Women’s Health Clinic
Creating a women’s health clinic as a midwife can have its challenges. Do you love serving women but can’t stand being up all night for a birth anymore? “With women” means any aspect of a woman’s life. It isn’t just for pregnancy and birth. So many women are having trouble finding a good women’s health care provider. Create a local clinic that fills those needs and makes office hours on your timeline of life. Do you want to work 10 hours a week? Or Monday through Friday, 9–5 p.m. with no calls, weekends, or holiday availability?
There are times in life when being unexpectedly available can be hard, like having a young family, limited babysitting options for a single mother, or nearing retirement and can’t handle bending for another birth. Whatever your reason, women deserve to have all aspects of their lives taken care of.
Create a Women’s Health Clinic that Fills Those Needs
Your midwife business could specialize in sexual health, pelvic floor therapy, urinary incontinence, primary care, well-woman exams, breast checks, STD screenings, or preconception counseling.
I needed a break from everyone knowing my cell number, needing to skip kids’ baseball games, and decreased anxiety from the unpredictability of home birth call coverage. Transitioning to a women’s health clinic made perfect sense. Insurance billing was much easier with simple office visit codes than with maternity codes.
Outsourcing with a larger, already established health clinic allowed me to use their administration staff and create a commission arrangement for room rental. I covered my own supplies and billing EMR system; they covered marketing and administration support staff. It was simple and created more of a life balance.
Possibilities are Endless as a Midwife Business
My whole goal for this website and blog postings is to inspire creativity and help each midwife fulfill her professional dreams wherever life takes her. What may work today might not make sense in ten years. Evolve with your passion, life needs, and skill set. Always continue to grow and create relationships with the healthcare community. Opportunities will open up to you that you didn’t even think were possible.
Creating a women’s health clinic as a midwife can have its challenges. Most people in my area aren’t familiar with a midwife, let alone the full scope of a midwife’s services. My marketing budget is much higher when advertising a women’s health clinic run by a midwife. Most people see midwives and assume the practice only offers care for pregnant women wanting a home birth. Participating in lots of expos, conferences, and local events to raise awareness of my business mission and professional scope takes time.
Insurance credentialing was challenging for some carriers since most midwives do birth coverage. Many needed a collaborating physician and recognition of hospital transport relationships, even though I wasn’t doing any of those services with my midwife practice. It took extensive appeals and meetings to get customized insurance credentialing requests to avoid those aspects that were not warranted.
Even getting physician collaboration was difficult when I was only doing gynecological services. There wasn’t a perceived need for collaboration agreements, like for obstetrical services. It took extensive education to discuss possible scenarios where transfers of care still needed to be planned in an office setting.
I spent more time networking with other specialties in medicine than OB when starting my women’s health clinic. The patients you serve will need referrals to physical therapy, oncology, pain clinics, gastroenterology, and diabetes counseling. What if you have a woman who had an abnormal pap smear and needed a colposcopy?
What if a mammogram came back with a suspicious breast lump? I spent more time networking with other specialties in medicine than OB when starting my women’s health clinic. The patients you serve will need referrals to physical therapy, oncology, pain clinics, gastroenterology, and diabetes counseling.
Fee Schedules and Budgets for a Women’s Health Clinic
I knew which insurance plans I was accepting and which specific services I was offering, and my overhead budget was a fraction of the costs of just doing office work. Malpractice insurance costs went down drastically (from $30,000 per year to $3,000). I collected co-payments and knew if insurance would cover this specific visit requested with a click of a button in the EMR system.
With maternity care, I had so many variables with billing insurance plans, and delayed payments decreased patient collections. With office visits, claims go out the same day as the visit and are processed within a couple of weeks. If the patient didn’t pay, I was out $100 versus thousands with birth charges.
When I am seeing women for preventative or simple problem visits, there isn’t so much emotional attachment to the visits. During pregnancy and birth, there is so much more pressure to affect women’s life experiences. She will always remember her birth experience, but not necessarily the annual exam with a pap smear in 2017. I was in a part of my professional career where I didn’t want to be a large part of a woman’s birth experience.
I like helping with weight loss, smoking cessation, breast checks, and vaginal infection treatment. Find out what aspect of midwifery makes you happy and create a business around it. If you want to consult on legal cases, you can do that as a midwife. If you want to hold a woman’s hand during labor and support her in bringing life into this world, do your dream.
Each midwife business has pros and cons. Create a well-written business plan outlining your short-term and long-term goals for the practice. It will help you make a successful business that you will want to continue to be part of!