I’ve been hearing a lot of concern from my clients, customers, and therapy colleagues about the “dreaded state of the economy.” You may be especially concerned if your clients are private-pay.
Don’t you just love this phrase: “In this economy…” [insert three dramatic bass drum beats with a rumble crescendo at the end] It’s scary. It hits that major pain point. It’s daunting. Granted the economy is a valid concern, and I do not take it lightly.
But we do know this: In every “bad economy” there are people who thrive in each industry. People who make their craziest dreams come true. People who find some way to adapt to the times and achieve insane success. Some people even start private practices in bad economies and make it through without a scratch.
The question is: What makes the difference between the practices that lose clients and the practices that gain clients?
The Better Business Bureau, Yelp, your national therapy association’s Code of Ethics, and I would all agree that treating clients with the highest level of dignity and respect makes the difference. I’ve got some tricks to add the icing to the cake for your clients. You already know that your therapy service and reporting are of the highest caliber. But let’s talk about communication with parents, family members, and caregivers.
I love the internet for client communications exchange, and I’ve found several ways to improve my customer service using the net. The best part? Most of these items are FREE. Here are 6 easy things you can do to make your clients as happy as clams:
1. Use web-based intake forms and payment options. People aren’t always carrying around the ol’ checkbook these days. And this may sound strange, but pen and paper are going out of style fast. Web-based payment and forms are turning into more of a convenience than ever before. I pay my bills online. Why not add the therapy bills to the monthly list?
2. Offer telepractice services. Consider gas and travel time. Telepractice saves time and money. I’ve only flirted with this idea, but I’ve come close. I had a client who lived 1.5 hours away. Instead of meeting in the middle, Skyping our sessions would have been a great solution! With my client, things changed and the family moved away. But I know of successful speech therapists who telepractice now and love it. Download Skype and give it a try.
3. Send out annual feedback forms to parents, families and caregivers. This shows that you not only care about the person you serve, you also care about everyone around them. These questions are the best to use in order to get useful feedback:What hesitations did you have before hiring (company)?What short-term changes do you see in your loved one right after therapy? What long-term changes do you see in your loved one? What is the most effective therapy strategy that you’ve seen work? Would you recommend our therapy practice to others? Please explain in as many words as possible how we can improve our work with your loved one.
4. Make sure your website is user-friendly. Update your listed events. Test your payment buttons to make sure they work. Determine how your can reduce loading time. Make sure your contact information is obvious and apparent. Remember that the fewer links there are to click, the less confusion will arise. Nothing frustrates a client more than a busy, confusing website.
5. Write blog posts with your clients in mind. This is a stellar way to serve your clients. AND it brings traffic to your site and improves SEO. Ask your clients what they would like to know. Just start by blogging once per month as a service to your clients. Write it, publish it, and send it out in an email. They will love it. Your post titles might be “7 Great Tips for Parents of Kids with Speech Disfluency” or “How To Plan For A Respite” or “How To Transfer Speech Work Into Daily Routines.” These may be topics your parents, families, and caregivers would LOVE to know more about. Ask them.
6. Offer protected video content viewing options. It kills me that my clients’ parents, families, and caregivers don’t always have the privilege to see what I see in the session. So, this is still a dream to me. I haven’t done it yet. But imagine recording your session, uploading it to a private web-based video publisher, embedding the video into your client’s customized password-protected area of your website, and then notifying your client that the session is available for viewing. Or how about private live-streaming? What a treat this would be for your client’s parents and families!
Customer service is more than a smile and a thank you. Customer service is deeply inspiring, empowering, and moving your clients and their loved ones to evolve. I’d love to hear what makes your practice different from others.
Leave A Comment Below:
What special things do you do for your clients?
Kat Fulton, MM, MT-BC
Kat Fulton, MM, MT-BC is a board-certified music therapist and regular blogger. She teaches therapists how to use the web to convey their awesomeness in a course called Online Zennn. You can also read her music therapy blog.
