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. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Keys to Starting your Private Practice

If you have ever dreamed of starting your own successful mental health practice, you are not alone. Many clinicians have taken the leap and started seeing private clients with varying degrees of success.  This begs the question:


How can I succeed in a new private practice?
Equality Connections in Cheyenne, Wyoming helps clinicians of many experience levels realize this dream and we have found some key areas that clinicians need to consider when they start a new practice.
Survive the cash flow challengeAccountants, lawyers and financial advisors, Oh My!Business licensesState rules and regulationsObtaining certification Choosing office spaceBusiness insurance Getting your name into the communityLetting people know you are taking new referralsScheduling clientsBilling considerationsOngoing advertising for small practicesState tax paymentsFederal tax paymentRetaining clients Over the next several blog entries, I will be giving you valuable information about the above categories as you star…

Surviving the cash flow challenge

As you begin setting up your private practice, it is important to remain realistic about the time it takes to become fully operational. Typically new practitioners will need  6 months to 2 years to establish their own practice. The difference in set up time will vary with how many referral sources you acquire and how much marketing is completed.  Here are three basic rules to help you get started.

Rule #1: Don't quit your day job
Start seeing private clients after hours from your current job. If there is a non-compete contract in place at your agency, try to negotiate different terms possibly by seeing clientele that varies in diagnosis from clients served in your current agency. You may need to consult an attorney if you cannot negotiate new terms to the non-compete agreement. Many states will only enforce trademark or proprietary information sharing and not actual work restrictions. Meeting with a few clients a week in the beginning will allow you to sample private practice and …

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)