A lot of therapists ask me, how many dollars should I be collecting per patient?
That’s a hard thing to say because if you take insurance it’s one thing, if you take cash it’s another thing. If you’ve been in practice for a long time and have a good name and good reputation it’s one thing. If you’re brand new it’s another thing, but let me give you some real general guidelines.
First of all, whether you take insurance or don’t take insurance, you should have a Dollar Visit Average of at least $65 a visit. If you have less than $65 a visit, you either are not charging enough or you have too many people that you’re giving away services for free, or your billing is behind or you’re billing incorrectly and not getting paid but something’s happening. If you have a Dollar Visit Average of less than $65, you probably have to look seriously that you might some financial mistake going on. Now, you may say, I have some EAPs...
Hi. This is Dave Kats from Therapist Consultants.
I have a tip for you. Have you ever thought about doing intensives? You know what intensives are? Intensives are sessions that you do that are longer than just your 50 minute sessions. It could be that you do a three hours intensive. It could be that you do a 6 hour, 8 hour, 12 hour, even 18 hour intensive.
I have two therapists that work with this and do intensives very well. They specialized in marriage therapy. If a married couple is having a problem, they always give them the opportunity to go through an intensive rather than to get their care 50 minutes at a time spread over 18 weeks. This couple can come in and they can get a lot of their needs and lot of their work behind them just by doing this intensive.
If there is a situation where there’s been unfaithfulness in a relationship, or if one partner is trying to decide whether to stay or to leave, probably 50 minutes once a week for a while isn’t enough. The...
Hi, this is Dave Kats, of Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.
You know I've noticed that good therapists all use an informed consent form. So I hope you are using an informed consent form. Now if you're not using an informed consent form you should start doing it right away and just go through everything in your practice and tell the patient how it functions so there is no surprises for them. You can find a lot of good informed consent forms on the internet and if you are a client of ours you can find it on our website. We have a very good informed consent form.
So that is the first thing you should do. If you are not doing one you should do it immediately. Most of you are already using an informed consent form and you have the patient sign it on the first visit. That’s the right idea. That’s the thing to do. But maybe you need to update your informed consent form. Does your informed consent form talk about distance coaching? Does it talk about...
Hi, this is Dave Kats with Therapist Consultants, and I have a tip for you.
Last week we talked about three forms you should use in your HIPAA manual, or that you should have, so that you’re compliant with HIPAA.
Today, I want to talk about your HIPAA manual. Everybody, of course, absolutely needs to have a HIPAA manual that talks about and explains your HIPAA policy, but that manual is not a dead document. You just don’t photocopy someone else’s document, put it in a three-hole ring notebook binder, and never look at it again.
You have to update your HIPAA manual on a regular basis. There are lots of forms that have to be filled out. For instance, when you train your employees, they have to sign a form that says that they have been trained. You have to have a compliance officer. That compliance officer has to sign a form that they’re the compliance officer. You have a form that lists all the compliance officers that you’ve had over a period of...
Hi, I'm Dave Kats from Therapist Consultants, and I have a tip for you.
We talked last week about the three forms that you need to be compliant with HIPAA. It doesn't mean that if you have those three forms you'll be compliant, but without those three forms you won't be compliant.
There's another thing you have to have and that is a HIPAA manual. I think that everybody pretty much has a HIPAA manual, and if you don't, you certainly have to get one right away to be in compliance with HIPAA.
The HIPAA manual actually talks about your HIPAA program – how you're going to keep patients' information private. So you need to have a HIPAA manual. But the HIPAA manual isn't the dead document. You don't just run one-off photocopy and put it in a 3-ring binder, and then never visit it again. Even if you use somebody else's template, you have to personalize it, and then every once in a while, you have to go through an update to your HIPAA manual.
There are a lot of forms in a HIPAA...
This is Dave Kats with Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.
One of the things I’ve found that most advanced therapist do is they have group sessions. Of course, they meet with their clients or their patients individually, but they usually have one or two groups going during the week.
I think that’s a great way to handle people who may not need one-on-one care. There are a lot of patients that come to you and they may come to you for 15 or 18 visits and then they pretty much completed their care and they don’t have an imminent problem right now, but you want to keep them in the fold, so to speak, so nothing develops.
One of the good ways to do that is have them join a group. I think the main reason therapists don’t start groups is because number one, they don’t know if they can fill a group, and number two, they don’t know exactly what they’ll say during the group.
I know an important statistic that I bet you don't keep and still it's very important, and that is the No Future Appointments statistic.
Do you keep track of how many people leave your office without having another appointment scheduled? It's critical to the growth of your practice. It makes all the difference in the world as far as your practice is concerned. Let's say that you have a real good day and you see nine people today, you have nine people scheduled and all nine show up. At the end of the day, you say, “Well, that was wonderful, I had a great day”. But, you go to the front, let's say you have a staff person and the staff person tells you that not one of the nine made a future appointment. Now you say, “Man, I had a terrible day”, because nobody rescheduled. Well, what was the difference? The difference was that people didn't make an appointment.
So, how do you keep track of that? I suggest, on your appointment book, you keep track of...
Hi. This is Dave Kats with Therapist Consultants. I have a tip for you.
Now this tip isn’t for everyone. I find that lot of therapists not only are good listeners but they are good teachers and they like to teach things. Well, I would suggest that if you’re at the right place at the right stage in your practice, that maybe you think about giving some seminars. One of the best ways to get started doing seminars is to do seminars for CEUs.
I have different groups in our organization that get together and do seminars for CEUs around the state, and really you only have to get your seminar approved by the State Association or the Board of Examiners, and you get CEU hours for it. You just advertise the thing. You collect at the door. You collect an advance. You give the seminar. You keep track of the hours that you’ve given. You have people sign in and sign out, and you’re automatically given CEUs. Now there’s a little more involved than that, but you get...
Hi, this is Dave Kats with Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.
Have you ever thought about being a supervisor? A lot of therapists become supervisors and it can be profitable and helpful to your profession in lots of different ways.
Let me give you an example. I have one therapist who has five interns that she supervises. They all work in her office, they all get their own patients, and she pays them just $25 per session. She collects anywhere from $75 to $100 a session.
I talked to her the other day and we did some calculations and she makes $3500 profit on those therapists, those interns that she’s supervising, every single month. I’m not saying that you have to do that; you can just do one at a time, but I want to explain to you how successful it is to have a person that you supervise.
It varies state by state. In most states, a supervisor will supervise someone for approximately three years until they get their hours and they’ll have a meeting...
Are you blogging? Blogging on your website is necessary.
This keeps your website fresh and updated and keeps your business refreshed on the search engines. Come to think of it, when did you blog last? If it’s been less than 10 days, good for you. You need to do it probably at least once a week and even more often if you want to. Put it on your website. Once you’ve posted it, go in and copy the URL address. Then go to your other social communities that you already have profiles on and paste that URL address and post it on that site. That way when people Google you or Google the keywords that you have in those articles, it will come up right away. Having a profile in social communities such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter is all really good, but everything is going much farther now. Bookmarking, creating your own YouTube video and posting in content sites are a great way to get your brand and your name out there today.
While only some of this is needed to be known...
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