The financial planning and business acumen required to start a profitable medical practice can be overwhelming to say the least. With guidance from HeathMan and Surgicom who have experience in navigating this terrain, you can confidently begin your transition and look forward to the autonomy and patient relationships associated with having your own practice. To accommodate start up business costs and your evolution to the private sector, Surgicom offer you complementary membership for your first year of private practice. Being proficient in the medical business environment, HealthMan and Surgicom are available to provide Surgicom members with advisory services throughout this process.

The steps to consider when opening a private practice are as follows:

  1. Join your professional Association and / or Management Group
  2. Financial planning
  3. HPCSA Registration
  4. CIPC Registration
  5. Open a bank account (preferably Business Current Account)
  6. BHF PCNS Registration
  7. Insurance:
    1. Medical malpractice insurance: This legal option indemnifies you from bodily or mental injury, illness, disease, or death of any of your patients or person caused or alleged by your malpractice.
    2. Products liability insurance: This indemnifies you against the injury and/or damages to any of your patients or third parties arising from the nature or condition of any product.
    3. Public liability insurance:This covers you from bodily injury and/or damages because of, or allegedly caused by you. This cover also includes an extension for wrongful arrest.
    4. Professional indemnity insurance:This covers you for breaching professional duty, any breach of warranty of authority or of trust committed in good faith, defamation, infringement of copyright, and the destruction of, damage to, or loss of any documents entrusted.
  8. Decide whether to rent or buy. Consider the predicted expenses:
    1. Construction and Renovations
    2. Equipment, Appliances and Disposable supplies
    3. Telecommunications and Software
    4. Furniture and Decor
    5. Security
    6. Parking facilities
    7. Disability friendliness
  9. Choosing a location. Consider:
    1. Referral network
    2. Foot traffic
  10. Market your practice:
    1. Develop a logo and marketing material
    2. Create a letterhead
    3. Create a business card
    4. Website
    5. Plan your grand opening
    6. Search engine optimisation
  11. Hire staff and generate employment contracts

Receptionist, practice manager, billing expert, bookkeeper, stock controller, credit controller, cashier, cleaning staff, etc

  1. Ensure legally binding patient information and consent forms are in place
  2. Practice software and management
  3. Determine private fee for non-scheme patients
  4. Review medical aid contracts and payment arrangements
  5. Familiarise yourself with ICD10 and procedural coding

In addition to the above mentioned start up advisory services, Surgicom consists of a hardworking board of 12 directors who provide clearly visible leadership to private surgical practice, frequently engaging in high level negotiations with funders and regulatory authorities on behalf of their members. Furthermore, members also gain access to the HealthMan helpdesk for account, coding and general practice related queries as well as representation when faced with a Forensic Audit by Medical Schemes. Current Surgicom, industry and discipline related developments are communicated to members via regular newsletters and the fully sponsored, CPD accredited, annual Private Practice Business Weekends. Members are also able to access additional reimbursement from Discovery through the collaborative Surgicom Governance Project and the Surgicom, SAGES Endoscopy Pilot and Electronic Medical Record (EMR). An interactive and informative website provides members access to medicolegal resources, a regularly updated coding guide and 60 patient information booklets covering most general surgical procedures.

For further information regarding Surgicom membership, please contact the HealthMan offices at 011 340 9019 or visit the Surgicom website at https://www.surgicom.co.za/.

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