Wound and foot care clinics make for a great niche side practice for the nurse practitioner. Why? Because it has a low barrier to entry, it’s in demand, is cheap to start, and the revenue potential is SOLID. Many nurse practitioners don’t think of a wound and foot care clinic when they think of a niche service, but a wound and foot care clinic meets the definition of a niche service: it provides a SPECIFIC service to a SPECIFIC population of patients.
Did you know 6.5 million Americans suffer from chronic wounds? It is estimated that almost 2% of the United States population has a chronic wound. What does this mean? A very large patient population for a wound and foot care clinic. Additional, Medicare estimates that the treatment of acute and chronic wounds is $50 BILLION a year and is projected to grow as the rise of chronic disease and an increasing elderly population will increase the need. To sum it up: demand is high (especially in rural areas) and the competition is low!
One overlooked aspect of wound and foot care is the low barrier to entry. It really does not take much to get a part-time wound and foot care clinic up and running. The largest barrier is insurance credentialing if you go that route as that can take months, but otherwise it is extremely easy to start. You don’t even need an office! This can be done 100% mobile by visiting the patient’s homes or even partnering with assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and home health/hospice agencies!
Heath Tunnel, FNP who partnered with me on the recently released Wound and Foot Care Clinic Course predominately operates his practice via the mobile route and makes approximately $120,000 a year working only 2 days a week. That is a SOLID part-time practice, and his overhead is minimal because he goes to other facilities! He estimates his expenses are $10,000 a year, therefore the margins are fantastic.
Learning the principles of wound and foot care are simple as well. Wound care is not a complex service and can be learned quickly. Once you understand the principles and foundations of wound care, then integrating it into your clinical practice is straightforward. When I did home health as an RN, we received just a few days of wound care training and were put “into the wild” in terms of treating wounds at the patient’s home. It is that simple (for the most part; there will always be complicated wounds).
The work is extremely gratifying also. Wounds affect the entire person and when they are treated effectively, you are making a significant impact in your patients’ life. You also see firsthand the wound healing. Seeing a horrible wound heal over a period of 1-3 months is very satisfying for any nurse practitioner.
In terms of the business components of this type of practice, it is easy to start a wound and foot care clinic. If you go mobile, then it is even easier as all you need is a reliable vehicle and a bag of supplies! Heath estimates that you can get a wound and foot care clinic up and running for less than $5,000 if you are doing this via the mobile route. If you are opening a brick-and-mortar practice, then it would be closer to $7,500-$10,000. Still cheap in the grand scheme of business and meets the criteria in The Elite Nurse Practitioner Model of being a low overhead practice! Low overhead = more profits (and less stress!). If you are integrating this into an established practice, then it would only cost you $1,000-$2,000 in supplies to do so.
Now, this is predominately going to be an insurance accepting practice. Could it be done cash? Absolutely! There will always be a market for cash-based concierge services, especially with wound and foot care. There are plenty of patients with a disposable income that would pay for individualized and convenient care. But for the most part, you will be seeing Medicare patients as this patient population tends to be older. With that said, it would be advisable to begin insurance credentialing IMMEDIATELY as it can take 3-6 months and is the biggest hurdle to overcome during the startup phase. Once it is done though, it is done!
Heath sees mostly insurance-based patients, but he states with wound and foot care, the reimbursement is fantastic as you are performing procedures (which reimburse more!). Utilizing the appropriate codes (discussed in the course), the astute nurse practitioner entrepreneur should be able to generate $1,500-$3,000 in billings a day seeing just 12 patients. Heath estimates that if you were to do this just 250 days a year (3-4 days a week), then you could generate $250,000-$450,000 a year in revenue. Not bad for only working 3-4 days a week!
Investing just $5,000-$10,000 and seeing a return of $250,000 is a very IMPRESSIVE return on investment. You will not see that sort of return outside of starting a niche practice. That is why opening a niche practice is such a good idea for any nurse practitioner! It truly is the path to wealth and freedom.
Overall, wound and foot care is a solid niche service line to integrate into your established practice or make as a stand-alone business that could be done part or full time. Not only are you making a handsome income, but you are making an impactful difference in many patients lives and providing an ESSENTIAL service to your community.
If you are looking into starting a side-hustle or integrating a new service into your practice, then seriously consider wound and foot care!
Reminder: The Wound and Foot Care Clinic Course has been released! Be sure to take advantage of the introductory sale before it ends!