Hi, I’m Dave Kats with Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.
If you take insurance and even if you are a cash practitioner, you should run an aging of accounts every month. What I mean by an aging of accounts is just a report that tells you who owes you money and how long they've owed you that money. And you have to decide based on that report what you need to do for collections. I have here a hypothetical aging of accounts that I'd like to go over with you and show you what we would do if we found these on our aging of accounts. Let's look at the aging of accounts. You can see the first person there is Bill Jones. Now he doesn't owe anything for 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, but from 90 days to 120 days he owes $100 and for over 120 days he owes $400. So he owes a total of $500. Now it appears to me that he has stopped coming in some time ago, about three months ago, and we have not collected from the times previous. Something went wrong, we sent it to the wrong...
Hi, this is Dave Kats and I have a tip for you.
People a lot of times ask us, ‘what are the most prevalent and best software out for billing insurance?’. The first thing I would say is this, every therapist should be using their own software. Sometimes I see a therapist that accepts insurance and they will go to Blue Cross to file, Aetna to file, UHC to file. It is better having your own software. If you would like to have something free, I suggest that you use Practice Mate which is by Office Ally. Just look up Office Ally and Practice Mate. It has a great billing system and is absolutely free. If you are a cash practitioner, I would use this type of software to keep your practice organized and your notes organized. If you can afford to pay for software, there are two that have become the king of the hill in the last few years. These are Therapy Appointment and Therapy Notes. We use Therapy Appointment in our office, and we are fans of Therapy Appointment. It cost...
Hi, this is Dave Kats, at Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to schedule patients as far as scripting is concerned. I'd like to go over the right type of script to use when scheduling a patient. Let's assume you're in a counseling session and your phone rings, and somebody leaves a voicemail that says we may need to come in as new patients. As soon as you have the opportunity, you call them back and you'll say, "Hi, this is Judy Lewis, the therapist that you called about getting in for some care. I have just a few minutes before my next patient. Can you tell me briefly what your situation is?" "Well, yes. My wife and I have been married for 26 years, but four years ago we lost our adult son. It’s made our marriage fall apart. We decided that we either have to call it quits or that we have to get some marriage counseling. So we were thinking about possibly getting marriage counseling.
Now, when they pause or if you break...
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...
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...
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 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...
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...
Dave Kats: Hi. This is Dave Kats and Dr. Michael Perusich with Therapist
Consultants and we have a video tip for you. There's a right way and a wrong way to
collect. There's right scripting and wrong scripting.
Dr. Michael Perusich: There is. Scripting is important when you're collecting money
from patients. You want to practice this. Little things like not saying "dollars". Let's
say, your charge for the session today is $150. You don't want to turn to the patient
and say, "Well, that'll be $150" because to the patient, that sounds like a lot of
money. If you just say, "Well, that'll $150 today. Would you like to pay that with cash,
check or charge"; It just really skims over it, not unethically, but it allows the patient
to just absorb that a little bit easier.
Dave: You said something also very good. If you give them a choice of yeses,
"Would you care to pay for that by cash, check or credit...
We would love to visit with you in regards to our Membership! Simply submit your information below and we would be more than happy to contact you!