It’s amazing how many things I took for granted when I was in residency. It felt like most supplies just magically appeared when I needed them. As a solo practitioner without a manager, you’ll learn that you’re responsible for supplying everything in your practice.
One of the first things I ordered was my prescription pads. I ended up using http://www.filerx.com/. They had one of the cheapest prices, and unlike most companies, they didn’t require me to fax in my DEA certificate. Instead, they verified my DEA number independently. Since I won’t be prescribing controlled substances too much, I decided to get a 1-part prescription pad with no carbon copy. I got 1,000 prescriptions for $44 shipped.
For my regular prescription pad, I used the company’s fill-in-the-blank generic template. For my spectacle prescription pad, I had to send in my own template, which I had hijacked from my residency clinic. I’m sure you can also find some templates online as well.
Most states require prescription pads to have a certain format with specific security features. Make sure that the company you use knows how to make prescription pads according to your state’s regulations. Most do.
The regular prescription pad took about a week for delivery, and the custom eyeglass prescription pad took about 3 weeks because it took a couple tries for the designer to spell “ophthalmology” correctly. You’ll run into this problem often if you decide to use it in your practice name by the way.
You can design and print your own business cards online. I had mine printed through http://www.uprinting.com/. It cost me $30 for 1,000 business cards. You can also use http://www.vistaprint.com/ or http://www.fedex.com/. Each company has their own online design program. I kept mine pretty simple. I just put my logo on the top left corner and my information on the middle right section of the business card. I had mine printed on matted paper, which looks ok.
Letterheads & Envelopes
You can use these same companies to create your letterheads and envelopes. I just used the templates on Word to create mine. A family friend, who owns a printing company, will be printing everything else for me for free. =)
Howie’s note: I used a local business to print my receipts (for cash, checks and credit cards which I reconcile at the end of every day to make sure there’s no funny business), recall postcards, and eyeglasses prescription pads.
I rarely use letterhead. You can scan your company logo into word to create documents with your letterhead on top so you won’t have to purchase letterhead.
Same for envelopes. I just bought a ink stamp from Vistaprint and we stamp the upper left hand corner of envelopes. Last year we switched to a cleaner option, to use our office printer to print the address in the upper left hand corner of the envelopes. This is done while I’m at the surgery center. The envelopes I ordered I never used.
I also ordered referral pads for referring docs, but have minimal use for them because most referrals in my area are faxed to me. Your specialty or area might differ. I think I spent a few hundred bucks on these forms but only got two or three back.
I have no financial relationship with them, but can recommend them as they specialize in medical offices especially optometrists and ophthalmologists:
You will also want to order CMS1500 forms to send out paper claims for insurers that won’t accept electronic claims (oftentimes secondary insurances need to be submitted with CMS1500 form paper claims, with the EOB from the primary insurance attached. You can buy them off Amazon.