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How to Start a Dialysis Clinic

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Open a local dialysis clinic that makes a difference for kidney failure patients in your community. Smart business planning and a timeline that allows for government procedures, construction and hiring could have you making a difference in your community in a year or two.

Feasibility Study

Feasibility studies measure how likely it is for a dialysis center to thrive in a given location. It is vital for you, your business partners and your community to understand your odds of success before you begin work on opening your doors. Hire an outside consultant to compile data on other area dialysis centers, estimate demand for services in your area, the cost of startup, operating budget and how many months of expenses you need on hand before beginning to provide patient services. Competent consultants consider every possible variable and compile the data into an extensive report that they present to you and your business committee.

Certificate of Need

Plan to spend several months obtaining your Certificate of Need from the state in which the dialysis center would operate. Information from your feasibility study must be included in your application for a Certificate of Need. You are required to prove that demand for dialysis services exists for patients in your area before you are approved. State departments of health limit the number of competing clinics in any given area to help keep patient costs down. The pre-application process usually involves filing a letter of intent that includes information from your feasibility study, followed by publishing a public notice in the newspaper, a waiting time of a few months and finally a conference with health department staff. Once pre-application steps are completed, file your official application and fee, then wait a month or two for the state committee to review your information. Your state will give the public time to request a hearing about your dialysis center before you are allowed to officially present your findings to your state's review committee. If your request to open a dialysis center is denied, you may file an appeal through the courts to have that decision reviewed and possibly changed.

Prepare to Open

With your Certificate of Need in hand, you are ready to complete concrete steps toward opening your dialysis clinic. Secure proper building and utilities permits, oversee construction and have your building and health department inspections completed. Hire a nephrologist as the medical director who oversees treatment, as well as a staff of nephrology nurses, nursing assistants, a cleaning crew, receptionists, patient billing personnel and accountants or business managers to manage the financial side of your clinic. Your feasibility study will guide you in how many employees to hire and what your budget is for paying them.

Gain a Competitive Edge

Create a competitive edge for your dialysis clinic before you open the doors. Train staff thoroughly and encourage a team atmosphere. Establish clear employee guidelines as well as expectations for performance and patient care. Decide on an office culture that gives your dialysis center an edge over the competition. Extra personal attention, unique comfort measures for patients, convenient billing options or an ambiance of relaxation could be exactly what your patients and their families need.


Anne Kinsey is an entrepreneur and business pioneer, who has ranked in the top 1% of the direct sales industry, growing a large team and earning the title of Senior Team Manager during her time with Jamberry. She is the nonprofit founder and executive director of Love Powered Life, as well as a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach and freelance writer who has written for publications like Working Mother, the San Francisco Chronicle, Bizfluent, the Houston Chronicle and Our Everyday Life. Anne works from her home office in rural North Carolina, where she resides with her husband and three children.

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