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The Business Of Healing: How To Set Up A Rehab Clinic

The Business Of Healing: How To Set Up A Rehab Clinic

Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

When most people think of starting a business, a rehab clinic isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, it ticks most entrepreneurs’ boxes. First, it’s super helpful. Communities and families need them more than practically anything else. Second, it’s interesting: there are always new challenges. And, finally, it’s lucrative. People are willing to pay top dollar for the best service if they think they can get it from you. 

This post discusses the various steps involved in setting up a rehab clinic. Here’s what you need to know: 

Step 1: Do Your Research

Before you start a rehab clinic, you need to know everything that there is to know about the industry. Think about things like: 

  • How many people suffer from the problem you want to solve? 
  • How old are your target patients? 
  • What special facilities might they need in addition to medical supervision? 
  • What are the existing services and gaps in your area?
  • What are the best practices and evidence-based interventions for your target population?
  • How much will it cost to run your clinic and how will you fund it?

Knowing the answers to these questions puts you in a much better position because you can determine whether your business plans are viable. You’ll need to do plenty of market research and prove to any investors you understand what you’re getting yourself into. 

Step 2: Find a Location

The next step is to find a location. Where you locate your rehab clinic is crucial for its success. You need to find a place that is accessible, convenient, safe, and suitable for your services. 

Local rules on where you can set up a practice differ substantially. Hence, you may need to comply with different zoning and licensing requirements.

In the U.S., you need to place your facility in a commercial zone and obtain a Certificate of Need (CON) from your state. You also need to consider the size, layout, design, and equipment of your facility to ensure that it meets the standards and regulations of the medical industry. It’s not like renting a warehouse for an ecommerce business. There’s a big difference!

Step 3: Get Licensed

Of course, as with any medical venture, you’ll need to get the right licenses to practice. You can do this through the local authorities. You also need to ensure that you and your staff have the necessary credentials, qualifications, and certifications to provide rehab services. You can’t and shouldn’t hire unskilled labor. Everyone involved in the operation should have the necessary skills to deal with the challenges you’re likely to face. 

Where you need to obtain licenses depends on your state. For instance, you may need to get them from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, and so on. 

Step 4: Formulate a Pro-Forma and Business Plan

The next step is to come up with a Pro-forma or financial plan to show how much revenue and expenses you expect to generate from your rehab clinic. With this, you can find your break-even point, profitability, cash flow, and return on investment.

Even though you’re setting up a clinic, you should treat it like a business plan. Include all your likely expenses, all the way down to the water bill and any Knightsbridge furniture you install. 

Once you have this information, you can create an operational plan to show to investors, lenders, and other stakeholders. The more detail you can provide, the more likely it is that they’ll get behind your project. 

Step 5: Get Accredited

Unlike licensing, accreditation is a voluntary process. You need it to demonstrate that your rehab clinic meets or exceeds the standards of quality and performance set by independent and trusted organizations in your field. (This is similar to how other medics and even tradespeople get accreditation). Accreditation can enhance your reputation automatically, and makes your brand more marketable to the people you want to serve. Accreditors can also provide guidance on regulation and meeting health and safety standards, which is critical in an institution helping people get away from substance abuse. 

Step 6: Find and Train Staff

The final stage is to find the right staff. Your people are the most valuable asset in your rehab clinic. Without them, patients don’t get better. 

Look for people who have the qualifications you need, plus extras that are necessary for the job, like compassion and a vision for a substance-free future. Train, support, and guide them to develop them into people who can drive your business forwards for years to come. 

The Business Of Healing: How To Set Up A Rehab Clinic

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