Things to Contemplate

Before starting down the road to Private Practice, take a few moments to read through some of the things that you may want to consider BEFORE getting started!

The information on this and other websites is not deemed legal advice.  Always speak to a legal professional when making these types of decisions!

You may want to think about hiring or making a connection with the following professionals in your area:

  • business attorney

  • accountant/bookkeeper

Solo versus Group Practice?

Do you envision yourself working alone and doing your own thing or do you see yourself becoming a leader in a group practice?  Setting yourself up the right way from the beginning, saves time and space later on.  IF you THINK you might want to own or expand into a group practice at some point, it is much easier to set it up that way from the beginning.  You don't HAVE to expand but with things set up as a group practice from the START, it is much easier to transcend that process!@

What services will you be offering?

If you are sticking to services that are professional and specific to your license, then a PLLC is the way to go.  Services that you may offer may include:

  • Individual therapy

  • Couples & family therapy

  • Comprehensive Clinical Assessments

  • Psychological testing (if permitted under your license)

  • DUI or substance use/abuse counseling (if permitted under your license)

If you will be offering other services outside the scope of your professional license, you may want to consider using a LLC.  

Will you be taking insurance?

If you are interested in taking insurance, you will want to get a list of local insurance plans in your area and look into what it takes to become a credentialed & contracted provider for that insurance company.

What will you charge your clients?

If you are taking insurance, you can charge whatever fee is considered reasonable in your area but you will only be reimbursed your contracted rates.

To find out what other practices are charging in your area, do a google search (Psychology Today is a great place to start), make a list of the fees that other therapists in your area are charging for private pay and then pick a number that is an "average" of those fees.  

Will you provide services in an office setting or online?

Many providers are opting for virtual telehealth right now.  One thing to consider is obtaining a business location (renting an address) so that you can be credentialed with insurance companies.

 

Steps to starting a private practice

Name your Practice

As you begin to think about what name to give your private practice, research available names in your state!

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Contact

Decide on the legal structure

Most licensed clinicians will need to form a PLLC (Professional Limited Liability Corporation).

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Form the business

Form the legal business through the Secretary of State's website or through your professional licensing board.

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Get a Federal Tax ID (EIN)

This is a separate tax number (like a SSN but for your business) and is recommended as one of several ways to keep personal separate from professional.

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Apply for an Individual and/or Type 2 NPI

A NPI (National Provider Identifier) is a designated number that is given to health care professionals and professional entities.

Type 1 NPI- this is an individual NPI that is associated with you as an individual provider

Type 2 NPI- this is an entity NPI that is used to identify your practice.  If you are not forming a group practice or applying for Tricare/Humana Military then you don't have to apply for this type of NPI although it is still recommended.

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Apply for professional liability insurance

To protect yourself and your license, you will need to get Professional Liability Insurance (1mil/3 mil).  Below you will find a link to one of the most popular Professional Liability Insurance Companies

HACK- Check with any professional associations that you belong to, they often offer group discounts.

  • NBCC offers a discount

  • NASW offers a discount

Get a website

A website is one of the most important "things" to do when starting your private practice.  It is how clients will find you!  
If you aren't sure about what company to use to create or design your website, you can check into some of the following sites which are pretty user friendly (especially if you aren't an IT professional):
Weebly
Wix
Squarespace

HACK- I personally have used Weebly and Wix to design websites and both are pretty user friendly!

Start Insurance Credentialing

Insurance credentialing and contracting can be done through Peak Practice Solutions or you can do it on your own!  to do it on your own, you will need to collect all of your professional and personal data in one place for use when applying for insurance companies.

Information that you will need to keep handy:

  • SSN, DOB, Address

  • CAQH Number

  • NPI and License (professional license number along with when it was issued and when it expires)

  • Business Phone No (you can use your personal if needed

  • Business Address

  • EIN, Type 2 NPI

Contact

Market your practice

Marking sounds scary for some but I like to think of it as creating professional connections.  You have a service that people need, spread the word!

There are several directories that you can look into for helping with marketing your practice:

  • Psychology Today

  • GoodTherapy