Collection Scripts

Hi, this is Dave Kats from Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.

Some people, some therapists have trouble collecting money. They have, what I call, a poverty complex, and I found the best thing to help you with a poverty complex is to have a set of scripts that you use when collecting money from the patient.

For instance, here's one script that we always use in our clinic. When the patient comes to the front-- if you haven't charged them before they go back, and they come up to the front. You say, "That will be $125 for today. Do you prefer to pay by cash, check, or credit card?" And then you just look down and let them decide. But always use that, "Do you want to pay by cash, check, or credit card?" Because then that gives them a choice of yes's. Yes, I'll pay cash, yes, I'll pay by credit card, or yes, I'll pay by check. Always use that one when they come to the front, "Your fee today was $125, do you want to pay that by cash, check, or credit card?"

Of course, once...

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Your View of You

Hi, this is Dave Kats, for Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.

Have you ever thought of how you perceive yourself as a therapist? In other words, how good you feel about yourself as a therapist? How good a job you feel that you do? Well, I ran across an article that said that they're certain factors that determine how you feel about yourself as a therapist. Here they are, they were really six of them.

The first one was self-image. If you have a good self-image, you're going to think that you're a good therapist. If you have a bad self-image, you're going to think you're not so good a therapist. So that stands to reason.

The second one that was the size of your practice. If you have a large practice, if you have a successful practice, if you have a waiting list, naturally you think yourself a better therapist than the people that are struggling to get people to come in, and can't keep people under their care.

The third thing they talked about was having extra education....

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Rent Your Office

Hi, this is Dave Kats, a therapist consultant, and I have a tip for you.

Every so often, we have a therapist call in and say, "What can I do to produce more revenue other than just seeing patients and doing counseling?" And there's lots of things you can do. One thing that you can do that really help the patients is do assessments on all your patients.

Another thing you could do is provide product. For instance, if I was doing marriage counseling, or if I was a patient going to marriage counseling, or a client going to marriage counseling, and you gave me a set of six CD's to listen to, maybe, three to five times a week for six weeks, it would help me a lot more than just going to the counseling sessions. So, maybe, you should be selling products, then maybe you should be having group sessions. You can make more in group sessions than in individual sessions, by and large.

Then there are instances where you may meet with married couples, six hours in a week, maybe, three hours one...

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Percentage Split

This is Dave Kats, from Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.

You know, one of the most frequent questions we get in our consultancy is, “I’m thinking about hiring an associate," or, "I’m thinking about becoming an associate, what kind of split, what kind of percentage split is logical for a group practice?” No matter what I say there will be people that disagree with these percentages.

But I will tell you that it is very difficult to have a group practice and to provide a receptionist and to file insurance and do the other things you need to do for the office and make a profit if you don’t get at least 40% of the money that the therapist brings in. A normal split would be 60-40, where the therapist that does the counseling gets 60% and the office gets 40%. I will tell you that a lot of places even go 50-50.

I will also tell you that if you go 25-75 that you're not going to make any money and you will probably lose money at a group practice,...

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How Pts Perceive You

Hi, this is Dave Kats for Therapist Consultants, and I have a tip for you.

Have you ever wondered how your patients perceive you? How they see you as far as the value you play in their life? Well, there was an article written about how patients perceive their therapists, and there were seven things that made a difference in how the patients perceive you.

The first one is simply their need. If they have a problem that they desperately need help from, they see you as being much more important. For instance, if they desperately want to keep their marriage together, and you are helping them do that, then they see you as a very important part of their life. The second one was their personality. For instance, if they have a personality disorder of some kind, they may not see you as important as they could. The third one I thought was very interesting, it was your presentation. How you present yourself, how professional you look, how professional you act, the way you dress, and things...

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Raising Prices

Hi, This is Dave Kats, at therapist consultant and I have a tip for you.

You know, every so often you're going to have to raise your prices to stay up with inflation and to just make more income as a therapist. How should you raise your prices? Well, we suggest that you raise your prices less frequently but more substantially when you do. The reason we say that is we feel that the only people that really complain about a price change are those people who have been through two or more price changes with you. If they start at $75 and then you went to $85 and now a hundred, now $125, they start to feel the pinch of the growth.

Whereas if you just have a patient and they started at $125 and you raise to $150, that's logical because you have to raise some time. Only those people through two or more raises are the most likely to be concerned or complain about you raising prices. Now, how should you go about raising prices? Well, about two or three weeks ahead of time, you should post...

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50 Percent Down

Hi, this is Dave Kats, with Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.

You know I believe you I have a way that will make your new patients that schedule with you show up with great regularity. That is by asking them for 50% down to hold the appointment. Now that might sound like a bold thing but the first time I taught it, I had an audience of about 50 people and I said, “Is there is anybody in here that asks for 50% down?” Two middle aged ladies that were therapists raised their hand and they said, “We practice together,” and I said, “Do you ask for 50% down?” They said, “No, we just ask for it all down in advance.” So if you think 50% is a lot try all. When we schedule patients, after we schedule them for the time and the day then we say, “In order to hold that appointment, I ask you to put 50% down which will be $75. Which credit card would you like to put that on?”

Let me go over the script, it goes like this,...

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Setting Goals For Your Practice

All of us should be setting goals each month for the whole year.

In fact we encourage every client to set new patient goals, patient visit goals and collection goals by month for the whole year.

How do you set goals so they are logical? There are four or five things you have to consider. You can’t just pull a number out of the hat and say, “This is how many new patients I’m going to get” or “This is how many patient visits I’m going to see”. You have to have some reasoning behind it so that you can believe it and reach your goal. There is an old saying that says, “What the mind can conceive and the heart can believe you can achieve”. If you really believe that you’re going to hit your goals you’re going to probably hit them. The reason you’re going to believe that you’re going to hit your goals is, because there’s reasoning behind it.

Here’s the reasoning you have to use. When you set a goal,...

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Low Payers

Hi, this is Dave Kats from Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.

As insurance weakens, some insurance companies pay less and less and less, and there comes a point in time where you have to kick the low payers to the curb.

Where you have to look at the insurance companies that you have and see what they’re paying and if they’re not paying enough, I think you have to get off that panel and then charge the patient cash.

I think in the Mid-West, in Florida, in Texas, probably most areas in the United States; probably $68 is about the breakpoint. If they’re not paying you at least $68, you probably just need to get off that panel, be an out-of-network provider, and then have the patients pay cash because, here’s what we’ve found out, it actually cost between five to ten dollars to have you file insurance especially if you have some outside company doing your billing.

Instead of the insurance company paying you $58, really they’re in...

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Knowing Your Patient Visit Average (PVA)

I’ve noticed that some new therapists have a very low Patient Visit Average (PVA).

In other words, for the number of new patients they see, they don’t see those patients very much. I see some new therapists with a patient visit average of two, two and a half, three, maybe as high as five or six. But, I want to explain something. That’s probably not because you’re getting the patients better. It’s probably because they’re discontinuing care or you’re having them discontinue care prematurely. Now, what do I base it on? You say, “Maybe they are getting better. Maybe I’m getting better.” It could be, but that’s not what’s typical of the profession.

I will tell you that typically the average therapist sees the average patient 15 times over their lifetime, so your PVA should be 15. If you take the number of people that came in this month and divide it by the number of new patients that came in this month, you will...

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