Case Study: Evaluating the Viability of an Independent Lifestyle Medicine Practice for a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner

This case study delves into the comprehensive business model evaluation conducted for a certified family nurse practitioner, who was evaluating the viability of establishing an independent practice with a concentration in Lifestyle Medicine. The evaluation encompassed a market analysis, financial projections, risk assessment, and professional alignment.

Business Opportunity

Market Analysis: The analysis began with an overview of Lifestyle Medicine providers within a 100-mile radius of the target area. A notable finding is the limited presence of Nurse Practitioners in independent practices because of the practice scope requirements in the state. However, this did create a potential niche for the provider. Additionally, the market concentration in the metropolitan area suggested an opportunity for expansion into the local market.

Patient/Customer Needs: The report identified a growing trend among individuals seeking non-prescription and alternative therapies for health improvement. Further research was recommended to gauge the potential patient base in the target area.

Financial Projections

Revenue Model: The report outlined potential revenue models, emphasizing the flexibility of a Direct Pay model for an independently run Nurse Practitioner practice. The advantages include pricing flexibility and elimination of costs associated with insurance billing.

Cost Structure: A detailed breakdown of monthly costs, including rent, insurance, staffing, and technology was provided. The cost analysis considered variations based on the practice type (Treating vs. Coaching) and whether the practice is office-based or telehealth.

Risk Assessment

Market Risks: Primary market risks involve aligning the target population’s payment source with the practice’s revenue model and differentiating services from competitors in the alternative medical space.

Operational Risks: Independently run practices, especially those following the Treating model, with the provider practicing to the full scope of their licensure, pose increased operational and business owner risks. Consideration of a collaborating physician, again because of the limited scope of practice for nurse practitioners was highlighted.

Financial Risks: The financial risk lies in managing increased expenses for an office-based independently run practice, particularly in the Treating model.

Professional Alignment

The report recognized that practice success was predicated on more than just the business aspects but as importantly, the personal satisfaction sought by the provider. It was determined the client’s vision aligns with the Lifestyle Medicine certification, and the report acknowledged that the “Treating” practice model offers the highest level of professional satisfaction.


Key recommendations included determining the practice type (Treating vs. Coaching), conducting deeper market research, competitive analysis, and considering a phased approach by transitioning the current practice towards Lifestyle Medicine.


The evaluation primarily focuses on the viability of an independently run practice, emphasizing further assessment due to the identified business opportunity. The report concluded with an invitation for further discussion and exploration of this exciting step for the provider’s practice.