You’ve heard about direct primary care (DPC), you’re seeing clinicians who are loving what they do and patients getting excellent care with positive health outcomes and you’re excited to go all-in and be a part of this wonderful community of DPC providers who are restoring the doctor-patient relationship. But where do you start? You went to school to be a doctor, not a business owner. Don’t fret, there are plenty of people in business that never went to business school. In this article, we’re giving you a simple overview of how you can launch your dream DPC practice in just 90 days!
Your North Star
Connecting with your “why” and the purpose behind starting your DPC practice is an important early step. In this brainstorm session, you may have to ask yourself why a few times to get to the root of what is calling you to embark on this journey. Your north star will be your guide from branding your practice and telling your story to deciding who you will serve and who you will not serve. Take your time with this exercise and revisit it as often as you need.
Hopefully your north star will have guided you to the right business name because you’ll need this to officially incorporate your business. It’s a good idea to get feedback on your DPC practice name to make sure it resonates with people. The process of registering your business will differ slightly depending on the type of entity you decide to create and the guidelines of your state. Common selections for direct primary care practices include a Professional Corporation (PC), a Professional Liability Corporation (PLC), or a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC).
As part of your business formation, you’ll need to apply for an employer identification number (EIN) with the IRS. There is no fee to apply for an EIN but there are fees and requirements associated with registering your business, which vary by state. Once you have these documents and your EIN, you can open a bank account for your business.
Insurance and Legal Counsel
Insurance to protect your DPC practice is a must including malpractice, property, business overhead and workers’ compensation insurance, if you have employees. DPC is still gaining traction and there are laws in various states that affect patients and DPC healthcare providers alike. These laws can undoubtedly have an effect on the way you deliver direct care. It’s important to find an appropriate attorney or firm who is experienced in the medical space and preferably in direct care models to consult with. A good resource we recommend you refer to is DPC Frontier, which provides up-to-date information on legal statutes by state.
DPC Program Design and Business Plan
What kind of DPC practice do you want to create? What kind of experience do you want to offer your patients and what services will be included in a membership package? Do you want to have multiple membership packages? Are there special ancillary services you’d like to provide that will have a separate fee? This is where you can really get creative and design the practice of your dreams. And remember to set your pricing according to the value that you’re bringing.
Developing a business plan may be daunting but it is necessary, particularly if you want to receive a loan or funding to launch your practice. You don’t have to have all the answers, and you will need to make estimations, but having a clear roadmap is crucial. And don’t worry, it’s not set in stone, you can pivot and make adjustments along the way, in fact we encourage you to! There are resources available to help you draft a business plan such as the Small Business Administration.
Marketing and Lead Generation
Create the tools and content to get your DPC practice out in the world. You’ll need a brand kit that includes your logo, colors, fonts, and images. Establishing a digital presence for your DPC practice is an absolute must, so you’ll want to purchase a website domain and develop a website that presents your business in the best way possible and invites visitors to subscribe to your newsletter.
In addition to your website, decide which social media platforms you want to have a presence on and create a business profile for each. Quality is more important than quantity and you want to ensure that you keep a consistent schedule with social posts and content (email marketing and blogs). Additionally, setting up a Google business profile is an easy and fast way to establish your online presence and become discoverable to patients in web searches and on Google Maps.
Learn more about attracting new patients with your online presence via social media here.
You want to build anticipation for the opening of your new DPC practice and have patients on day one. There are a myriad of ways to do this including getting press with local media, grassroots marketing, partnering with local organizations, digital ads, connecting with local employers and benefit advisors as well as joining a DPC network such as Hint Connect.
These are just a few of the major items to check off your list to get your DPC practice to launch in as little as 90 days. There are other things that you’ll need to address which include HIPAA requirements, patient communications and operation agreements as well as financial and accounting tools. Hint makes membership management and billing easy and we don’t charge you until you have patients, plus as a Hint customer, you’ll get access to the DPC Accelerator and can download the DPC Playbook, which breaks down in more detail what we’ve shared in this article and more, so get started today.
Want an ever deeper dive and guided business coaching? Sign up here for an invitation to our new 12-week program* starting in late January 2023 that holds you highly accountable and keeps you committed while you are coached to success along your entrepreneurial journey.
*This program is available to Hint customers only and space is limited.