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How to Market Your Private Behavioral Health Practice

Word-of-mouth alone is usually not enough to bring you new clients, so your behavioral health business plan should put a high priority on marketing. Marketing can be difficult for new entrepreneurs, so here are some methods to get you started.

Establish a central online presence.

These days, having an online presence is non-negotiable. Before launching your practice, get a website up and running. Include important information such as:

  • Location
  • Office hours
  • Professional background and credentials
  • Which clients you serve
  • Your specialties
  • Accepted insurance and other payment options
  • How to contact you

Don’t ignore social media.

Besides a website, you can create a Facebook page for your practice at little or no cost. This makes it easy to add and change information, or share inspiring quotes and helpful information.

Platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram can also supplement your online presence. However, your practice should still have a main website where you can direct potential clients.

Keep your social media updated regularly. Using an app like Buffer to schedule posts can help save you a lot of time.

Social media can make it difficult to balance personal and professional interactions. Set boundaries beforehand, such as not accepting friend requests from clients or responding to inquiries under your personal account.

Use secondary listings.

You can also establish a business description on Google My Business or Google Maps, as well as healthcare-specific sites like Healthgrades or Psychology Today therapist listing. As your practice becomes established, check in periodically to make sure all information is still up-to-date.

Use paid ads.

You can do a lot of marketing for free, but paid advertisement can give your practice a big boost. You can create promoted posts on social media, or use Google Ads to help your practice appear at the top of search engine results.

With online ads, you can target users who belong to specific demographics or locations, so the most relevant people will see it. Depending on your budget and client demographics, you may also consider more traditional advertising, such as newspaper ads.

Consider content marketing.

Content marketing produces and shares informative, entertaining content to answer questions or solve problems. It encourages your reputation and helps people find you more easily. This can include:

  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Informational videos
  • Email newsletter
  • Social media posts
  • Newspaper letters to the editor

You can also write guest posts and articles on others’ websites. Sign up for HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and respond to relevant queries.

Keep in mind that content marketing is a long-term strategy that requires patience and dedication.

Get involved in your community.

Participating in your own community is a great way to get the word out about your behavioral health practice. There are numerous ways

  • Give talks at local libraries or clinics
  • Offer your expertise to local podcasts or news affiliates
  • Partner with other local social services, even pro bono

Ultimately, the most effective type of marketing is the one you will use consistently. Choose one or two strategies and commit to them for a few weeks or months. Marketing requires a lot of time and hard work, but it can have a big payoff.

The right software can help all aspects of your business, from marketing to documentation to billing. BestNotes offers customizable, all-in-one EHR and CRM solutions that can help you launch and operate your private behavioral health practice with less stress and better results. Contact us today to learn more.

date:  Jun 25, 2020
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Productivity Tips for Behavioral Health Clinicians

Many entrepreneurs may struggle to stay focused without a boss to manage their schedule. Here are some tips to stay motivated and productive when you’re working for yourself as a behavioral health clinician.

Keep your workspace separate and defined.

One of the most important steps in staying productive is to create a distinct workspace that cultivates a focused, productive mindset. Over time, your mind will associate this space with work, making it easier to shift into “work mode” there.

If you see clients in your home, reserve a room exclusively for your behavioral health practice. Avoid adding distractions, such as a television, non-professional books, or snacks. Keep it clean and uncluttered.

If your behavioral health practice is in a different building, assign different rooms or spaces for specific tasks, such as a comfortable area for client sessions, a communications area for scheduling and telehealth visits, and a separate desk for administrative tasks.

Create a new routine and stick to it.

Many successful entrepreneurs are more productive because of their daily routines. From the first few minutes of their morning to winding down at night, regular routines and rituals help keep them on-task and successful.

  • Decide what is important to you, such as family time, exercising, or professional development. Make room for these priorities in your schedule.
  • Create a daily morning routine to help you stay consistent.
  • Commit to a weekly schedule. Consider reserving different types of tasks for specific days of the week, such as doing marketing on Mondays and telehealth calls on Thursdays.

Be a lifelong learner.

You will see changes in mental health research, industry standards, and community needs over the course of your career. To be successful, you will need to stay flexible and open to new information.

Consider different learning techniques to grow your professional knowledge. Be open to learning from in-person classroom events, networking, reading academic journals, educational apps, or mentoring. Set up Google Alerts for keywords in your field. Stay current on applicable licensing and accreditation requirements.

Delegate and outsource appropriately.

While it may make a dent in your budget at first, outsourcing tasks to a receptionist or virtual assistant lets you focus more on your clients and other tasks you enjoy most. This outsourcing even includes the software you use. If you use accounting, marketing, or EHR software, look for solutions tailored specifically for behavioral health or small practices.

Set clear expectations.

Set expectations and boundaries with your clients, employees, partners, and even yourself. This can help guide your relationships and prevent future confusion or problems that may otherwise limit efficiency.

  • Set professional boundaries, such as not providing professional therapeutic services to family and friends.
  • Create an informed consent form or service agreement for your clients. Check out examples from organizations like the Center for Ethical Practice.
  • Set rules for communicating with clients, including social media.
  • Clearly define employees’ tasks.

Operating your own behavioral health practice, gives you plenty of flexibility and freedom. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your routine and workflow as you learn what works best for you.