Websites aren't for nerds or big businesses anymore!
More and more "regular" professionals and small business owners are focusing on building a web presence to keep a professional leg up on the competition.
Before you say, "I don't have the time or technical skills" to create a website, let me assure you that there are several companies that offer easy to use drag and drop templates to create a professional-looking site in minutes. And for less than $75 a year.
So, no more excuses.
Alright, so now you know that it's quick, easy and cheap to build a website the big question is:
Do you really need one? Yes.
And here's why:
1. To Control The Information Available About You Online
When was the last time you "Googled" yourself?
Take a few minutes to see what others see when they search for you. You are probably listed on several "people search" sites that you never registered for (such as Healthgrades.com or MyLife.com) or sites that you did register for but don't necessarily want everyone to see (like your wedding site from TheKnot.com).
It's time to take matters into your own hands and decide exactly what information searchers will come across first when people look for you. You can add a:
It's your website; you're in control of the information.
- professional photo
- preferred contact information
- any additional you want.
2. To Market Your Own Private Practice
Do you already have a private practice or are you considering starting a private practice?
Whether you have a free-standing brick and mortar practice or treat your own private clients "on the side" building a web presence should be an important part of your marketing plan.
With the yellow pages quickly becoming extinct, people are searching for therapy services online. Make sure you have a website so that your future clients can easily find and set up an appointment with you!
3. Share Information With The Community
Use a website to share information on:
- therapy techniques
- recommended strategies
- suggested treatment tools
Use it as a fantastic way to give back to the community. Parents, family members and professionals are constantly looking on the Internet to find ways to improve lives.
If you're not interested in having a website that showcases YOU consider starting with a blog as a vehicle to share your insight and expertise.
4. Showcase Your Resume
More and more people are securing a domain name using their own name and using it to post their resume. While yes, it is important to have paper versions to hand out in interviews, in this digital age, having a resume that is easy to direct people to is very impressive.
Remember to add a professional headshot or images - even videos- of yourself in a professional setting. Most online resumes are just like the paper versions (i.e. dull.) Adding images can help viewers envision you, which builds rapport right away.
5. Portray a Professional Image
I used to think of having a business card as a major identifier that someone was in fact "in business." Nowadays, having your own website gives you not only a leg up on the competition but it is still quite impressive to the general population.
Having your own website tells potential clients, referral sources or employers that you're serious about what your doing and proud of your accomplishments.
And how cool it is to say, "Check out my website…"
Available Now for $49.95
If you need help creating or improving your website or blog (or want to find out what services I use and recommend) check out:
The Independent Clinician Guide to Creating a Web Presence is available here.
You may not be aware of this but each month there are several SLP's, OT's and PT's who are earning some extra cash - by sharing The Independent Clinician message with their friends, connections and followers.This is done through my affiliate program.
Firstly, what IS an affiliate program?
An affiliate program is a fantastic way for you to take part in spreading the Independent Clinician message with me. If you liked the book/s (The Guide to Private Patients and The Guide to Creating a Web Presence), share your thoughts on it/them with your friends, colleagues, followers, readers, and I’ll help you make some money for your efforts.
Can anyone be an affiliate?
You share your unique affiliate link through your website, as well as a newsletter, in an e-mail, Facebook updates, Tweets, put it in your email auto-signature, and many other creative ideas.
What do you get?
For my affiliate program, 25% commission on every sale that goes through your site. This means you make $12.48 on the eBook versions of both books and $16.24 on the coil bound version of the Guide to Private Patients.
The Guide to Private Patients
eBook Sells for: $49.95
Physical Book sells for: $64.95
Your 25% Commission
Physical Book: $16.24
The Guide to Creating a Web Presence
eBook sells for: $49.95
(only available as an eBook)
Your 25% Commission
It's pretty easy money --> Share your link and get paid. That's it!
Some helpful tricks for selling to your readers…
I really recommend sharing not selling.
