The money chase

A big difficulty for many new and established consultants in private practice are billing and collection issues – whether they work as an individual or a group. Findlay Fyfe examines the scale of the problem.

Sad business woman with documents in her workplace

Consultants entering private practice quite often start on their own, so have a steep learning curve when setting up and running the business on top of NHS responsibilities.

Doctors’ check-list includes:

➤ Deciding whether to engage a medical secretary. Due to start-up costs, consultants often begin by carrying out some of this role themselves;
➤ Finding a location to practice;
➤ Arranging medical indemnity or insurance;
➤ Registering with private medical insurance companies and hospitals;
➤ Marketing themselves to find their first patients.

Once this is all sorted, you have to decide what you are going to charge.