The need for physiotherapy is only expected to increase with contemporary demographic changes. As such, opening your own practice has potentially never been more opportune or potentially lucrative. However, knowing where to begin the process of taking such a leap can be difficult and it’s important to take some time to understand exactly what is involved in opening your own physiotherapy practice.
Starting from scratch opening a physiotherapy practice can be difficult. There are many points to check off that it can quickly become an overwhelming task. However, with the right guidance, support, determination and patience, you can make your dream a reality. With every stage of the process, you need to do what you can to ensure that things go smoothly.
Let’s take a look a closer look at some of the key elements of opening a physiotherapy practice, from building plans to practice management software and everything in between.
Read on to learn more!
Some First Steps
To open your own practice, it is important to understand the requisite legal specifications you must check off before you open. Understand what the industry standards are. This includes officially registering as a physiotherapist which must be done with an application to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. This organization requires both an initial and annual registration fee.
In addition, you must apply for a Medicare Provider number and (often) also apply for registration with the Australian Physiotherapist Association.
If you will require financing, it is useful to write a proper business plan. This should incorporate your knowledge of the physiotherapy market as well as details regarding projections for your own practice.
Structuring Your Practice
In terms of the organisation of your practice as a business, it is useful to think about how you will structure it. Usually, following a company structure is most sensible. This will establish your practice as a distinct legal entity. This can reduce your personal liability in case of potential accidents. Choosing your structure will also depend on whether you are opening the practice as a sole individual or whether you are entering into a partnership with other physiotherapists.
In any case, it is also vital to register your business in Australia to get it legally up and running. You will need to acquire an Australian Business Number and a Tax File Number to ensure that your practice is in good stead with the government.
Laying The Foundations
Unless you own some real-estate which can serve as the physical location of your practice, you will likely be renting or leasing a space. In any case, choosing a prime location is paramount. If you do choose to lease, know the rights and obligations of your retail or commercial lease. It is critical that you make sure you know what you can use the space for and whether you will have the option to extend the lease. Procuring equipment for your practice can easily be done online.
Once your location is set, it is important to hire a team of employees that can serve you well. Depending on the specifics of your practice plans, you may be hiring additional physiotherapists or staff to assist with administrative tasks. Vet candidates on how well they can fit in with the work culture of your practice. Be sure to follow existing hiring laws and make sure to set up the proper tax filing information for each new employee.
Setting up medical practice management software can also streamline the day-to-day operations in your practice. These programs can be used to help integrate electronic medical records with operational administrative and financial matters (appointment scheduling and insurance claims, for example). They can also provide performance indicators to let you know how efficiently your practice is operating.
Taking the time to fully understand how to open your new physiotherapy practice is the first step in getting your new business up and running. Owning and operating your own business is a huge commitment but when managed correctly, it can be a very rewarding and satisfying experience. With the right preparation, you will be on course to a successful future from the very beginning and will be able to establish your new physiotherapy practice in your local community in no time at all.