause cash flow issues. This should be anticipated in a new practice and so physicians should plan in advance.
For this type of medical practice financing, you might want to open a business line of credit. A business line of credit is essentially "ready cash" to be used by a borrower at a moment's notice. In that sense, it is very much like a credit card where the borrower has a certain amount of credit that is pre-defined. However, it is redeemable as cash. A business line of credit is known as a general purpose or working capital loan and can be used for any purpose.
The benefit of a line of credit is that you only pay interest on the amount that you borrow. The difference in a line of credit and cash you could draw from a credit card cash advance is the amount of interest that is charged. Credit card cash advances generally speaking carry very high interest rates.
BizCredit's platform makes available a variety of physician loan options, including business loans, lines of credit and cash advances, which can enable medical practices to be able to hire the staff they need to operate efficiently.
Digitizing Medical Records
Converting patients' records from paper to digital files creates great efficiencies for healthcare providers and their patients. However, the process of converting analogue records into digital format is only a small part of the overall cost of digitization.
Digitizing records will likely require the medical practice to subscribe to software/hosting providers and incur the costs of training staff to use the new technologies. While many software vendors will provide basic-level training, this is frequently inadequate and requires the medical practice to purchase an additional training and support contract.
The benefits for patient care are obvious: digitizing patient files creates an electronic record of visits, exams, blood tests, diagnoses, and prescriptions that can be shared with other physicians if necessary. Creating computer files of health histories can potentially be life-saving.
Using electronic medical records reduces the cost paper and file folders and cuts labor costs. The efficiencies created by simply researching a patient's electronic record -- rather than hunting through hundreds of file folders - cuts space and valuable time, while at the same time save costs for medical practices and hospitals. However, digitizing medical records is a significant long-term investment for any medical office. Conversion costs frequently run in the tens of thousands of dollars. Biz2Credit can help doctors secure the funding they need to create electronic medical records.
According to GlobalSign, a digital conversion and cloud-based service provider, there are 4 main reasons to digitize medical records:
1. Easier Storage
Storing patient records is a highly specialized process than must conform to federal regulations and be kept confidential. Storing patient records has other logistical challenges as well, From housing and sorting, to sorting between active and inactive patients, quality assurance, and, efficiently retrieving records in a timely manner, physical records are hard to deal with.
Converting files to an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system; staff will have instant access, ability to cross-reference, and reduce the need for physical storage facility.
2. Cost Savings over Time
EMR systems can be very costly and the training associated with learning how to manage the software could cost as much or more than the software itself. However, once firmly deployed it is likely that your practice may operate with fewer staff, less office space and be more efficient, resulting in cost savings and the ability to provide care to more patients.
Maintaining physical records presents back-up risk and risk of loss. Usually physical records are not routinely replicated and present a risk of permanent loss in the event of a catastrophe. With cloud hosting (most preferred), the files are encrypted and stored on offsite servers at multiple locations; they are only accessible with a unique login that will decrypt them.
4. Accuracy and Readability
Hand-written and physical documents can create confusion on multiple levels. Medical records that are illegible can be impossible to distinguish as those physical documents age, especially if the original author cannot be found. With malpractice lawsuits continuing to climb, having accurate records can be the difference in setting the record straight and may entitle your practice to lower insurance premiums.
Most medical offices will require equipment purchases. These can range from defibrillators, EKGs, CAT scans, laboratory equipment, lasers, stress test treadmills, surgical equipment, ultrasound equipment, and wheelchairs.
While most lab and diagnostic work is referred to specialized firms, medical office equipment such as basic diagnostic devices and technology hardware/software can be prohibitively expensive out-of-pocket.
Biz2Credit can help doctors secure specific physician financing for all types of medical equipment. Remember, equipment loans are highly specialized and designed to be used specifically for high-ticket items and capital expenditures. Using an equipment loan also allows you to use the purchased equipment as collateral, reducing your debt footprint while getting a lower rate versus a general purpose loan.
Opening New Offices
Professionals including: doctors, dentists, attorneys, and accountants, face financial needs just like other business owners. For instance, physicians often face cash flow issues because of slow-paying insurance companies and disputed reimbursements. Combine that with the high cost of digitizing medical records, ever-increasing malpractice insurance rates, and the rising costs of running a healthcare practice. The result is that physicians can find themselves in a financial crunch.
Startup costs for new offices can be significant. Any physician who has purchased or renovated a building or entered into a lease agreement knows that setting up a location is costly. Next comes the purchases of computers, software and equipment, the investment of setting up phone systems and electronic medical record systems, staffing costs and marketing expenses.
Biz2Credit can help secure business loans for doctors who are seeking office purchases and leasing arrangements, as well as provide a wide variety of options to obtain the working capital needed to launch a new office.