Starting your own private practice as a nurse practitioner
A nurse practitioner clinic? That’s unheard of. Not anymore. Nurse practitioners have been taking the world of medicine by storm, as they take on house calls, wellness clinics and now, private practices. Private practice nurses have proven that their profession is constantly evolving as they have emerged as a group of independent healthcare providers.
The first question is: can a nurse practitioner work independently? The short answer is yes. However, there are several layers to that. It is crucial to choose the right state to open your nurse practice in. Some states have stricter laws governing the operation of nurse practices so it is best for budding practice to avoid those. The second is the question of cost and legislation.
The Top States for Nurse Practitioner Practice
While NP-owned practices can be set up, their modus operandi is determined by the state in which the practice has been opened. Before starting on your own as a private practice nurse, you need to conduct adequate research to find out what you have to work with. In some states, solo nurses aren’t allowed to conduct their own private practice. You may be required to set up your nurse practitioner clinic with a collaborating physician. However, in other states, you can open and run an NP practice independently.
There are three practice authority designations for each state: full, reduced, and restricted.
Full Practice states allow private practice nurses to work independently and perform their work in full capacity, from evaluation and diagnosis to prescription and managing treatments. States which allow this are 22 in total, including Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Connecticut, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont.
Reduced Designation states allow NP practices to work independently after logging some hours of work under another health provider. States which allow this are 16 in total, including Alabama, Ohio, New York, Utah, and New Jersey.
Restricted Designation states do not allow nurses to perform certain elements of practice and require oversight from health providers for the entire course of their careers. These are 12 in total, Texas, California, Texas, Missouri, and Virginia.
Nurse Practitioner Steps
Some other things aspiring private practice nurses need to take into account are:
You must check in with yourself: This is no easy task. You need to be aware that the road will be long and tricky. There is a lot to get through, from expenses to working with complicated insurance companies. Insurance companies are notoriously hard to work with, which is why they require an immensely talented collaboration team to get through the motions. In addition, you need to find partners like lawyers, tax advisors and administrators. You also need expert coders on the team.
Fuel up on patience: You need to organize and compartmentalize your tasks with a game plan in mind. There are three things you need to do; find an office space, build a team, and come up with a marketing plan. You need to remember that setting up your nurse practitioner clinic will require a significant amount of time.
Do your research on licensing and permits: Even if the clinic will simply offer visitation and consults, you need to have adequate paperwork from state authorities to be considered legitimate.
Apply for a National Provider Identifier: The NPI is required to bill Medicare and get access to health records.
Figure out which supplies you need for your NP-owned practice: You need to look for the best prices; find out if you can get your hands on some used equipment. This will allow you to set aside money to invest in other aspects of the practice.
Build a social media presence: This is key to building a successful business. You should start promoting yourself on Instagram, YouTube or Facebook. In addition, you can use social media to join niche groups and start networking. It always helps to have friends in the industry.
Get malpractice insurance: medical practices get sued often, be it valid lawsuits or frivolous. Acquiring malpractice insurance is key to making sure your business and its assets do not become liable in the case of a lawsuit.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Setting Up an NP Practice
To set up as a private practice nurse, you are going to need a large amount of money. The more you have, the better. You need to take into account that you will most likely have to borrow money from a lender. Undercapitalization can be fatal for your NP practice. In addition, you are required to collaborate with your lender on all issues. You must structure your capital and entity optimally, with the help of an advisor or attorney.
Several factors influence the amount of money you need, such as:
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) for Nurse Practitioners
Remote patient monitoring is one of the major advancements of the 21st century: it is a healthcare delivery method that applies innovative advancements and improvements in information technology to healthcare delivery.
Remote patient monitoring shifts healthcare to places where people live and work, effectively bridging the gap between the traditional physical healthcare settings and places where people actually want to be every day.
Remote patient monitoring is not just beneficial for patients and medical health professionals, but also offers multiple advantages to nurse practitioners. Through RPM, nurse practitioners can evaluate a patient’s health between visits and intervene as per the requirement to provide healthcare coaching and prevent undesirable outcomes.
