Private Practice 101 (Week 8): Final Considerations

Business Woman

by Kimberly on April 27, 2010 · 1 comment

This is it! This week we end our Private Practice 101 series. My hope is that all the information we provided over the past 8 weeks has either helped you now or will help you in your future private practice endeavors.

So to finish off our series, some final thoughts and miscellaneous items to think about and address:

  • Insurance. You will need general and professional liability insurance. I highly recommend HPSO (for Healthcare Providers Services Organization), a company the American Music Therapy Association works with. The amount you pay depends on a number of factors: where you provide services (your home? a clinic?), the number (if any) of employees you have and how large your caseload is (part-time? full-time?) to start. I have paid anywhere from $150-700 a year for this insurance. But it’s necessary. Not only does it protect you and your business, but many agencies won’t even contract with you if you don’t have it.
  • Clinic space? Or no? You’ll also need to consider where you do your services. I have chosen to see clients in their home or at site (in the hospital or treatment center). However, you may decide to see clients in your home. If so, you’ll need space set aside that is appropriate to conduct sessions. You’ll also need to look into how this affects your liability, both for your business and for your home. Another option is to have off-site clinic space. If that’s what you want, you’ll need to look in your area, see what’s available to lease. Just make sure it’s handicap accessible! I’ve also rented space from other clinicians and have known other therapists to do this as well. There’s where networking is very helpful!
  • Get Organized. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get and stay organized. Financial info, client info, documentation–you will save yourself lots of stress and headaches if you know where to find things. Invest in filing cabinets, file folders and a label maker (I use DYMO and LOVE IT!).
  • Professional Development. I also highly encourage you to make sure you invest in yourself and your professional development. Sometimes this investment is in the form of time (e.g. reading professional books and journal articles) and sometimes it’s in the form of money (e.g. going to conferences). Regardless of the investment type, the return for yourself and your professional health is invaluable. Make sure you invest in yourself.

And that’s it!

I wish you the best of luck with your private practice endeavors. It takes persistence, it takes drive, and it takes a little sweat and tears, but owning a private practice is rewarding, challenging, and fun!

ACTION STEPS:

  • Call HPSO and get a quote/purchase your insurance.
  • Purchase your organizational supplies: file folders, label maker, and a filing cabinet.
  • Think about and figure out (making calls, if needed) where you plan to see clients.
  • Budget a certain amount each month towards your professional development.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our winning sponsors for the month! Clinical Rhythms and Chords for Change. Their ads will run for only one more week, so click on the links at left and check them out!

P.P.S. If you haven’t already noticed, the Music Therapy Maven is undergoing some growing pains. I’m re-vamping the website, but with two kids and a private practice, it’s slow going. So please ignore our “dust” as we tweak and work to make this a truly enjoyable and accessible site for you.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

CJ Diachenko September 6, 2010 at 7:44 am

thanks again for this series! you are an inspiration and a God-send! :^)

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