Was this business your vision/passion, or did you kind of ‘fall’ into it? Both. I worked in orthopaedics for many years and saw hundreds of fractures that could have been prevented with education or treatment of osteoporosis. Suggestions were made to start an osteoporosis clinic at the facility where I worked. During the investigation into this endeavor I decided to begin the clinic on my own.
How did you finance your business? By using my retirement fund.
How many employees do you have? My receptionist works for the facility where I lease space. I contract out for transcription, billing and accounting services. The bone density (DXA) scans are performed and interpreted by me.
What has been your biggest challenge? Insurance reimbursement. Medical facilities contract with insurance companies to accept the amount THEY decide to pay. If you don’t sign a contract with them patients will go somewhere else so their insurance will pay the bill. Medicare reimbursement is between 50 and 70 percent of what is actually billed. The facility absorbs the rest as we cannot bill those patients for what is not covered.
When did you realize you had finally ‘made it’? Still wonder about that frequently.
What is your vision for the future of your business? There are some exciting changes in the works! I am joining another provider and will work in family practice. We will still offer bone density testing and specialized osteoporosis care.
What makes your business different/unique selling proposition? My patients are able to have their bone density scan, learn the results and recommendations in one appointment. They like that.
What is the most fun you have at work? Doing what I most enjoy…. educating and caring for patients.
What do you wish you had known before you opened the doors? The truth about how long it would take for Medicare to make a payment. I did not receive payment from them for almost 9 months.
What is your proudest moment as a business owner? When a patient returns and we see an increase in their T-score, meaning the osteoporosis has improved.
What advice can you give to someone who wants to start a business? Be ready to work long hours.