Make things easier on yourself, your employees, and your clients by using software aimed specifically at your needs as a mental health provider. BestNotes EHR and CRM solutions, created for the behavioral health and addiction treatment industry, can help you stay productive and profitable. Contact us today to learn more!

date:  Jun 08, 2020
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How to Create a Business Plan for Your Behavioral Health Practice

When opening your own behavioral health practice, your business plan can make or break your practice. From your clinical approach to your administrative operations, a business plan should guide your decision-making in all aspects of your practice. Here’s how to get started:

Start small and go slow.

Launching your behavioral health practice is exciting, but shouldn’t be rushed. Start creating your business plan with a simple list, or search online for a business plan template to provide a little more structure.

Explore other practices to get some ideas and decide how you may (or may not) want to organize your own practice. Network with other behavioral health professionals, or consider taking local or online business classes or tutorials on different aspects of business ownership.

Plan your general business operations.

No matter the industry, every business plan should include several common elements:

• What products or services you offer
• Your legal structure (sole proprietorship, an LLC, or an S corporation)
• What other employees or partners you may hire
• How you will market your business
• What makes you different from competitors
• Your business goals and how you will measure success
• Obtaining additional financing, if necessary
• How to handle accounting
• What federal, state, or local licensing or permits are required
• What insurance (payroll, liability, etc.) is needed
• Your mission statement

Include the clinical aspect of your business.

Your business plan should also address questions unique to a behavioral health practice, including:

• Who are your clients (including age groups, demographics, or conditions)?
• Will you rent or buy a space, or work out of your home?
• What therapeutic approaches will you use?
• Do you need additional education or training?
• Will you partner or collaborate with other behavioral health providers, social service organizations, or hospitals?
• Will you offer telehealth?
• How will you handle documentation and client data?
• Will you use software solutions, such as accounting or an EHR?
• What will your rates and payment options be? What insurance will you accept?
• Will you join a referral network?
• How will you bill clients? How will you handle late or missed payments?
• What will your scheduling process be like?
• How will you handle a client that is not a good fit?
• Will you work with an accountant or an attorney?

Make your business plan your own.

You can personalize your business plan to address your personal work and productivity style. This part might help guide decisions like:

• Establishing and maintaining boundaries with clients
• When you will take lunch breaks
• Whether you have a mentor you can consult
• How much time you need between client sessions
• How you will stay motivated and disciplined
• How to respond to serious, negative feedback
• How much time you will dedicate to administrative tasks and how much on clinical tasks

The benefit of running your own practice is having the flexibility to change your operations. If you want to change your accounting software, marketing style, or work hours, you can! Your business plan should grow and evolve with you and your practice, so don’t worry about getting it perfect right away.

Your behavioral health business plan should address the type of software you use to make things easier for you. BestNotes EHR and CRM solutions, created for behavioral health and addiction treatment providers, can help you start your practice on the right track. Contact us today to learn more!

date:  Jun 02, 2020
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7 Best Practices for Telehealth in Behavioral Health

Telehealth has grown rapidly across the nation in recent months, opening up new options for behavioral health providers and clients. In the scramble to launch remote services, however, many best practices may be overlooked. If you’re a behavioral health provider that is implementing or considering a move to telehealth, here are some best practices to follow.

1. Set a goal for your telehealth program.

Think about how you want telehealth to benefit your practice and clients. Set specific goals and measurements of success. Your goals may involve revenue, client satisfaction or retention, reducing cancellations, or gaining new clients.

2. Keep all team members involved in your telehealth solution.

All behavioral health staff should understand the telehealth workflow and know how to use the software. If possible, launch a pilot program to help train clinicians and staff on the telehealth solution. This can help you identify any possible gaps in the workflow so they can be corrected before clients begin to use telehealth.

3. Partner with the appropriate vendor.

Your telehealth vendor should have experience with behavioral health and related privacy protections. Their solution should offer billing, scheduling, and e-prescribing options that can integrate with your existing EHR. Many practices have found success with less expensive, off-the-shelf software. Whatever solution you choose, however, it still must support HIPAA rules, and any other privacy or data protection concerns.

4. Familiarize yourself with federal and state requirements.

Consult state and federal laws before launching any remote behavioral health services. Laws may address issues such as billing, e-prescribing, and informed consent. For example, while some state programs have parity between telehealth and in-person services, other states have different rules for telehealth reimbursement. Seek the advice of an experienced attorney to ensure your telehealth services meet all state and federal requirements.

5. Consider pre-screening clients before they use telehealth.

While telehealth offers enormous benefits for both providers and clients, it may not always be the best solution for every client. To ensure the success of your telehealth program, consider evaluating clients before their first telehealth visit to determine whether they would be better served with an in-person appointment.

6. Market your telehealth services to your clients and community.

Some behavioral health or addiction treatment clients may be hesitant to use telehealth, while others may embrace it enthusiastically. In either case, your clients should know that remote visits are an option. Marketing possibilities include:

  • Update your website with telehealth information
  • Email announcements
  • Post signs in the office
  • Send messages through patient portals
  • Send brochures or other announcement to clients by mail

7. Maintain good communication with clients.

As a behavioral health provider, it is important to understand how to convey empathy on-screen. This includes maintaining a professional appearance during every telehealth visit with a client. The physical space should also be secure, have good lighting, and be free of clutter and other distractions.

Your behavioral health practice also must have, test, and maintain all the appropriate equipment, such as speakers and cameras, to minimize potential disruptions. The clinician should also prepare appropriately by reviewing the client’s history and chart before the start of the telehealth visit.

BestNotes EHR serves many behavioral health organizations that leverage cost-effective telehealth solutions, such as Zoom or GoToMeeting. To find out more about how we support telehealth programs, contact us today.

date:  May 14, 2020
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