Moving a medical practice requires special considerations in addition to the many tasks involved with any office move. If you are planning to move your medical clinic, create a checklist specific to your practice now and begin marking off each task as it is completed. Even if you do not plan to move for another year or so, creating a checklist should be the first thing you do once you decide to relocate.
You can find a general practice move checklist online. Use it as a starting point for creating your own. The following tips will help.
Find the Right Medical Office Space
First on your list will be finding the new office space. Do you plan to lease or own? After deciding that, contact a commercial real estate agent/broker who specializes in medical office space. You want someone who understands the unique requirements of a medical practice for meeting patient safety and regulatory compliance. That can range from design improvements for safe operation of radiation-producing medical equipment to ADA compliance to limited landlord access (for leased office space) and more.
Once you’ve selected your office space and date for moving, you are ready to begin the process.
Partner with Professionals Experienced in Moving a Medical Practice
Next on your list will be finding the right professional movers. Moving a medical practice requires specialized expertise and equipment. The movers you hire should know and be able to meet state and federal guidelines for moving a medical facility and transporting medical equipment. They should have technicians with expertise in disassembling sensitive equipment as needed, packing it and safely moving without damage. After the move, the technicians should be able to test and re-commission equipment, making it ready for use in the new location.
In addition to expertise in relocating medical and lab equipment, your movers should be experts at moving exam tables, office furniture, filing systems, workstations, and IT equipment. The movers should also understand your need to minimize downtime to avoid loss of billable patient hours and be willing to work with you in completing the project on schedule.
Prepare Your Orders for Printable Materials
Make a list of printable materials such as appointment cards, prescription pads and letterheads you need to order with your new address. Add to the list any signage needs, including for the front office door and exam rooms. Place the orders at least two-three months in advance, if possible.
Prepare Notifications of Relocation
You will need to make numerous notifications about your change of address. Make a list of all payers (Medicare, Medicaid, In Network Providers, etc.) and notify each well in advance to prevent any loss of timely payments.
Add to your notification list providers of services such as your answering service, payroll service, billing service, medical waste disposal, and maintenance. Every physician will need a change of address submitted to licensing authorities; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency requires written notification before the move. Hospitals, laboratories and professional organizations will also need notification as well as vendors providing office and medical equipment and supplies, your attorney, banking, insurance rep, periodicals and the post office.
Use Multiple Methods for Patient Notification
You must properly notify patients and former patients about the move, and it is best to do so using multiple methods. Place a sign on your door and in the office announcing the move at least 30 days in advance. Add a notice to your phone greeting. Publish a notice about the move in local newspapers once a week for four consecutive weeks with the date of move and new address. Notify patients by email or mail, and tell each patient about the move as they check in/out. Notify each patient scheduled for a visit after the move by phone. Announce the move on your website and any social media accounts. You can also print and distribute flyers with a map to the new location.
Additional Resources for Moving a Medical Practice
The following resources may also help with planning your move:
20 Tips for Smoother Office Moves
Tips for Moving Office Furniture
Business Relocation Letters: How to Effectively Plan, Write, and Deliver Them
Moving an Office – Disposing of Old Office Furniture and Computers, Part 1: Furniture
Moving an Office – Disposing of Old Office Furniture and Computers, Part 2: Computers
Thorough, advanced planning makes moving your medical practice much easier and helps ensure the move is a success.