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How to Start an Orthopedic Hospital Business

Do you want to start an orthopedic hospital? If YES, here is a 20-step guide on how to start an orthopedic clinic business with no money and no experience.

The fact that accidents do occur and bones get dislocated or fractured makes those who are operating orthopedic hospitals to continue to be in business and of course make good money.

Please note that just like any business in the healthcare industry, orthopedic hospitals are highly regulated hence if you decide to start your own orthopedic hospital, then you should be ready to abide by the rules and regulations governing the industry.

So, if indeed you have the desire to start your own orthopedic hospital, all you need do is to read this article and you will be well informed and equipped.

You can start your orthopedic hospital from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand especially if you go into franchising.

Steps to Starting an Orthopedic Hospital

1. Understand the Industry

Orthopedic hospitals fall under the Specialty Hospitals Industry and this industry includes companies that provide treatment for bone related accidents, diagnostic and medical treatment to inpatients with a specific type of disease or medical condition.

Specialty hospitals include hospitals that primarily provide long-term care for the chronically ill and those that offer rehabilitation, restorative and adjunctive services to physically challenged or disabled people.

In contrast to traditional healthcare facilities, orthopedic hospitals provide specialized care to patients in both large-scale, well-known establishments and small, local clinics. Over the five years to 2018, revenue for this industry has increased in line with an aging population and rising healthcare coverage.

The Specialty Hospitals Industry is a well – established industry in the United States, and orthopedic hospitals work hand in hand with other manual – therapy related professions such as massage therapy, osteopathy, and physical therapy et al.

Interesting Statistics About the Industry

The Specialty Hospitals industry that orthopedic hospitals is a part of is indeed a very massive industry in the U.S. Statistics has it that the Specialty Hospitals industry in the United States of America is worth $52 billion, with an estimated growth rate of 3.6 percent.

There are about 1,003 registered and licensed specialty hospitals (orthopedic hospitals) in the United States and they are responsible for employing about 304,779 people that comprises orthopedic surgeons and other health and non – health workers.

If you are considering starting your own orthopedic hospital in the United States, then you should try and work around the industry barriers.

The truth is that the barriers to entry in the Specialty Hospitals industry are high due to the significant regulatory requirements and the experience and strength of incumbents. For example, medical licensure creates a barrier to entry in the healthcare sector.

It is absolutely compulsory for any investor who is looking towards starting an orthopedic hospital to meet extensive federal, state and local laws and regulations. These regulations relate to the adequacy of medical care, equipment, personnel, operating policies and procedures.

Regulations also involve maintaining adequate records, preventing fires, setting rates and complying with building codes and environmental protection laws. These regulations make it difficult and costly for aspiring entrepreneurs to enter the industry.

Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own orthopedic hospitals could be that the business can easily get support from the government and the business is indeed a profitable venture despite the legislature governing the industry.

Lastly, this line of business is not going into extinction anytime soon and no matter the location you choose to locate your orthopedic hospital, with the right facility and publicity, you are sure not going to lack patients with bone related accidents.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographics composition of those who need the services of an orthopedic hospital are those who have bone related ailments such as fractures, dislocations, spinal problems, and bone – birth deformity amongst others. These people can fall across all genders and ages.

3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On

Most orthopedic hospitals tend to carry out general services that a standard orthopedic hospital is expected to offer. That is why it seem that there are no niche areas in the industry. But on the other hand, some orthopedic hospital may decide to major in some key areas like;

  • Inpatient care
  • Outpatient care
  • Diagnostic X-ray services
  • Clinical laboratory services
  • Operating room services
  • Personal Injury Case Management
The Level of Competition in the Industry

If you decide to start your own orthopedic hospital, you will definitely face competitions from other orthopedic hospitals in and around your location and of course from general hospitals and chiropractic clinics that also treat bone related accidents. Hence it is safe to say that the level of competition you will face in the orthopedic hospital industry is relatively tough.

4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry

In every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and general public. Some of these brands have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they treat their patients and how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.

These are some of the leading orthopedic hospitals in the United States of America and in the globe;

  • Arkansas Surgical Hospital (North Little Rock, Ark.).
  • Austin Surgical Hospital (Austin, Texas).
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital (St. Louis).
  • Beebe Medical Center (Lewes, Del.).
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston).
  • Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland).
  • Community General Hospital of Greater Syracuse (Syracuse, N.Y.).
  • Doctors Hospital of Sarasota (Sarasota, Fla.).
  • Duke University Medical Center (Durham, N.C.)
  • Evanston Hospital (Evanston, Ill.)
  • Foundation Surgical Hospital (Bellaire, Texas)
  • Forsyth Medical Center (Winston-Salem, N.C.).
  • Heartland Spine and Specialty Hospital (Overland Park, Kan.).
  • Hospital for Special Surgery (New York City).
  • Indiana Orthopedic Hospital (Indianapolis).
  • Institute for Orthopedic Surgery (Lima, Ohio).
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore).
  • Kansas City Orthopedic Institute (Leawood, Kan.).
  • McBride Orthopedic Hospital (Oklahoma City).
  • Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital (Omaha, Neb.)
Economic Analysis

When opening an orthopedic hospital, you just have to get your costing cum economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profits, grow the business and perhaps expand the business. When conducting costing and economic analysis for your orthopedic hospital, you just have to critically examine these key factors; place, pricing, and promotion.

