Key OBL Considerations

Learn about a typical journey for establishing an OBL, including building a foundation, setting up the business, and planning core activities.



PHASE 1: Establishing a Strong Foundation

1. Select Appropriate Business Model
2. Identify Location of Choice  3. Identify and Engage with Key Professionals

Identify appropriate structure – sole owner, partnership, JV, etc.



Deepen knowledge on state specifications (for ASC, in particular)


Develop a network of key relationships – healthcare attorney, architect, finance/banking



Determine appropriate business model: OBL/ ASC/ Hybrid


Conduct feasibility study for specific zip code


Connect with societies – OEIS, ASCA, SVS, etc.



Determine which procedures will be performed in the lab


Identify possible sites and evaluate lease vs. own


Identify 2-5 peers for site visits, shared learnings, etc.


Create a 1-yr; 3-yr; and 5-yr business and marketing plan





PHASE 2: Setting Up the Business

4. Consider Sourcing of Key Equipment 5. Identify Staffing Needs 

After the build-out, capital equipment is the second highest cost


Can be a high operating cost



For the lab, will typically need: fluoroscopy unit, C-arm, imaging table, patient monitors, back-up power, defibrillators, carts, etc. Plan basic office furniture needs, TV/plasma screens for display, wall décor, chairs, etc.


Min. clinical requirements include 2 RNs, a Scrub Tech, an X-Ray Tech, and a few medical assistants



By purchasing some refurbished equipment, typical interventional lab can be equipped in $500K or less




Other administrative staff that often gets overlooked can play a valuable role in an OBL. Identify personnel who will perform the following tasks – scheduling, medical records, inventory management, coding and billing. Some of these functions may be outsourced.


Consider financing resources – leases, bank loans



Ensure diligent quality controls and processes to comply with governmental regulations



Consider Part-Time help for certain functions if Full-Time is cost prohibitive




PHASE 3: Planning Core Activities

6. Plan Out Core Procedures 7. Identify & Secure Systems 8. Identify & Secure Vendors

Identify core procedures and areas of specialty


Business policies and procedures must be developed and adhered to


Determine key vendors for medical devices and disposables (e.g. surgical gloves, etc.)


Align with market, demographic, referral channels, as well as local competition




Identify and secure technology systems for patient scheduling and follow-up; EMR/PACS, coding/billing, workflow management, and inventory management


Develop an internal decision criteria that works best for you, given your own individual preferences. Factors your peers deem important: quality of products, how easy to work with, pricing, competent sales reps, and existing relationship


Process of tracking clinical outcomes will help build credibility amongst local referral sources and societies




Obtain pricing from your key vendors and understand all the value you will be receiving for that price – case coverage, solutions, competency, quality of products


Become knowledgeable in local reimbursement rates  for each procedure from different payers




While vendors of medical devices are extremely easy to access, consider engaging them early as they can provide meaningful resources and solutions to overcome your early obstacles