If you were your own employee, what would you consider an effective use of your time and you talents?
What do you spend that precious half hour on before clients each day? If you are managing insurance claims yourself, chances are you have learned that it is far easier to work on reimbursement problems in the mornings, before the hold-times with private insurers grow to 30 minutes or more in the afternoon. You may need to complete a pre-authorization review, inquire on an unpaid claim, check outsourced benefits manually, or advocate on behalf of a client that was denied coverage for a service. While important to the care of your patient, none of these are a good use of your graduate education as a mental health clinician. None of these reduce stress. None of these make you more visible to your peers and the broader healthcare community. All of these can be done by someone else, for what ends up being a nominal cost, especially in the context of how you should focus your time.
Collaborative care should be your first phone call
Those of us that have been in private practice have learned that the very best marketing is sincere clinical communication with other clinicians. We’ve also learned that the best therapeutic outcomes are also often derived from communication with other clinicians, whether in the form of consults or collaborating on the various facets of patient health. Your patients get better and your practice grows when you focus your attention on communicating outside of your office. Making these kinds of calls and documenting them should be how you spend that first cup of coffee, before everyone begins seeing patients for the day. If you do so, then the resources to allow the outsourcing of billing related tasks will consistently be there.
In person meeting with colleagues is critical self-care
Private practice, especially as a solo-provider can be isolating. You interface with your patients, but often do not have time to meet with colleagues for coffee or lunch on a regular basis. Even coordination of care calls are a difficult chore to complete. Using a precious hour that emerges from a late cancellation on insurance problems is another poor use of your time. You need to connect with other clinicians to keep your clinical worldview broad and to maintain your professional support network. There is no suitable replacement for in-person contact with your close colleagues, and free time is scarce. If you are managing your own billing issues in your clinical downtime, consider getting some help and re-focusing your energy towards what will prevent burnout, rather than contribute to it. You’ll find it to be a more productive allocation of resources financially and emotionally.
Resilience Billing & Financial was started by mental health clinicians, for mental health clinicians. Our passion is getting you back to what you do best, so we can handle the rest. Care for your patients, care for yourself, care for your family. Let us handle the things in between. Curious about how we can help you grow your practice and maintain the balance you want? Call for a consult, and we’d be happy to chat!