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,...
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...
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...
I know of a very important statistic that I bet you may not even keep, and that is your percentage of people who no-show you each month.
You see, if it gets too high, your practice is going to plateau. Let me give you an example; if you have 13% or more people who no-show you over the month, no matter how many new patients you get or no matter how big your practice is, your practice is going to start to plateau.
Here is how we count no-shows. There are two different types of no-shows, but they both count as a no-show. The first one is somebody that cancels to a later date, so somebody is scheduled with you on Wednesday and they say, “I can’t make it this Wednesday, you just keep me on the schedule for next Wednesday or put me on the schedule for next Wednesday.” That’s a no-show, even though they re-scheduled, is still considered a no-show. And then, there’s the other kind of...
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.
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