Medical Practice Startup: The Ultimate Guide & Checklist to starting a Medical Practice

Starting a medical practice can be overwhelming, but with the right guidance, you can make your dream a reality. This ultimate guide and checklist will help you navigate the process of starting your own medical practice with ease.

Your Ultimate Guide and Checklist to successfully launching your medical practice

The value of independently owned physician practices to their communities is much needed. And we want to help as many physicians as possible with their medical practice start-up.

Yes, starting a Medical Practice has its challenges, but with the right people and support the rewards & impact will outweigh the difficulties.

Use this guide and checklist to ensure you have covered all the essential steps, from creating a strategic plan to managing finances, building a team, and complying with legal and regulatory requirements.

1. Create a Strategic Plan for your Medical Practice Startup

The first thing you want to do in the planning of your medical practice start-up is to begin writing your strategic plan.

    •   Create a strategic plan summary

  • Write out a summary of who will be the owner(s)/leadership, who you wish to serve (patient demographics), what type of practice you wish to start, where you plan to  start it, and when you wish to begin.

   •   Create a Mission, Vision, & Values Statements for your organization

  • Your practice will have more success if your team knows ‘the why’ behind the work you do.

   •   Create your goals and timeline

  • 12+ months to start = strategic planning, research and review of all 7 steps.
  • 10+ months to start = connecting with and selecting your support network and resources (step2).
  • 9 months to start = refining of steps 3-7, concentrate on your contracts & credentialing.
  • 6 months to start = time to start running :) keep busy implementing the tasks outstanding.
  • 5 months to start = start meeting with groups & physicians in your community… face-to-face marketing.
  • 3 months to start = start recruiting for unfilled staff positions
  • 2 months to start = time to sprint through unfinished tasks
  • 1 month to start = it’s go time.

2. Select Support Network, Contractors, & Resources

The next step in your medical practice start-up is to select your support network. You can gain valuable help from a variety of professionals, contacts, and peers. Connect with local people you trust for recommendations and take some time interviewing and doing your due-diligence before selecting your support network vendors.

Support Network Checklist


  • Legal Firm
  • Accounting Firm
  • Insurance Broker
  • IT Consultant & Services
  • Billing Service
  • Healthcare Real Estate Broker
  • Practice Consultant

Physician Colleagues & Referral Network

  • Primary Care Practices
  • Specialty Care Practices
  • Ancillary Practices
  • Accountable Care Organization
  • IPA (Independent Physician Association)

Resources & Online Communities

<div class="rich-text-blue-box-titled"><div class="rich-text-box-title">Success & Impact</div><p class="p-18-medium-inter p-white">Yes, you will be successful starting your medical practice. Just take one step at a time, ask for help, and persevere. Your community needs the blessing and impact that only independent practices can fully offer. As an 18 year practice manager with experience starting Medical Practices please reach out if there’s anything I or our team can help with.</p></div>

3. Organization & Legal Setup

With the help of your legal, accounting, and other advisors, select a practice entity type, form your organization, file for a tax id (or EIN), and file for a National Provider Identifier (NPI).

Formation & Filings Checklist

     •   Select a practice entity type and form the organization.

           •   This article discusses medical practice entity types: Medscape Practice Startup

     •   File for a Tax ID online yourself (not difficult) or have your accountant file for you.

     •   File for an organization NPI.

4. Financial Management Plan

Now it’s time to create a financial plan for your medical practice startup.

This will include:

  • Start-up Capital Needs & Budget
  • Billing & Revenue Cycle
  • Contracts & Credentialing
  • Payroll and Banking

Financial Management Plan Checklist:

  • Setup a bank account with a bank that is business friendly, has good online tools (transaction download for software), and close in proximity to your practice.
  • Setup a bookkeeping process and system (quickbooks is common).
  • Payroll can be performed by a vendor or in-house by an experienced manager (intuit payroll etc).
  • Project your year one cash flow and profit & loss.
  • Decide which insurances to accept and begin credentialing (as soon as possible it can take 4-6 months even if done well).
  • Setup your billing and collection process.

Insurance & Credentialing Tips

       1.  Decide whether you will accept insurance, offer a direct care model, or hybrid model.

       2.  Ask another local doctor or billing company which insurances are most popular in your area and how well they reimburse.

