Skip to main content

Billing Considerations

Cash flow can easily be the bane of private practice. Your accounts receivables can be thousands of dollars while you are struggling to pay rent because the cash has not came in yet. This is especially true with private insurance companies that can take several months to pay. Be sure that you understand billing criteria, forms and timelines clearly if you are doing your own billing. Various software programs can integrate your notes, treatment plans and billing. You can also employ a business platform service or private mental health billing company. Whichever you choose, cash will need to be flowing as freely as possible into the coffers. Here are some tips as you set out to collect money for services

  • Carefully read the contracts offered by the insurance companies and EAPs before signing up. 
  • Counter with an offer addressing any concerns. You may be able to negotiate higher reimbursement rate. 
  • Understand the specific pros and cons about signing up as in network vs out of network. Some companies pay high rates or in a faster manner for one vs the other. 
  • Collect co-pays for clients immediately. 
  • Accept you will have to talk to your clients about money. Your services are not free. 
  • If you balance bill clients each month, call to follow up on the bill or hire someone to do so. 
  • If a client wants to pay on their bill, let them do so immediately.
  • Research to see if one provider is a staple of your area. In Wyoming, Medicaid will electronically pay eligible providers every week for valid services. This helps cash flow. 
  • Build a positive relationship with the representatives from the insurance companies, your billing company or your software's customer support line. Questions arise often. 
  • Put away money into business savings for low cash flow times. 
  • You may be able to charge your client at the time of session and allow them to collect reimbursement from their insurance. I find that this payment arrangement leads to clients stopping therapy early due to out of pocket expense. 


Popular posts from this blog

Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)

Continuing education credits are required to maintain your mental health license (LCSW, LPC, and LMFT). Consider using your mandated CEUs to specialize in the populations you want to serve. This approach will speed you along your path of specialization and allows you to complete your renewal requirements. In Wyoming, clinicians currently need 45 continuing education hours for every two years this typically renews on their birthday. There are many ways to earn the credits you need without breaking the bank.

Local trainings offered by companies such as PESIOnline training many offer unlimited CEUs for a fixed priceWebinarsNational conferences Travel to trainings offered in other cities (tax deduction for private practices)

Networking with Other Professionals

Networking with professionals in your community helps you to stay connected to potential referral sources as well as become an active member of the professional community. Getting out and talking to others as you become the face of your business will assist in confidence building for referral sources. Remember when networking to be social, friendly and approachable as you are constantly representing your company. There are several ways to begin networking with others immediately while others take time to develop. Allow community partners to begin associating the name of your business with trust, positivity and advocacy.  Various opportunities to network include
Volunteering for Causes- Special Olympics, Homeless ShelterJoining Kiwanis, Rotary or the Red Carpet Committee via the Chamber of CommerceSponsor a youth T-ball team or bowling teamAttend lunch workshops offered by other community membersHost an Open House at your business and invite other professionals in the areaOffer lunch m…

Customer Service

Customer service is an important aspect of all businesses. In private practice, you will experience customer satisfaction and complaints. Customer complaints are best handled promptly and efficiently. Take immediate corrective action with disgruntled clients to prevent an escalation. Address the compliant head on and tell the customer how you are going to solve the problem, correct the issue or make a refund, etc and then follow up with the customer that correction action has been taken. Be sure to accept responsibility when appropriate and be mindful that you are moving toward solving the problem.