That is, tell your readers what you really think about my books and how they might help them. Be honest. Not sales-y. Think about how YOU like to be sold to. Don't you prefer recommendations from friends
The easiest ways to promote The Guides:
- Share your unique link on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.
- Send an e-mail to your friends and colleagues
- Write a review of the ebook on your website
The best way to make the most out of being an affiliate is by actively engaging your readers, sharing the book as a handy reference
, explaining the books and The Independent Clinician philosophy, and getting people motivated.
Share how you used The Guides, what happened for you. Be personal. No hard sell, just thorough Guides to help your fellow SLP's, OT's and PT's.
Want to Learn More?
| || |Join The Independent Clinician Affiliate Program
Help Clients. Help Colleagues. Help Yourself.
- Sign Up In Minutes
- Get Your Unique Link
- Promote Your Link Online
- Earn $ For Each Sale
Something Sneaky This Way Comes…
Guest Post by Pamela Rowe, MA, CCC-SLP
Originally Published on January 20, 2013
Internet scams targeting Physical, Speech, Behavior, and Occupational Therapists are on the rise. Last year, I received 3 different scams via email.
Initially, I was shocked that I, along with other Therapists across the United States and Canada, were being targeted for our specific services. After the shock subsided, I realized that it made perfect sense. We, as Therapists, are ideal targets. We have big hearts, want to see people improve, and we can be …well, there is no easy way to put this, a little on the verbose side. We do fit the perfect profile for a viral scamming nightmare. Typically these scams tug on our emotional heartstrings and appeal to our sense of altruism.
Shirley Kunkel, M.A., CCC-SLP, a Private Practice Owner in Escondido, CA and Speech Pathologist for 33 years, recalls a recent encounter with a scam artist.
"I became mildly suspicious when they asked if I worked on receptive and expressive language, reading disorders and fluency disorders. I felt like their request was not specific enough. So I tried to ferret out what specifically they were trying remediate. Sounded like all the disorders I work on in listed in an Ad. Also, the person signed off as Mitchell one time and Michelle the next. I couldn't understand why the mother who had used Dr. in her title would be coming to my town for 4 months. It is not a scientific research community at the local hospital where I live. They said they presently lived in London and sometimes visited Egypt. I did not lose any money, but I regret that I invested my time and energies into responding to this thief."
Unfortunately, many Therapists are being targeted and are unknowingly engaging in these traps. As a result, some Therapists are losing their hard-earned money by the thousands.
Tom Jelen, Director of Online Communication with American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), has also noticed this growing problem within the Private Practice Community.
"ASHA has received several reports from our members about a scam that is being attempted on members in private practice. The scammer is requesting to have his or her child visit a private practitioner while visiting the United States. The scammer requests to pre-pay for an evaluation and then sends a cashier's check that is in an amount well above the evaluation charge. At this point, the scammer requests that the practitioner deposit the money in his or her bank and send back the overage (minus some money for the inconvenience). This scam has been reported to the Federal Trade Commission."
The Federal Trade Commission outlines normal banking activity facts in the article, "Giving the Bounce to Counterfeit Check Scams."
"Under federal law, banks generally must make funds available to you from U.S. Treasury checks, most other governmental checks, and official bank checks (cashier’s checks, certified checks, and teller’s checks), a business day after you deposit the check. For other checks, banks must make the first $200 available the day after you deposit the check, and the remaining funds must be made available on the second business day after the deposit."
"However, just because funds are available on a check you’ve deposited doesn’t mean the check is good. It’s best not to rely on money from any type of check (cashier, business or personal check, or money order) unless you know and trust the person you’re dealing with or, better yet — until the bank confirms that the check has cleared. Forgeries can take weeks to be discovered and untangled. The bottom line is that until the bank confirms that the funds from the check have been deposited into your account, you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check."
I got this e-mail just DAYS after this article was originally posted!
You Can Protect Yourself from Therapist Targeted Scams
- Know who you’re dealing with, and never wire money to strangers.
