The First Quarter Checklist for Clinicians

 Written by Kelsey Someliana-Lauer, Therapy Practice Solutions Virtual Assistant

In our
prior blog, we talked about three things to put on your to-do list in January as a private practice mental health clinician: resigning consents, updating your marketing, and requesting a fee increase from insurance companies. We recommend doing these to keep up with legal requirements, to make yourself noticed by more clients, and to get paid more from insurance companies. If you need a refresher on how to check off your January checklist, have another read of our blog post here.

As January quickly comes to an end, you’re likely looking ahead to the rest of the year. Now that your regular January tasks are out of the way, what is left to do for your business? What goals should you aim for? What legal requirements should you keep an eye on?

If you haven’t made a plan for your practice past January, don’t worry - we’re here to help! If you’re not sure, check out our Mental Health Therapist Checklist for the first quarter below, from the pros at Therapy Practice Solutions!

Diversify Where Your Income Comes From

When you own your private practice, you have a world of possibilities regarding income streams! Mental health practitioners don’t just have to stick to the therapy room; in fact, only having income from 1 on 1 therapy may not be the most effective way to increase your pay. As a private practice mental health clinician, you can:

  • Write a guided prompt wellness journal and sell these on a site like Amazon

  • Make templates for progress notes, assessments, and more and sell these on Etsy

  • Record an online, self-guided course and launch on a site like Teachable

  • Host a webinar, get approved for CEU hours, and sell it to other clinicians

  • Provide consultation for associate-licensed clinicians or those looking to launch their own practice

The best part about many of these avenues is they’re passive income - for example, you only have to make a guided prompt journal once and sit back as people buy it! In the first 3 months of the year, consider adding another income revenue to your practice.

Ensure Claims are Corrected and Resent to Insurance

If you are someone that handles insurance billing, you know the worst part about January - all the denials that come from submitting claims with inactive member/subscriber IDs on them! While you may not catch all claims with old insurance numbers in January, by the end of the first quarter these should be corrected, resubmitted, and paid.

One way to help minimize rejected claims due to old member IDs is to reverify all clients’ subscriber IDs in the first week of January. This may be feasible if you’re a solo practice, but may be harder if you’re a group practice. Consider hiring a Virtual Assistant to re-verify insurance for you!

Make a Progress Note Plan

We’ve all been there - we convince ourselves we can let one progress note sit for more than 24 hours, and two weeks later, we have 40 progress notes to do. Yikes!

In the first quarter of the year, make a plan to keep progress note completion sustainable for you. Ultimately, insurance auditors can see when your progress notes were signed (if you are signing and locking them appropriately, that is), and if documentation is more than a few days after the date of service, this increases the chance of insurance denying the claim. 

Additionally, doing your notes on time helps keep you protected - if you push your notes off for a month and something happens to the client (like illness or injury), your notes may be requested if they’re applicable or needed. You’ll want to have these on hand!

We hope this blog post helps you set goals for the first quarter of 2023! Is one of your goals to hire a teammate who can do all your marketing, website design, insurance billing and claim submission, phone/email callbacks, scheduling, and more? Our goal for 2023 is to make your life easier! Reach out today to Therapy Practice Solutions to find a Virtual Assistant who will make your 2023 dreams a reality. We look forward to hearing from you!


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