Starting a Counseling Practice Part 5: Getting Paid

Starting a Counseling Practice Part 5: Getting Paid

While we are in the midst of bootcamp, we are continuing our series of starting a counseling practice. This series is meant to inspire but also to give you specific resources and tools to help you in your practice.

When you start your private practice, part of your business plan is to decide your procedures around payment for your services because you need money to run a business. Before you form your payment policies, first you want to know the types of payments you accept.

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Insurance Contracts 101

Insurance Contracts 101

We have a reputation. It is true. We have a reputation as the gals who help people get off of insurance panels. In fact, some people talk to us and say "we know you hate insurance." While the former is partially accurate, the latter is not even remotely accurate.

Our goal is to help educate therapists in private practice to be informed and successful business owners. Sometimes, insurance is a great fit for a private practice, sometimes it is not. Taking insurance in your practice is entering into an ongoing relationship with the insurance company. And like any good therapist- we believe you should enter relationships after clear communication! 

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Building a Private Practice: Real Life Stories with Dr. Gretchen

Dr. Gretchen is a clinical health psychologist who shares her thoughts on building a successful private practice and moving beyond the one on one sessions to discovery others ways to impact people with her knowledge and expertise.

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Private Practice Therapists: Outsourcing your insurance billing

We get questions about using insurance all the time. We refer a lot of detailed questions over to Navigating the Insurance Maze, but haven't found a great resource yet about how to hire a biller for your psychotherapy private practice. 

I chose to have a cash-pay private practice for many reasons. It was wonderful to enjoy a successful private practice with a glut of clients and not take insurance. However, I know awesome therapists who choose to take insurance, or are still transitioning to complete private pay who need some support about how to do insurance. 

One suggestion we always encourage therapists to explore, is outsourcing your billing completely. I shared a building while in private practice with an awesome therapist who had been in private practice for a few decades.

That 20 years means he doesn't have to worry about "marketing" the way a new therapist would. And, even though he could have a cash-pay private practice- he chooses to have a insurance based practice. His house is paid off, he has a savings account, a retirement account, funds for regular vacations. He has a plan for using insurance that makes sure his needs are met! (Our biggest gripe about insurance is that most therapists don't have a plan that allows them to be paid well).

Working in the same space with someone means you get to see exactly how their practice operates- the good and the not so good. My awesome suite-mate had a wonderful system for Insurance that worked well for him and his clients. Namely, he outsourced his psychotherapy practice insurance billing. 

He worked with a lovely woman who was his "billing department." All questions went through her, she took care of determining coverage, explaining it to clients, informing the therapist, etc. She also took care of any phone calls or issues that came up. 

A great biller is going to reduce the number of denials or insurance problems you experience. However, even if you do everything right, insurance companies mess up. Just 1 problematic claim can lead to you spending hours on hold. It isn't uncommon to therapists report to me that it can take 10 hours or more to resolve ONE problematic claim for a client. 

Even if you get paid, that 10 hours could've been spent seeing other clients, doing progress notes, or doing some yoga! When you outsource your billing, you can get an all in one package where you play one flat % based on what they collect- and they take care of all the ugly hold times! 

I met Tiffany, a biller who works with psychotherapy practices on LinkedIn. (Yes, LinkedIn can be a wonderful way to grow your business!) Tiffany was so wonderful and agreed to answer some questions about the way outsourcing of your billing works, what questions to ask of a potential biller, and what to watch out for. Watch the quick 10 minute video below for the answers to your questions. 

I interviewed Tiffany about how to outsource insurance billing, how to avoid insurance problems, understanding how to use an external biller, etc. It is primarily about therapists working in private practice who are taking insurance directly, and they can also help with the process of getting on insurance panels. Tiffany is the owner of 

Do you have more questions about how to outsource your insurance billing? Post them in the comments below? Have a great biller that you use that is taking new clients? Post their information below! Let's be a resource for one another in having stress-free practices! 

p.s. Notice Tiffany reached out to me on LinkedIn, introduced herself beautifully, allowed herself to be videotaped- even though it is nerve-wracking, and now a video that highlights her and her business will be presented to almost 5k therapists. What would happen if someone met you, liked you, and shared your passion with 5000 people they knew? Learn more about Tiffany and her teams psychotherapy billing services or contact her by clicking here

Miranda Palmer

I have successfully built a cash pay psychotherapy practice from scratch on a shoestring budget. I have also failed a licensed exam by 1 point (only to have the licensing board send me a later months later saying I passed), started an online study group to ease my own isolation and have now reached thousands of therapists across the country, helped other therapists market their psychotherapy practices, and helped awesome business owners move from close to closing their doors, to being profitable in less than 6 weeks. I've failed at launching online programs. I've had wild success at launching online programs. I've made mistakes in private practice I've taught others how to avoid my mistakes. You can do this. You were called to this work. Now- go do it! Find some help or inspiration as you need it- but do the work!