The 5 questions we hear daily on how to start a mobile ultrasound business.
We get calls and emails every single day from ultrasound techs across the country who are sick of taking call, working crazy hours, and feeling underappreciated and are looking to branch out on their own. If you're in the same boat, keep reading - you likely have these same questions!
One of my very favorite things to do is chat with techs and hear about their hopes and dreams for their own business. It wasn't that long ago that I was feeling that same itch to do something big, and it is never lost on me how exciting and scary that feeling is!
I love these calls because it gives me a chance to learn more about where that person is in the process, and of course be able to answer the questions that have been swirling around in their mind about starting their own mobile ultrasound business. Usually it's a sigh of relief on the other end of the phone because by the time a tech has gotten on the phone with me, they've been researching and googling and trying their hardest to figure out what in the world they need to do to get an idea of how to start this business, and they've become frustrated with how confusing it can be! There is so much information out there, and part of the problem is - you don't know what you don't know. So let's dive in a little and go over the 5 main questions we get asked on the daily about starting a mobile ultrasound business, and hopefully this will shed some light for you! And, as always, if you need more insight schedule your own Discovery Call with me so we can chat about your dream business. You can do that HERE.
“Part of the problem researching is - you don't know what you don't know.”
Question 1: "How do I set the business up? Do I have to get credentialed with insurance?"
Such a great question. We've gone over some details HERE on the blog about billing insurance, so check that out for more detail but the gist of the matter is the best way to initially set up the business is to provide your services on a service-fee basis. In this scenario, the physician office is billing insurance directly and they pay the mobile provider a service fee out of their reimbursements. It's a revenue generator for the office and the patient also saves a ton of money as opposed to going to the hospital.
Getting credentialed with insurance is always something you can look at once you're up and running, but setting it up this way makes the most business sense in the majority of cases.
Question 2: "How do I find radiologists and cardiologists to read my studies?"
There are many telemedicine groups out there happy to provide these services, and there are a few things you'll want to determine. You'll definitely want to look at upfront costs or monthly minimums. Most vendors in the medical industry look at read volume when looking at pricing. Another thing to think about here is how they'll bill. Anti-markup rules with Medicare are a major player when it comes to interpretations so you'll need to make sure your radiology group can carve out the Medicare fee or explain in detail to your physician client how to bill appropriately if they don't do that because the consequences for breaking the laws here are substantial.
Question 3: "What's my first step, should I buy my system right away?"
This is the best part about setting things up as a service-fee model is that you can wait to lease or purchase your equipment until you're ready to start that first account! That way, you can use the revenue you are generating from your new client to pay the ultrasound system payment. Since this is your major ongoing business expense, it's the best way to keep those costs down initially.
Question 4: "How much does it cost to start up a mobile ultrasound business?"
This is a crucial question! You have to know how much you'll need to have on hand, and a good idea of how much revenue you can generate when starting to look at the option of starting your own business, in any industry.
The average small business startup costs are about $30,000, and with attorneys fees, training, documentation creation, and the million other things you'll need that amount is pretty close to accurate for this business. Shout out to our Ultrasound Business Academy students, because our Academy bundles a ton of these costs together for a small fraction of this amount.
Question 5: "How much revenue can I generate?"
We did an entire blog post on revenue generation HERE if you'd like to read more! Setting your business up on a service-fee basis, you're looking at an industry average of about $125/hour. We suggest setting your schedules at your physician offices in half day or full day blocks. So, doing some easy math here a half day (4hr) time block is going to generate $500 in gross revenue back to your business, while a full day (8hr) time block is going to generate $1000 in gross revenue back to your company. At an average of 20 working days a month, you're looking at a potential gross revenue stream of $20,000 per month back to your company. Not too shabby! :)
Have more questions? Check out our website to review what we provide our students in our Ultrasound Business Academy, or grab a Discovery Call with me HERE so we can chat!