Hi, this is Dave Kats for Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.
You know, we're often asked, "How do you go about raising prices?" Well, we suggest that you raise prices more substantially when you do, but less often. The reason for that is because people don't complain about price raises, unless they've been through two or more price raises, then they wonder about you raising your prices. If every year you raise your price $5, it eventually takes a while to get your price up there, but people feel like they keep getting nickeled and dimed to death. Raise your prices less often, but more substantially when you do.
Let me give you an example. If you had 100, you surely want to go 125 or 135 right now. If you're 125, you want to go 150. 150, you want to go 175 or 185, and so you want to make significant jumps when you make those jumps. Here's how you do it. Where a patient was likely to see it like on your front desk, if you have a front desk, just take a three by five card...
Hi, this Dave Kats with therapist consultants and I have a tip for you.
One of the things that's hot right now is Facebook. We all know that Facebook is hot and everything has his day in the limelight, if you know what I mean. In fact 10 or 15 years ago when we started teaching this information, we said you have to have a website and more than 50% of the therapists 10 years ago did not have a website.
Now basically everybody has a website. Then about 8 to 10 years ago we said you have to have your website optimized and we taught them how to optimize their website. Now it's still important to have a website, it's still very important to have your website optimized, but then new things come on the block. There's a new kid on the block and so Google was the hot thing and is the hot thing right now and is a very good thing to do to spend advertising on Google but now, of course, thank time marches on and now Facebook and Instagram are both a pretty hot commodity as far as...
Hi, this is Dave Kats from Therapist Consultants, and I have a tip for you.
One of the things I notice about therapist offices is sometimes they get a little old looking without the therapist noticing it. I was at a therapist's office several years ago now, and I walked in and the hallway was dimly lit. About half of the fluorescent bulbs are out. There were dust bunnies in the corner. There was an orange shag carpet. It was a terracotta type wall on the outside and it just was dingy. You know what? He charged $40 for his therapy sessions, just $40.
I went to another therapist that same week, had a really nice looking office, had stone stacked front on their desk, had a granite top where you check in, granite top where you checked out, had music playing in the background, had free coffee, had a TV running with information on it. Really nice place, a lot of nice music in the neutral areas of the clinic. She charged $150 and I'll submit to you that they both were charging about the...
Hi, this is Dave Kats, therapist, consultants and I have a tip for you.
We're often asked how you use a business associate agreement. Let's back up and start this way. First, you have to be HIPAA compliant. One of the many things you have to do to be HIPAA compliant is have a business associate agreement. A business associate agreement is an agreement that you give to anybody that you do business with in your practice that has the opportunity to see your patient records in any way, shape or form.
If you have, for instance, a software company that could look in your computer and see your information on your patients, they have to sign a business associate agreement. Now, the business associate agreement a few years ago, it was only a page long, but in the final rule, they made it a lot longer agreement and now it's about five pages long and the value of having a business associate agreement is this. If the business associate that comes into your office, see something in your office...
Hi, this is Dave Kats with Therapist Consultants, and I have a tip for you.
We are often asked how much you should pay an associate therapist. The price varies widely, but it depends if you're an insurance practice or if you're a self-pay practice. If you're an insurance practice, most common split is a 60/40 split, where the therapist gets 60% and you, the owner, gets 40%.
However, if you're an insurance practice, that could go up easily to 50/50, where the therapist gets 50% of the income they generate and you keep 50% of the income you generate, but I will tell you that anything that you pay more than a 60/40 split, you're probably going to find that you're not making any money by hiring an associate into your practice. Make sure that you get at least your 40% and possibly more than that so you can profit on the work that you do in helping this associate.
This is Dave Kats. Thanks for listening.
Hi, this is Dave Kats for Therapist consultants and I have a tip for you.
Most therapists eventually find a niche. When you're first in practice you're eager to get every new patient that walks. If there's a new patient that comes in, you want to take them as long as you feel like you can do a good job with whatever their situation may be. As you get more involved in your practice, we find that the practices that really grow and the therapists that have the most fun are those practices and those therapists who have a niche, who have found a niche.
Now, I don't care what your niche is. I talked to one person recently whose niche was PTSD with Vietnam era veterans. That's a fairly small niche but she was in a base where she could take advantage of that as a good niche to have. Maybe your niche is adoption, maybe your niche is marriage counseling, maybe your niche is affairs. I don't care what your niche is, but you'll find that you have more fun and attract more patients if you...
Hi, this is David Kats with Therapist Consultants, and I have a tip for you.
If there's one thing I see that therapists do that's unusual, is they almost always underestimate their overhead. I asked them how much their overhead is, and they say, "About 1,500 a month." I say, "How much do you make and how much you collect each month?" They say, "$10,000." I say, "Okay, that means that you have $8,500 that you take home every month. That's $100,000 a year." They say, "No, no, I only take home $60,000 a year." The problem is they have underestimated their overhead.
What you have to do is you have to look on your taxes and say, "Here's what I did for total collections. Here's what I took home. Divide those out, and you'll find what your true overhead is." Now, one of the ways you can find your overhead that I try to bring therapists around to understanding their overhead a little better is by using forms, and there are lots of templates online. One of my like is called...
Hi, this is Dave Kats with Therapist Consultants. I have a tip for you.
Most therapists have no idea where they rank as far as the internet is concerned, but I'll tell you the easy way to find out how you rank with Google. First of all, just go to Google search engine and type in therapist or mental health therapist or a counselor or marriage counselor, whatever you are. Let's say, marriage counselor, Denton, Texas, or wherever you're located. Type in marriage counselor, Denton, Texas. After probably a few ads and things like that, you'll see the local listings. Right now Google lists the top three people, so you'll see three of them, but if you look right below those three listings, 1, 2, 3, you'll see something, a little box that says "See more." If you click on that "See more," you'll see all the listings of everybody in your area.
If you're from Denton, Texas, and a marriage counselor, you'll see all the people that are ranked for marriage counseling in Denton, Texas. Then you...
Hi, this is Dave Kats with Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.
One of the best ways you can explain to patients how you operate is to have set scripts. I have a certain script that I like when a patient calls on the phone or maybe when you call them back. Perhaps they called and you weren't available, you were with a patient and you call them back. When you call them back, here's the typical script that I like to use. "Hi, this is Terry, the therapist you called, you said that you were having some marital problems and that you may want to get in as a new patient. I have just a few minutes before my next session. Can you tell me a little bit about your situation?"
Then you let them talk for maybe 20 seconds, maybe a minute, minute and a half till they're about talked out or if they don't stop talking you can interrupt them because they'll never be offended if you interrupt them to ask them a question about themselves. Let them talk for about a minute or so and then you...
Hi, this is Dave Kats for Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.
You know, there are three statistics that you should be keeping in your practice. The first one is easy. The number of new patients you get per month. The average therapist gets seven new patients per month. You can simply count in your appointment book, "How many am I getting?" If you get more than seven, you're above average, you get less than seven, you're below average, but you should get to at least seven because with seven, you can build a full practice with seven new patients a month.
Now the other two statistics that are important are your patient visit average and your dollar visit average. Your patient visit average is the number of times the average patient comes to see you. If you take the number of visits you had this month, let's say, 120 and you divide it by the number of new patients, let's say 10, that means that your PVA was 12. The average person comes in to see you 12 times. Now that's not...
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