- If you’re selling something, don’t accept a check for more than the selling price, no matter how tempting the offer or how convincing the story. Ask the buyer to write the check for the correct amount. If the buyer refuses to send the correct amount, return the check. Don’t send the merchandise.
- If you accept payment by check, ask for a check drawn on a local bank, or a bank with a local branch. That way, you can make a personal visit to make sure the check is valid. If that’s not possible, call the bank where the check was purchased, and ask if it is valid. Get the bank’s phone number from directory assistance or an Internet site that you know and trust, not from the check or from the person who gave you the check.
- If the buyer insists that you wire back funds, end the transaction immediately. Legitimate buyers don’t pressure you to send money by wire transfer services. In addition, you have little recourse if there’s a problem with a wire transaction.
- Resist any pressure to “act now.” If the buyer’s offer is good now, it should be good after the check clears.
Remember, if you think you’ve been targeted by a counterfeit check scam there is something you can do. Simply report it to the following agencies:Sources1. The Nigerian Email Scam, http://www.onguardonline.gov/articles/0002l-nigerian-email-scam2. Giving the Bounce to Counterfeit Check Scams, http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/articles/naps29.pdf
Pamela Rowe, MA, CCC-SLP, is the Clinical Director of Pamela Rowe, MA, CCC-SLP, LLC in Longwood, FL. As a Speech Pathologist, Community Partner, Wife, and Mother of 3, Pamela enjoys mentoring the next generation of Speech Pathologists and hosting various community health events within Central Florida.
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/speechorlando
Can You Do Us a Quick Favor?
Please TELL Your SLP / OT / PT friends about this article to Keep ALL of us Safe
Facebook this, Facebook that.
Yes, I’m on Facebook and everyone else should be too.
But recently I’ve turned my attention back to LinkedIn
, the social networking site dedicated to building business connections.
I signed up for LinkedIn years ago. I made my profile and I basically forgot about it. Every now and then I’d get a request to “connect” with someone on LinkedIn and it would take me weeks to check out their profile and accept or deny their request.
For the past 6 months or so I’ve been using LinkedIn more and more and am beginning to see a greater utility for it for my Independent Clinicians. While Facebook is more popular and certainly more fun, there are aspects of LinkedIn that are worthwhile looking into.Step #1: Join LinkedIn
It goes without saying that this is the first step. Likely you became a member of LinkedIn years ago and might need to reset your password. www.LinkedIn.comStep #2: Set Up Your Profile
Just like Facebook, setting up your profile is the first step. Because LinkedIn profiles are organized with your professional (vs. social) life in mind, you’ll want to use the site like an online resume.Current & Previous Job(s)
Just like your real resume, your LinkedIn profile will focus on your current position(s) as well as previous positions you’ve held. You’ll list your professional title, companies, job location and a description of the position.
LinkedIn will allow you to have a primary current position if you have more than one job. It will then list in reverse chronological order all of the previous positions you’ve held. Social Media Links
You can add links to your personal and/or business websites and also your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Because you’ll be using LinkedIn to build business connections, you may choose to just put your business social media accounts vs. your personal accounts.
Adding links here, especially to your website, is a great way to drive traffic and establish connections with very little effort and NO money invested! Interests
I’m not sure how many people truly look at the interests, but this will come in handy for the search engine.Step #3: Join Groups (the best part of LinkedIn!)
Groups are what I use the most on LinkedIn. I am currently a member of 54 groups, including “Occupational Therapist Networking Group,” “Pediatric and School Based SLP’s,” “Proud to be a Therapist,” and “Pediatric Feeding Therapist Association,” just to name a few.
You can search by your profession or keywords to find groups you may be interested in joining. Once you join several groups, LinkedIn will suggest more groups you may like.