As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review these key factors at regular intervals while running your orthopedic hospital. As an orthopedic hospital owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of your competitive landscape if indeed you want to maximize profits and be in the frontline of the industry.

It is important to note that orthopedic medical equipment and overhead cost are some of the most important factors contributing to the overall cost of running an orthopedic hospital and should be considered as a major factor when carrying out your costing and economic analysis.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

If you are looking towards starting an orthopedic hospital, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get the franchise of an orthopedic hospital to buy. Starting an orthopedic hospital from the scratch might be stressful, but it is worth the stress.

With an orthopedic hospital, you should just try as much as possible to secure a good facility, hire competent orthopedic surgeons and other health workers and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal to market your hospital.

Please note that most of the big and successful orthopedic hospitals around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

If you decide to open your own orthopedic hospital today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established orthopedic hospitals and of course other players in the Hospital and Healthcare industry in your target market location that also treat bone related ailments. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.

Some other threats and challenges that you are likely going to face when you start your orthopedic hospital are mature markets, bad economy (economy downturn), stiff competition, volatile costs, and rising medical care prices.

So also, unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic / social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumers spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where yours is located. There is hardly anything you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

When considering opening an orthopedic hospital, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow. You can either choose a general partnership or Limited Liability Company for your orthopedic hospital.

If your intention is to grow the business and operate all across the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.

Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships.

Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities.

These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your orthopedic hospital; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes.

If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your orthopedic hospital, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is the most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.

Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your orthopedic hospital so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below

When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own orthopedic hospital, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

  • Phil Anderson® Orthopedic Hospital, LLC
  • Bones Care® Orthopedic Hospital, Inc.
  • Paul Memorial® Orthopedic Hospital, Inc.
  • Tim Empress® Orthopedic Hospital, Inc.
  • Bone Base® Orthopedic Hospital, Inc.
  • Boston Bone® Orthopedic Hospital, Inc.
  • Mack Ferdinando® Orthopedic Hospital, Inc.
  • Legs and Arms® Orthopedic Hospital, Inc.
  • Bruce Clinton Memorial® Orthopedic Hospital, LLC.
  • Donald Gulp® Orthopedic Hospital, Inc.

9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy cover and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your orthopedic hospital.

Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own orthopedic hospital in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Risk Insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Building/Property insurance
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance
  • Payment protection insurance

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

If you are considering starting your own orthopedic hospital, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

On the other hand, if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even operation concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

If you intend starting an orthopedic hospital in the United States of America, you are encouraged to pursue professional certifications; it will go a long way to show your commitment towards the business. Besides it is almost impossible to run an orthopedic hospital in the United States without the proper professional certification.

In most countries of the world, practicing any medical related practice without a license is typically illegal. Individuals found to be providing medical, nursing or other professional services without the appropriate certification or license may face sanctions including even criminal charges leading to prison.

If you are looking towards starting an orthopedic hospital, then you should ensure that you acquire the ABPS’s orthopedic surgery board certification. Completing the orthopedic surgery board certification exams indicate mastery of orthopedic surgery experience and knowledge, as well as a professional commitment to adhere to the ABPS Medical Code of Ethics.

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

Having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catch up with you.

These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own orthopedic hospital in the United States of America;

  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Health inspection Certificate
  • Copy of license for the service support facility and/or a recent inspection report
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Employee’s Handbook
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use (if you have a website)
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Building License
  • Franchise or Trademark License (optional)

13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

Starting a standard orthopedic hospital is capital intensive even if you choose to launch the business on a small scale and you only have a handful of employees on your payroll. Leasing of a standard facility that can accommodate your patients and staff members and of course the purchase of orthopedic medical equipment are part of what will consume a large chunk of your capital.

So if you choose to start the business on a small scale, you will still need to source for funds to finance the business. When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good orthopedic clinic business plan.

If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business. Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your orthopedic hospital;

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for loan from your bank
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from, government, donor organizations and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends

14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

Starting an orthopedic hospital comes with its own challenges; it is a business that cannot be started in any location. You will need approval from your local council and other regulating authorities in the city you intend opening your orthopedic hospital before you can proceed.

It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing / renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for your business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps country you intend starting your orthopedic hospital.