Remote monitoring allows NPs to also monitor the health of their patients throughout the day using connected devices. Constant monitoring allows them to intervene when most necessary as a preventive measure against the occurrence of adverse conditions.
RPM also allows nurse practitioners to always remain on the lookout for potential crises and push themselves outside the routine healthcare rotations and readings. They may also contact patients whenever they need to evaluate their condition, determine the root causes of their condition, and refer the matter to a specialist when necessary.
Through remote patient monitoring, NPs can do much more than act as a reaction force to individual readings. They perform the duties of educators, coaches, and patient advocates. They are also responsible for conducting wellness calls with patients to develop a mutually beneficial relationship of trust and understanding with them.
How Can Nurse Practitioners Undertake Successful Patient Recruitment in RPM
NPs should use consumer marketing techniques to recruit patients and form a relationship of understanding and trust with them. Referrals from trusted sources, such as clinicians and doctors, prove highly beneficial for nurse practitioners to engage patients in a remote patient monitoring program.
Research shows that the primary motivators for patient recruitment include referrals from reliable sources, including nurses with existing relationships with patients, trusted caregivers, and the patient’s existing doctor. Engaging patients by offering them insight into the RPM program process and easing them through understanding the potential benefits of an RPM program works wonders in affirming that motivation.
Nurse practitioners can also utilize proven consumer marketing techniques to ensure their RPM program stands out from the rest. It can also help them understand which patients they should recruit and how they should be recruited to understand the effective communication techniques for them.
How Nurse Practitioners Can Set Up Their Practice With Remote Patient Monitoring
Here are a few ways nurses can start their RPM program, opt for a suitable platform to manage their patient population, and scale it for healthcare.
Recognizing Your Healthcare Requirements
The first step in setting up your own RPM program is identifying the particular needs that your practice will fulfil. Basing your practice upon that, you can cope with several factors, including the necessity of opening up new avenues for revenue, managing a high hospital readmission issue, or dealing with patients with chronic conditions.
Setting Up A Team
The second critical step is engaging with care staff, fellow nurses, medical practitioners, physicians, and technicians to win them over for a suitable implementation of your RPM program. The size of your team depends upon the size of the healthcare practice you wish to run or the patient population you wish to target.
Identifying Patients for Your RPM Program
Pre-identification of eligible patients for your remote patient monitoring program is crucial, and you can do so in three primary ways:
You can introduce your program to prospective patients by meeting them in person during their office visits and guaranteeing the best recruitment rate.
You can send letters on the merits and demerits of your RPM program to a potential list of eligible patients.
You may also call the potential patients, explain your program to them, and invite them to join.
Goal setting can be carried out by keeping any of the following objectives in mind:
Patient Health Outcomes
You can set goals for patient health outcomes by identifying your patient categories, the particular health outcomes you wish to achieve, and the number of patients you can reach with your RPM program.
Goal setting to pave the way for new revenue streams is crucial, so is looking for efficient ways to reduce cost through your remote patient monitoring program.
Enhancement of patient experience involves setting goals to augment patient compliance, patient engagement, patient satisfaction, and patient-to-care-team ratio.
It is pivotal to set objectives for provider satisfaction through your RPM program, which may include decreasing the staff turnover rate and allocation of staff time. This ensures that your care managers and staff perform their job conveniently, which may also lead to higher efficiency.
Deciding If You Want To Buy or Lease RPM Equipment
You can decide whether you wish to buy or lease RPM equipment by keeping your objectives, budget, and the size of the practice you want to manage in view. Although leasing RPM devices has a lower upfront expense and offers higher flexibility, purchasing the devices eliminates the obligations of long-term leasing contracts and reduces the overall expenditure.
Delivery and Engagement
Once your RPM program is ready, you should aim to compare the primary metrics regularly to identify your program’s shortcomings and rectify them immediately.
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.
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