The most important aspect of the groups is the discussion board. Here you can start discussions, add your own comments or questions or just read about topics that are currently being discussed. The discussions are much more interactive and professional than any discussions I’ve had on Facebook pages/groups. This is a great way to find out more about what your peers are doing about things like insurance, marketing, difficult situations, etc. Why You Should Be On LinkedIn
You’re probably thinking, sure I’ll join, but I’ll never check it. While I had the opinion for quite a while, over the past few weeks I’ve surprised myself how frequently I’ve been checking my LinkedIn page and being active within the groups.
For job searchers, LinkedIn is a great way to network and find jobs. I’ve never used it that way, so I can’t attest to that. It’s also a nice way to keep in touch with friends and former co-workers to see what they are currently doing professionally. I suppose if one of my acquaintances was working at the location of my dream job I might contact her/him to see if there was an opening, but personally I might not reach out to a random person at a company and ask them for an interview.
I actually recommend that you use LinkedIn for another purpose all together…
#1 Reason to Join LinkedIn: To Find Clinicians Like You
The whole reason I started The Independent Clinician was to help SLP’s, OT’s and PT’s who were starting to treat privately find fellow clinicians in their same situation.
While I’d like you to continue to use my site for that purpose, LinkedIn to be another great way to interact with fellow clinicians.
Maybe you’re a Speech-Language Pathologist who is thinking about renting office space
and wants to know who to call first.
Or maybe you’re an OT who is contemplating getting a special certification
and wondering if it’s “worth it.”
Or are a PT who wants to know what kind of billing software
others have had success with.
With LinkedIn, you have thousands of like-minded peers to ask.Here are Two Groups That I Started (and would LOVE you to join!):
Feel free to join me and fellow SLP’s and OT’s in the group!
LinkedIn is just the kind of place where you can ask these questions and share advice with those exact people who you need to connect with. There are TONS of clinicians who have both small and free standing private practices who are eager to discuss and share situations.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re across the country from each other or in the same town (although if you are in the same town, it might be cool to meet in person!)
I hope you give LinkedIn another chance to see if it can help you with your private patient business. I know it’s helped me tremendously.
See you on LinkedIn!My Public Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jenacasbon
(don’t hesitate to “connect” with me!)
| || |
How are YOU
Do you have an e-mail signature?
Have you ever noticed that some people have some identifying information at the bottom of their e-mails?
Very commonly people have their name, professional title or even the standard “Sent from my iPhone.” While adding your name, credentials, title, or a privacy statement fantastic, it’s a GREAT place to casually place a plug for your business, links to your practice site or even your social media links. What Is an E-Mail Signature?
An e-mail signature is a block of text that automatically appears at the end of an e-mail. Typically, this is a place to share your name, contact information and other information relevent to the author of the message. In the healthcare field, you’ll often find the following information:
- Full Name
- Institution/Practice Affiliated With
- Contact Information
- Privacy Statement
There is obviously great variability and no “right answer” to what you should or should not include. Customizing Your Signature
Take a minute to think about what you want potential referral sources to see/know about you.
Think of your signature as another type business card. Just like your real life business card, you never know who is going to see your signature (say if your e-mail gets forwarded).
So, what do what do you want them to know? Here are the most important things to include:
Here’s my signature for my gmail account:
- Who You Are
- What You Do / How You Help People
- How to Get In Touch With You
In addition to leaving some links, your signature is a place to add some personality or style to show off you and your brand.Go for the Soft Sell
Although I’m certainly proud of my websites and businesses, sometimes even I feel weird saying, “Check out my website.”
It’s funny- having a website is getting to be so commonplace, but in certain situations it still feels a tad pompous… Having your site and social media links in your signature is a fantastic way to let others know about your site without feeling like a commercial.Reminds Your Non-Therapy Acquaintances
Another great reason to add a custom signature is because you e-mail with both therapists and regular people. Even now and then I’ll be e-mailing with a family member, friend, etc. who doesn’t know everything that I do professionally. All of a sudden, that additional information might convince them to learn more about me and even share my name with anyone in their life looking for therapy services.Set Up Your Signature Today!
