Growing Your Practice

Once you are comfortable with the day-to-day management of your private psychotherapy practice, you may begin to consider growing your practice.  Perhaps you want to add administrative staff to help ease the burden of moving around all of that paperwork that goes along with running a practice, or, maybe you’re ready to add another clinician to help your bottom line.

Some of the things you will have to consider whe adding additional staff or indepedent contractors:

  • Recruitment
  • Human Resources
    • State & Federal Labor Laws
    • Employee Safety
    • Payroll and payroll taxes
    • Employee Benefits
  • Office space
  • Additional furnishings and equipment requirements
  • Scheduling
  • Expanded liability
  • Risk Management
  • Supervision requirements

 

Hiring Clinicians

Practices expand in many different ways.  Some choose to use office sharing agreements to add practitioners to their rosters, while others offer salaried positions to bring new therapists on board, and others use even more unique payment structures to entice practitoners to join their ranks.  What works best for your practice will be based upon your practice’s finance’s, your local market, and your particular risk aversion.

Regardless of how you choose to expand your ranks, it’s very important that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney to draw up the appropriate contract when you have identified the individual you wish to hire.  You and your new therapist should be clear on what your expectations are for where, when, how, (and for how much) they will be performing therapy or testing services at your practice.  All this should be spelled out very clearly in a written contract prior to the start of their employment or their performance of services at your practice as something other than an employee.  (If they are to be an independent contractor, your attorney should prepare a clear written contract outlining the expectations of that relationship.)  Bottom line, never operate without a written agreement, even if you’re dealing with an old pal from school or someone with whom you feel very comfortable.

Hiring Office Staff

The person or persons that answer your phone and greet patients when they arrive at your office are a very key part of your practice.  Good office staff can help grow your practice and hiring in this area is an excellent investment.  Bad office staff can drive patients away; poor phone skills, an unpleasant demeanor, a disorganized style of conducting business can all conspire to give patients a poor impression of you and your practice.

The better the person you hire for your administrative spot(s), and the more they are able to do, the more it will free you up so that you can focus on your patients or other key areas of your practice.  Don’t cut corners when hiring for administrative positions.  Take your time, interview as many candidates as it takes to find the “right” person for your practice.  And, don’t skimp on pay – ask around about what is a respectable wage in your area and meet it, or better, beat it.  You want the best person or persons on your team, so make the investment.

I’ll talk more about these topics in my blog, but this should get you started, (and growing) your practice.