       3.  If accepting insurance (most popular choice) organize all your physician and organizational documents digitally including:

             •   Physician Documents

             •   Physician Resume

             •   CV

             •   Medical License

             •   DEA Certificate

             •   Diplomas

             •   Board Certifications

             •   Malpractice Insurance Certificates

             •   NPI verification letter

             •   Drivers License

             •   Social Security (for medicare)

             •   Group Documents

             •   Group NPI verification letter

             •   Tax ID EIN

             •   W9

             •   Liability Insurance

             •   Business License

       4.   Complete, Sign, and Send your applications for privileging and credentialing. After approved you will receive contract proposals.

       5.   Keep calling the carriers after you send in your applications to make sure it is being processed. Document your notes, dates, and who you spoke with. If you outsource these steps still ask to see notes and documentation of communication and updates on a regular basis.

<div class="rich-text-blue-box-nobuttons"><p class="p-18-medium-inter p-white">A financial management plan is crucial for ensuring the financial stability and success of the medical practice. This plan should include budgeting, financial projections, and an analysis of revenue and expenses. It's also important to establish a system for billing and collections, as well as managing cash flow and establishing financial controls.</p></div>

5. Operations Plan

Now it’s time to create a financial plan for your medical practice startup. An operations plan outlines the day-to-day activities and processes of the medical practice. It's important to establish clear protocols and procedures for each of these areas to ensure smooth and efficient operations.

The plan will include:

  • Facility Selection, Design, & Maintenance
  • Patient Process Design
  • Vendor Management
  • Computers & Technology (EHR)Phone System

Operations Plan Checklist:

  • Facility Selection: find, negotiate, and select your practice location.
  • Patient Process Design: write out your patient workflow from appointment scheduling, check-in, to check-out.
  • Vendor Management: register with product and service vendors for your practice. See a sample list of vendors in the tips below.
  • Computers, Scanners, Printers Selection – consult with your IT vendor.
  • EHR System Selection – chat with us below to send you a Guide with real reviews from practice managers.
  • Other Software Needs – Team & Network Communication & Messaging (Staffapp MD).
  • Phone System – basic features will work to start…2-4 lines, voicemail, call forwarding, and portable phones.
  • Medical Equipment: What medical equipment will you need? Exam room furniture?
  • Furniture: lobby chairs, exam room chairs, staff & reception chairs, art, desks, tables, etc.
  • Marketing Plan: 59 Marketing Ideas for Your Medical Practice Startup

6. Team & Human Resource Plan

Building a strong team is essential for the success of a medical practice. The success of your Medical Practice Startup may be most impacted by this next step.

HR Plan

  • Staff Recruiting, Interviewing, & Hiring
  • Staff Onboarding & Training

Human Resource Plan Checklist:

  • Decide your position requirements, job descriptions, & benefits.
  • Post Your Job Positions – Indeed (for MA’s, LVN’s, Billers, NP’s, PA’s), Ziprecruiter (use when desperate otherwise save your money), LinkedIn (MD’s, DO’s, NP’s, PA’s), PracticeLink (MD’s, DO’s).
  • Interview & Select Staff – Hire slowly, always meet with the applicant two times before an offer.
  • Setup an orientation and training process that gets your employee off to a great start.
  • Create a good Employee Handbook. Chat with us below for real practice handbook templates.

7. Risk Management & Compliance Plan

Managing risk and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements is critical for the success of your MP. Setup your compliance and risk management programs from the start to protect your practice.

  • Insurance Coverage
  • OSHA
  • CLIA
  • OIG

Risk Management & Compliance Plan Checklist:

  • Liability Insurance.
  • Malpractice Insurance (Professional Liability Insurance)
  • Workers Compensation Insurance
  • HIPAA – Training & Compliance Program
  • OSHA – Training & Compliance Program
  • CLIA – Registration & Compliance
  • Facility & Safety – Key access, alarms, video surveillance, emergency plan

<div class="rich-text-blue-box-nobuttons"><p class="p-18-medium-inter  p-white">Starting a medical practice is a significant undertaking, but it can be incredibly rewarding both professionally and personally. With the right planning, support, and resources, you can successfully launch your practice and make a positive impact on your community. Remember to continually assess and refine your approach as you go along, and never hesitate to seek guidance from trusted advisors and colleagues. Good luck on your exciting journey!</p></div>

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