Independent Physician Practice Checklist

denver physician associationIt takes years of training to become a doctor – but unfortunately, medical school doesn’t fully prepare physicians for the business side of health care. Including how to open and manage an independent physician practice.

Opening an independent physician practice can be a daunting process that includes attorneys, accountants and vendor management amongst many other tasks and “to do’s”.

Dr. Mary Catherine Husney, Board Member of Practice Health, shares with us her consolidated checklist that can help start the process of opening an independent physician practice. Dr. Husney has been in practice since 2003 and currently practices at, and co-owns, Living Well Family Medicine in Denver, Colorado.

Checklist for Opening a New Physician Practice


  1. Create a strategic plan that includes:
    • Mission, Vision, Values
    • Goals and Action Plans
    • Market Analysis
    • Marketing Plan Development
  2. Create a budget that covers:
    • Capital needs
    • Income/Revenue
    • Overhead/Expenses
    • Employee Salaries
    • Marketing
  3. Office Site Selection
    • Choose Location
    • Remodel if necessary
    • Certificate of Occupancy
      • Fire Inspection
      • Safety Inspection
      • City Inspections
    • Furnishings & Supplies
    • Set Office Hours
    • Signage
  4. Office Administrative Set Up
    • Acquire Tax ID, NPI, DEA, and State-Controlled Substance Numbers
    • Open Bank Accounts
    • Credentialing
    • Sales Tax Certificate (depending on the state)
    • Develop Fee Schedule
    • Order CPT, HCPCS, and ICD Code Books
    • Establish a patient financial policy
    • Determine legal structure (discuss with accountant or attorney)
    • Obtain a Business License
    • Policies/Procedures/Protocols Manual
    • Hospital Privileges
    • Patient Satisfaction Survey System
  5. Staff
    • Practice Manager
    • Medical Assistant
    • Accounts Payable/Receivable
    • Front Desk
    • Coder
    • Additional providers
  6. Office Insurance Needs
    • Office liability
    • Business interruption
    • Employee Fidelity Bond
    • Umbrella Policy
    • Workers Compensation
    • Employee Benefits: Health/Disability/Life
    • Malpractice
  7. Implementations/Inspections/Training
    • OSHA
    • Stark Law
    • CLIA
    • HIPAA
    • Universal Protocol Training
    • Obtain and hang required posters
  8. Equipment & Technology
    • Medical equipment
    • Practice management & billing software
    • Phone system
    • Internet
    • Computers
    • EMR software
    • X-Ray
  9. Vendors
    • Medical waste removal
    • Document destruction
    • Laboratory
    • Credit card processing
    • Janitorial needs
    • Office supplies
    • Maintenance
    • Payroll processing
    • After-hours answering service
    • Linen service

As you can see from the checklist, opening your own practice can be overwhelming. At Practice Health, a Denver-Metro independent practice association (IPA), we can help run your practice by providing support in the following areas:

Call 303-320-2073 to learn more about becoming a member of Practice Health. We are designed to help independent practices remain competitive by offering solutions and support so that you and your staff can dedicate your time to patients, their health and quality outcomes.