Just in case you’re not sure how to do it, I’ve listed step-by-step YouTube videos for the top 3 most popular e-mail providers below:Gmail: http://youtu.be/f4Hk3IIoqic Hotmail: http://youtu.be/VSo-qqhHU7YYahoo: http://youtu.be/mOXHczAqwTs
If you use a different e-mail service, go to your favorite search engine or YouTube and search for: “your e-mail service + signature” There should be an easy guide for you to follow.
What does your e-mail signature look like?
I'm not making a New Years Resolution this year.
I'm making several changes that I'm excited to share with you and encourage you to do the same. I found this list in a Real Simple magazine years ago and have been using the list to guide my changes ever since. It was fun turning it into an infographic!
Anyway, It's time to re-think the traditional resolution.
Want to join me?
If you’re going to bill Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, you may need to list the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) codes for both your evaluation and treatment.
Please note that this may not be an exhaustive list and that this information may not be current. Please check with ASHA for the most up to date information:
Below are the most frequently used CPT codes for speech therapy:
Applicable CPT Codes
CPT Code Description
92506 Evaluation of speech, language, voice, communication, and/or auditory processing
92507 Individual Treatment of speech, language, voice, communication, and/or auditory
92508 Group (2+) Treatment of speech, language, voice, communication, and/or auditory
92526 Treatment of swallowing dysfunction and/or oral function for feeding
92610 Evaluation of oral and pharyngeal swallowing function
92626 Evaluation of auditory rehabilitation status; first hour
92627 Evaluation of auditory rehabilitation status; each additional 15 minutes (List separately in
addition to code for primary procedure)
Setting goals is an important way to get things done. If you’re a private therapist, or hoping to become one, it’s important to set measurable goals for yourself (that’s not unlike what we do with our patients, right?) In thinking about goal setting for physical, occupational and speech therapists who treat privately, I came up with five major goals that every Independent Clinician should be thinking about doing as soon as possible. Goal # 1: Start Treating Private Patients
Actually starting to treat private patients may be the most obvious first thing to do. You’ve been thinking about it for a while. Maybe you’ve been a subscriber and even purchased The Independent Clinician Guide to Private Patients. Don’t forget, you’ve got the clinical skills, you now need the knowledge of the business end of things. Once you have that, you just need to start. Have the confidence in yourself to know that you’re not going to make a catastrophic error. You’re not going to do something so horrendous that you lose your license. You are a competent clinician who is just treating patients in a new setting. Bottom Line: Start with one patient and see how it goes. If you like it, add more to your caseload. If it’s not for you, discharge or refer to another clinician. Goal #2: Get A Website
It used to be that to be in business, you needed a business card. Now in addition to having business cards, it’s getting to be extremely commonplace for ANY AND ALL businesses to have a presence online. If you’re been thinking about having a website, chances are you have thought to yourself, “Do I really need a website?” The answer is yes. Here’s why you need a website:
- Patients/families often look online for information/therapists (ie found in search engines)
- Makes your business appear to be very solid and established
- Provide information about yourself, your knowledge/skills, and treatment philosophy can be placed on the site for potential patients to review prior to contacting you
Creating a website can sound daunting, but there are several companies that make it FREE or CHEAP to have a website. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can make a site on FatCow or Weebly.
Here’s what I recommend: Create a website that has a picture of you, tells about yourself and your treatment abilities and gives your contact information. It does not have to be a ton on info (one page is enough!) but think of your website as the initial impression. Instead of giving my phone number on my business cards, I list my website. That way, when patients, physicians, etc. look at my site, they can quickly determine whether I’m a good fit for the patient before they even call.
