There are several obstacles in starting a vein center. Initial cash layout is fairly substantial. At a minimum, an ultrasound machine, radiofrequency ablation generator, endovenous laser generator, skin laser for telangiactasias, supplies for phlebectomy, sclerotherapy, vein lights, and sterilization equipment must be purchased.
The second obstacle is obtaining the expertise. Much of this knowledge, if not obtained during a vascular surgery fellowship, will need to be obtained through some type of apprenticeship. National phlebology meetings will not give you the hands on experience necessary to be comfortable with these procedures. We offer training for physicians across the country and internationally at The Vein Academy in Orlando, Fl. The normal cost for this is $1200 per day. But, there is no charge for this educational opportunity for our partners.
The third obstacle is employing an expert ultrasonographer. Unfortunately, ultrasonagraphers with expertise in venous treatments are in very high demand. These skills are not taught as part of a typical ultrasound program and few choose to pursue their RVT certificate. Because there is a high demand and low supply, these employees can be extremely expensive.
The fourth obstacle is marketing. Projecting expertise when you are competing against board certified vascular surgeons as a PCP or other medical specialty can be difficult. Also, many of the typical marketing strategies for medical practices simply do not work for vein centers. However, there are many other strategies that are inexpensive and can be very successful.
I have owned and operated vein centers for the past eight years. During that time, I have made many mistakes. I have made unnecessary purchases. I have invested in marketing companies and strategies that do not work. My initial clinical results were nowhere near what they are today. Through these mistakes, I have developed a model that can rapidly build a patient base and deliver effective and efficient clinical results. I currently operate 5 vein centers in central Florida and have partnerships with existing medical groups in Winter Haven, Florida and Reno, Nevada.
How does the partnership model work? I staff your office with a medical assistant, ultrasonagrapher, and Nurse Practitioner usually one day per week at first and then more. I am responsible for all of the marketing. So, you don’t have to worry about bringing in new patients. I will supply your office with all of the equipment and supplies necessary to do the procedures. My staff will be seeing new patients and performing vein procedures in your office, during your office hours. You act as the medical director. Your involvement can be as much or as little as you desire. You do not have to change your existing schedule at all. All phone calls, scheduling, billing, and other administrative functions are performed at our central location. Your staff will never need to do any work for the vein business. For the first 8 weeks, we would be in your office one day per week and I would be present every day for this phase.
At a minimum, as a medical director, you would be expected to have a general understanding of vein procedures and venous pathology. This knowledge can be obtained during the time that I spend in your office or at The Vein Academy in Orlando. The ultrasonagrapher and nurse practitioner are experts and can perform the consultation and procedures without your direct involvement.
How are you reimbursed? We reimburse the medical director using an RVU model. We pay $50 per wRVU. On average, we bill 70-100 wRVU per day. So, at one day a week, you should make a minimum of $14,000 per month. This will be paid to you personally and you will receive a 1099 misc from us at the end of the year. A check will be mailed to you every Friday for that week’s work.
What’s in it for us? We feel that we have developed an excellent formula for opening an operating vein centers. We are poised to begin an aggressive growth phase. However, we believe that it is essential to have a physician present during operating hours. It is not legally necessary, but adds to the credibility of the practice. Therefore, we are looking to add physician partners.
There are four major obstacles to starting and running your own vein center: 1.Equipment and Supplies 2.Expertise 3.Ultrasonography 4.Marketing. We will overcome all four of these obstacles for you and you will enjoy a fun and lucrative addition to your existing medical practice.
Christopher Meyer MD FACS