So, you’ve just found the perfect spot to continue growing your practice. Congratulations! Moving your clinic location is an incredibly exciting opportunity. It’s also one that requires a lot of coordination and organization, which may make the process a bit more nerve-wracking than you initially anticipated. That’s especially true when it comes to ensuring that all those who regularly interact with your business—patients, vendors, and payers, to name a few—are privy to this change.
Fortunately, we’re here to help you navigate the logistics and get properly set up in your new digs. With that, let’s dive into the checklist we’ve built to keep you on track during your transition.
1. Notify all payers well in advance.
As soon as you know your new address, immediately inform your payers of your move-in date to prevent payment disruption. We recommend notifying them at least 12 weeks in advance. To help organize this process, create a list of all payers (Medicare, Medicaid, in-network commercial payers, etc.) and denote names, numbers, and emails for each point of contact. Add a column to notate who you’ve contacted and who has confirmed your change of address. Check out this handy-dandy checklist to use as a guide.
2. Identify and touch base with all stakeholders.
It can be easy to forget how many moving parts exist behind the scenes once your clinic is established. Uprooting it will bring each one back into focus—and quickly. Before you move, consider all of the stakeholders—including vendors, partners, and suppliers—you’ll need to notify. Similar to your payers, you’ll want to touch base with these parties at least 12 weeks prior to the move, if possible. Stakeholders might include:
- Legal teams: Your team may need to review new business agreements or licenses with independent contractors, provider contracts, building leases, and other move-related documents.
- IT teams: This group will be crucial to changing over your communications systems and networking services, thus helping you gauge and get ahead of workflow changes.
- Facility management: Working with the facilities teams at both your new and existing locations will be key to tying up any loose ends with your old location and ensuring your new space is patient-friendly and accessible upon move-in.
- Software partners: You’ll also need to update your clinic’s address with each of your clinic’s software partners (e.g., EMRs, payroll services, and billing services). Such updates often require written consent from the owner or decision-maker listed on your practice’s account.
- Medical equipment and supply reps: If you plan to continue doing business with your reps, be sure to let them know where they can find you in the future. On that note, if there are any reps or companies you’d rather not work with going forward, your move provides you with a prime opportunity to part ways.
- Providers: Every provider in your practice will need to update licensing and credentialing documentation as required.
- Patients: Your patients are perhaps the most important stakeholder to notify of this change, as it will undoubtedly impact their scheduling logistics.
Contact patients via multiple communication channels.
Patients are the lifeblood of any clinic—and when it comes to communicating change to them, you must ensure your messaging is clear, timely, and courteous. Anything less could cause them to seek care elsewhere. Cover your bases by using multiple methods to inform patients of your move. These may include:
- Placing a sign announcing the move on your door at least 30 days in advance.
- Adding a notice to your phone greeting.
- Announcing your move on your website and all of your social media accounts.
- Publishing a notice in the local newspaper (more than once) with the date of the move and your new address.
- Emailing past and existing patients (not only will this inform them of the move, but it also could reactivate past patients).
- Notifying patients of the new clinic location when scheduling or confirming appointments.
- Reminding those patients of the move when they’re checking out.
3. Find movers who have experience handling medical equipment.
Odds are, you’ll need help physically moving your practice, and this will require specialized expertise and equipment. The moving company you hire should meet state and federal guidelines for transporting medical equipment—meaning the technicians on your job are well-versed in disassembling, packing, and safely moving medical equipment. After the move, these technicians should know how to test and recommission the equipment to ensure everything is in working order.
Choosing the right moving company may take a bit of time, which is why we recommend starting this process a few months in advance. Interview reps from different companies to make sure their methods and services meet your clinic’s needs, and obtain references from other providers to get a sense of each company’s work history and reputation.
4. Prepare orders for printed materials.
Your address is on all sorts of items around your clinic—appointment cards, notepads, brochures, business cards, letterheads, even pens! Two to three months prior to your move, we recommend updating and re-ordering these materials so they’re ready to circulate the very first day your new office is open. While you’re at it, think about whether you need any additional signage for your new space (i.e., for your front door, exam rooms, restrooms, etc.).
5. Change your mailing address.
Submitting a permanent change of address request to USPS® is relatively easy and takes almost no time at all. The trick is to plan ahead, as it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to process a mail forwarding request.
Be sure to also update your address with subscription services and any rehab therapy associations your clinic belongs to. This includes telephone and Internet services, periodicals, magazines, and APTA memberships.
6. Update your Google My Business account.
In this day and age, many existing and potential patients will first look to the Internet to gather information about your clinic. And the easiest way to ensure your clinic’s business hours, contact information, and services are up to date is through Google My Business (GMB)—a free tool from Google that allows business owners to customize and manage their Google search presence.
If you haven’t set up a GMB profile for your clinic, check out this free resource. If you have, then make sure you update your clinic’s address once the move is underway. It’s as simple as 1-2-3!
Bonus Tips to Consider When Moving Your Clinic
The most pressing moving to-dos are covered above, but here are a few additional tips to think about as you prepare for your big day:
- Switch over phones on your clinic’s least busy day of the week.
- Allow time to test and recalibrate equipment and systems once the move is complete.
- Dispose of items that are broken or no longer in use.
- If your staff members help with the move, make it more enjoyable by providing lunch, coffee, or other small rewards for their hard work.
While moving your practice is a major undertaking, it doesn’t have to be a major stressor. In fact, the right move, done the right way, can actually help increase awareness for your clinic and boost patient volume in the long term. Before long, you’ll be looking to expand your practice to yet another location—and next time you have to move, you’ll be a total pro.