Bottom Line: You really should have a website and they are much easier and cheaper to create then ever before.Oh, and if you need help creating your site, check out The Independent Clinician Guide to Creating a Web Presence. Goal #3: Send Out Marketing Materials
If you’re looking for something, a new restaurant, a movie, a place to honeymoon, what to do trust more: a stranger or a trusted friend/colleague/doctor? Now think about a typical patient or family member looking for services. They would rather have their neurologist say, “I know of this excellent occupational therapist in the area who does private therapy, why don’t you contact them?” Having someone they trust refer to you means that they will automatically trust you more. So, how do you develop that trust with local physicians, neurologists, social workers, educators, etc? Simple, you reach out to them and tell them who you are, what kinds of services you provide and who your ideal patients are. If you keep in touch with them (sending information at least every other month) as opportunities arise to refer patients, they will think of you. Bottom Line: If you want referrals from local physicians, educators, psychologists, etc. they need to know who you are and what you do. Goal #4: Become an Insurance Provider
Becoming a health insurance provider can be an excellent way to boost your caseload and start helping patients who cannot afford to pay privately. I always recommend to start with private pay patients first, but once you’re comfortable with that, it’s a good idea to add private insurance as a method of payment. This increases the pool of patients who you can serve. Taking private insurance certainly has pro’s and con’s: The pros
- Treat people who cannot pay out of pocket
- Increase your referral source
- May be reimbursed for more than you’re currently charging
Taking private insurance is a great option for clinicians looking to add to their caseload. Also don’t forget: you can have a mix of private pay patients AND some health insurance patients. The policies and procedures of health insurers vary, but I have a chapter in The Independent Clinicians Guide to Private Patients on getting started with becoming a health insurance provider that makes it seem less scary. Bottom Line: Go ahead and start your application now (it’ll take a few months to get approved). Remember that this is a good way to build your caseload. If you like it, keep going. If you don’t, you can easily remove yourself from the provider database. Goal #5: Go to a Conference
- Application process can take months
- May be reimbursed less than you charge privately
- Have to bill the insurance company and keep track of visits
In order to treat privately, you need to be an expert. I highly recommend that clinicians don’t start treating privately until they have become quite skilled and knowledgeable with a particular diagnosis or therapy technique. One way to boost your knowledge (and confidence!) on a topic is to attend a conference/convention/course. Whether the course is in your area, far away or even online, increasing your skills and abilities is important to keep yourself focused on staying current with clinical information that will help provide an excellent service to your private patients. Remember, your private patients are paying top dollar for your services- it’s important to provide them the BEST service you can. Bottom Line: Going to a conference/course/class is a great way to increase your skill set. Oh- and remember to keep your receipt– it is tax deductible!
I hope that these suggestions about how to start or expand your private patient practice have been beneficial. Remember, the most important part of goal setting is to break the goal down into smaller parts and then just get it done. Remember, you have the clinical skills; now work hard on those business skills to build your private patient business!
Need An Extra Incentive to Start Achieving Your Goals?
If you’re ready to get serious about treating private patients, consider purchasing the Independent Clinician Guide to Private Patients! Between this guide and our blog, you’ll have plenty of information and ideas to make your business the success you know it can be.
One aspect of my private patient business I don't love is billing.
While I normally collect client payments on the day of service, I do have several patients for whom I send monthly bills.
I start this off on a trial basis. If I am not paid in a timely way, I’ll go back to requiring payment on the day of service.
I needed to find a way to create professional invoices and track payments... And I found it. Introducing Fresh Books Freshbooks
is advertised as: “The Fastest Way To Track Time and Invoice Your Clients. Great for teams, freelancers and service providers.”
I cannot agree with this more. I have been using Freshbooks for years to bill some of my private patients. To test it out, you can start with a FREE account that allows you to bill up to 3 people. For up to 25 clients, you pay only $19.95/month. You Can Easily:
- Create an invoice in seconds
- E-mail, print or snail mail invoices to your patients
- Keep records of treatment sessions (dates and price) for tax purposes
- Track payments
I love Freshbooks and think you will too. Painless billing for an affordable price. Who could as for anything more.Give Freshbooks a try today!