Most importantly, before choosing a location for your orthopedic hospital, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out. This is why it is very important to gather as much facts and figures before choosing a location to set up your own orthopedic hospital.

These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your orthopedic hospital;

  • The demography of the location
  • The purchasing power of the residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of orthopedic hospital and healthcare related services businesses that in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security

15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

When it comes to starting a standard orthopedic hospital, you will need orthopedic surgical equipment, orthopedic beds and matrasses, orthopedic saw, stethoscopes, Blood Pressure Cuffs, oxygen tanks, and first aid kits and other related medical equipment that will aid you in carrying out your job.

It is important to state that this equipment can be purchased as fairly used if you are operating on a low budget. In setting up a small office for your orthopedic hospital, you will also need computer, printer, home healthcare software, telephones, pager, photocopier, scanner, fax machine, gloves and uniform.

When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for your orthopedic hospital, the size of the facility you want to own, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. Besides, you will need a facility that is in a serene environment, and a facility that is big enough to accommodate the numbers of patients and staff member working for you.

As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. When it comes to starting a standard orthopedic hospital on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals;

Chief Operating Officer/Chief Medical Director (you can occupy this position if you are a medical doctor), Physiotherapist, Orthopedic Surgeons, Radiographers, Lab Technicians, Marketing and Sales Executive (Business Developer), Accountant, Nurse Aides, Medication Management Counselors, Human Resources and Admin Manager, Nurses, Customer Services Executive/Front Desk Officer, Security Guards and Cleaners.

You would need a minimum of 15 to 20 key staff members to effectively run a medium scale but standard orthopedic hospital. Please note that there are situations where you will need to call in consultants to handle some cases and you may not have the financial capacity to retain them under your payroll if you are just starting out.

The Service Delivery Process of the Business

When an orthopedic hospital has commenced operations, the administrative staff will be positioned to welcome patients and to sort out registration, payments and card issues.

Once this is done, the patient will be directed to see the doctor, and it is the peculiarity of the bone related accident or medical conditions that will determine the next step to be taken going forward. It could be directing the patient to go for X-Ray, it could be directing the patient to go to the lab for test and it could be prescribing drugs for the patient or admitting the patient et al.

16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies

When you are drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your orthopedic hospital, make sure that you create a compelling personal and company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to state what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to your line of business.

This will help boost your chances in the market place when marketing your services. Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your orthopedic hospital;

  • Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households, hospitals, religious organizations, corporate organizations, HMOs and everyone in and around the location where your orthopedic hospital is located
  • Open your orthopedic hospital with a party so as to capture the attention of residents who are your first targets
  • Engage in roadshows in targeted communities from time to time to market your orthopedic hospital
  • Advertise your orthopedic hospital in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Leverage on the internet to promote your orthopedic hospital
  • Engage in direct marketing and sales
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
  • Leverage on the internet to promote your orthopedic hospital (when you blog regularly on key issues as it relates to your business, people who consider you an expert in the field)
  • Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your orthopedic hospital; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.

17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products

One key factor that will help you offer your services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your services.

So also, if you are able to secure business partnership with hospitals that don’t have orthopedic departments, HMOs, and medical insurance companies as it relates to getting referrals, then you will be able to get the right pricing and of course maximize profits from your orthopedic hospital.

As regards clutches, neck protectors, medications, toiletries and other medical and administrative supplies that you need to effectively run your orthopedic hospital; you need to ensure that you purchase them directly from the manufacturers or from wholesale distributors in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from the manufacturers or wholesale distributors, the cheaper you tend to get them.

18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

The Specialty Hospitals industry is a competitive industry, and you must come up with unique and highly creative strategies to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry. Part of what you need to do in order to stay competitive in the industry is to continue to create easier and cheaper ways of taking care of your patients, and also make your facility highly secured and conducive.

The truth is that if there are fluctuations in the services you provide, customers can choose to shift allegiance and settle for other options available.

19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps to attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your products and services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service providers or products.

One of the strategies that you would need to employ in order to generate more customers is to ensure that your facility is always homely and secured and you always ensure that you pay attention to details when attending to patients. The truth is that if your services are not top notch, you are likely going to struggle to get customers.  

20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes year in and year out to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them.

If your intention of starting a orthopedic hospital is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by opening chains of orthopedic hospital facilities and franchising, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.

No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is a dynamic and requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your orthopedic hospital;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and health magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your orthopedic hospital
  • Install your Billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your orthopedic hospital
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Contact households, hospitals, religious organizations, corporate organizations, HMOs and everyone in and around the location where your facility is located informing them about your business and the services you offer
  • List your orthopedic hospital in local directories/yellow pages
  • Advertise your orthopedic hospital in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
  • Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your orthopedic hospital is located.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles, ambulances and vans are well branded with your company logo