General Private Practice Tips
You’re a business owner. But that doesn’t mean you’re on your own.
Transitioning into private practice can be daunting at first. You now have more logistics to assume responsibility for. So we asked providers that have been in your shoes for a few tips that helped them stay on track as they transitioned into private practice.
- Complete and keep your CAQH up to date. This profile houses all of the credentialing information needed to streamline the process that allows you to take insurance.
- Obtain and maintain your professional liability insurance (set a reminder for yourself so you don’t forget to renew!)
- You are covered under SonderMind’s professional liability policy for the care that you provide to SonderMind clients at no extra cost to you. But this coverage does not extend to non-SonderMind clients.
- Obtain an Occupational/Business License with your local city/county, even if you’re renting office space.
- Visit your state’s Secretary of State website for more information on how to do this.
- Know which type of business entity (sole proprietor, LLC, S-Corp, etc.) will work best for you during this stage of your life.
- See our article on starting your LLC
- Decide on your Part-time vs. Full-time status: It’s okay to start part-time as you begin to build your clientele. You can gradually move towards full-time, and once your caseload is at a point where you are supported financially, you can make the full transition.
- Office space: assuming that you are offering in-person sessions still, first find another provider who can lease their office space to you on the hourly basis to start. This way, you’ll save some money on overhead costs!
- Humanly offers flexible rental space to see clients
- Health Insurance: research and compare the costs of paying your own health insurance. This may be tedious but worth the effort to know your health is in good hands. Check out your state’s exchange site:
D.C. (District of Columbia)
- Accounting: as an independent contractor of SonderMind, you may need some help with filing taxes, so look into hiring a CPA before that notorious tax deadline sneaks up.
- Learn about what tax deductions and costs will look like for you.
Expand Your Community
- Because private practice can be very isolating, it’s important to integrate yourself into a network. Find consultation groups to connect with other providers.
- Find the Community tab in your SonderMind portal to connect with the rest of the network
- Find groups on Facebook/LinkedIn
- First and foremost, believe in yourself. You’ve got this :)
- Carve out time from your schedule for things that energize you. Whether that’s listening to music, spending time with your family, or going for a jog, these parts of your day need to be a priority
- Find a new hobby, not just because they’re fun but because they have positive impacts on your health!
- Schedule Breaks: block time on your schedule as needed to step away from work and eat a snack or take care of one of your personal to-do’s like scheduling that dental appointment you’ve been delaying.
- Vacation/Time-off: when you sign-off, make sure you have prepared accordingly.
- Notify your clients as early as possible & set expectations
- Turn your auto-responder “on” for emails/text
- Establish a safety plan in the event of a crisis/emergency
- Get your documentation and billing done BEFORE you leave so that you can relax
- Unplug from your work devices
Additional sources for helpful tips:
The Practice of Therapy Podcast
Reference: GoodTherapy, TheraNest Blog