Business Lines of Credit and Loans for Doctors
Find family practice management tips for doctors on how to financially prepare for seasonal business expenses
Working to control practice expenses is a top priority for many family physicians. From lowering overhead to replenishing inventory and supplies only when needed, you may find yourself in need of extra cash to carry your medical practice through peak times of the year. A business line of credit from Citizens Bank can help you cover seasonal expenses, like ordering supplies, and prepare for those busy flu and allergy seasons, annual back-to-school vaccinations, sports physicals and more. Discover helpful tips for doctors on how to manage seasonal expenses, and open a business line of credit or loan for doctors to obtain the financing you need.
Plan ahead for flu season
Although influenza, or flu epidemics, happen every year, they tend to be unpredictable, as the timing, length of season, strain and severity can change from year to year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), flu season typically peaks in the U.S. during January and February; however, it can begin as early as October and continue through May. Because current national guidelines state that all people ages six months and older should be vaccinated to protect against the spread of influenza, you will likely experience an increase of patient visits during this time. Whether it's for preventative measures, such as the flu vaccination, or for the treatment of existing symptoms, you'll want to prepare your practice ahead of time for busy season. Consider opening a business line of credit from Citizens Bank to obtain the flexibility your medical practice demands. From syringes and disinfectant solutions to face masks and vaccinations, a line of credit can give you the ability to purchase supplies based on the specific needs of your family practice.
Manage inventory and supplies during other busy times of the year
In addition to flu season, there are other periods when you may see a spike in patient visits:
- Back-to-school season - You may see an influx in appointments as students prepare to head back to school. From health and sports physicals to standard school shots and tuberculosis tests, you will likely need to purchase an increased amount of supplies to prepare for this time of year.
- Winter months in cold climates While many people experience a minor case of winter blues during the colder months, you may have visits with patients who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD can be treated with exposure to light, specifically florescent lights, and with medication in more severe cases. Consider using a Business Flex Loan to purchase special lighting for your office to help treat your patients during the winter season.
- Allergy season - Depending on where you live and what your patients are allergic to, your office may get busier as your clients suffer from sniffles and sneezes caused by tree pollen, hay fever, rag weed and more. It may be a good idea to encourage your patients to make a visit to your office to take allergy tests and determine treatment.
- Infection control The CDC recommends that all healthcare providers take infection control measures to mitigate the spread of airborne illnesses. Examples of infection control include encouraging proper respiratory care, sanitizing your healthcare setting before and after each visit, and requiring the use of facemasks when patients are experiencing full blown symptoms.
To prepare your practice for busy seasons, order extra supplies a couple months in advance and replenish them regularly to prepare for new patients. If you're planning to purchase inventory and supplies in bulk, a business line of credit may suit your needs. Additionally, factor possible increases in, or changes to, how you process your lab work to see if you need to reassess your expenses for the year. You may be able to save funds by managing lab work internally, but if you do not have this capability, make sure you budget for the additional costs of outsourcing tests to a separate facility.
Hire additional staff as needed
Just as having sufficient inventory and supplies is important for your practice to make it through busy season, it's also important for your office to be adequately staffed. As busy season approaches, you may be planning to review the number of patients you saw the previous year and compare that number to the number of people you have on staff. Management, lab technicians or additional nurses may be needed to assist with prepping patients, supervising office operations, medical coding and patient invoicing. If you are considering hiring additional staff as needed for your family practice, a business line of credit can help you finance the additional payroll needs in the weeks before the additional revenues the new hires generate are collected. A business line of credit can also be used if you are unable to bring on additional staff for the full year, and need to hire temporary or seasonal employees.
Apply for a business line of credit from Citizens Bank to manage practice expenses
There are a number of variables that play into using funds from a business loan or line of credit to finance the cost of medical supplies or staffing needs in the busy season. As you consider various borrowing solutions, review your current financial situation and determine the impact any additional debt would have on your business. Then, contact a Citizens Bank Business Banker to apply. Whether you're interested in business banking services, like our Professionals First program, to assist with your family practice management, or need help determining which borrowing solution is right for your practice, we're here to help.