You’ve finally fulfilled your dream of opening your own private behavioral health counseling practice. Congratulations!
Once you have a smoothly running practice, you may start thinking about hiring a partner or two. This is quite a common idea—many independent therapists and counselors participate in a group practice. Here’s what you need to know before you hire a partner for your private behavioral health practice.
Establish your goal for the partnership.
First, make sure you clarify to yourself why you want a partner or employee, and what goals you want to achieve. This will better prepare you to choose the right person. Possible goals include:
The ability to serve more clients
The ability to work reduced hours
Improving your client satisfaction rates and outcomes
Providing additional services you may not currently provide
Serving new client demographics or needs you may not have training or experience with
Evaluate how it affects you.
Once you have your goals set, consider the impact that a second therapist will have on your behavioral health practice.
Will the new counselor be a co-owner, employee, or independent contractor?
What additional expenses or administrative burdens will there be?
How many more clients will financially justify the partnership?
Can your practice’s infrastructure, such as your waiting room, office space, administrative staff, and software, handle the additional provider and patients?
Are you prepared to manage an employee, delegate decisions, or give up some control over the practice with a business partner?
Are you prepared to share liability?
Be sure to consult a trusted legal or financial professional before you go any further. If you have a professional network, mentor, or advisor, it’s a good idea to ask for their input, as well.
Decide what you want in a partner.
Once you know what you want from the partnership, and have decided to move forward, you will need to consider what skills and qualities you want in another clinician. This includes:
Education, training, and other credentials
How they fit with the culture of your practice
Their long-term career goals
Preferred treatment techniques
Philosophy and approach to client care
Offer the right compensation.
Once you have decided what you want from a second therapist, make sure you can compensate them appropriately. If you are hiring an employee or independent contractor, you need to decide if you will offer just a salary, or a base salary plus a bonus based on the income they generate.
Of course, compensation includes more than just a salary. There are other things to consider, especially for a full-time employee or partner:
Health and disability insurance
Reimbursement for continued education or licensing
Be sure to consult with a legal or financial advisor who is familiar with healthcare practice agreements. Research your competitors’ job listings, if they have any. Find out what benefits they offer, and make sure you can make comparable offers.
That’s all we have for now! In part two of this topic, we’ll look at how to find the best candidates, and how to vet them thoroughly to ensure a beneficial partnership and protect your clients.
Whether you are practicing solo or hiring a partner, your EHR software should support the unique needs of your practice. BestNotes EHR solutions have been developed specifically for behavioral health and addiction treatment providers, with numerous customization options to help you save time, stay profitable, and give your clients the best experience. Contact us today to learn more, or schedule a free demo.