I always thought one of the benefits to being on my own would be that I could streamline the paperwork. But you know what? It’s everywhere and there really isn’t getting around that much of it. You do have a chance here though to set it up the way you like it. Hope you’re feeling energetic—you have some forms you’ll need to create!
- Fee Schedule: You’ve already done your research and you know how much you’ll charge for evals/treatment/etc. Put it in writing! And while you’re at it come up with…
- Billing Policy: Will you collect at time of service? Bill monthly? Stay firm! I know you can fix that /r/. You know you can fix that /r/, but if mom hasn’t paid you for the last few session, no one should be fixing that /r/!
- Cancellation Policy: Come up with something humane that doesn’t do you in when it needs to be enforced. Oh, and have them sign it.
- Privacy policies: Have a release to discuss info with other professionals (both ways). You may also need to confirm the ability to leave voice mails and/or converse by cell phone and email.
- Case History: Here’s your chance to get the info you really need and not what was on previous forms that you had to use. This may be one of the earliest communications you have with a family and gives you a chance to express a personal interest. Find out a client’s hobbies/favorite toys/etc. and make the initial eval that much smoother!
- Insurance forms: Even if you don’t file for your clients, you’ll need to create a form to fill out on a monthly basis (or as a receipt per session) for them to self file. You’ll need appropriate codes listed, time seen and in what setting (i.e. out patient)
- Treatment notes/Monthly Progress notes: Create an easy template that you can use for all clients. I know that lots of clinicians are switching to software. I haven’t made the jump myself. I’m all ears if someone has an inexpensive solution to this!