Starting Your Practice Checklist

There are many things to consider when starting your practice.
Below are items to be considered and addressed.

If you’re thinking of starting your own mental health private practice but not sure where to start, this page is for you. (If you haven’t seen it yet, we also have a full overview of our Counseling Private Practice Business Plan Generator)

 

  • ITEM DESCRIPTION COMMENTS WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION
    License Ensure you license is valid and current with your state licensing board Determine, if applicable, if are any special requirements to practice telemental health. Your Licensing Board
    Malpractice Insurance You should have comprehensive coverage as an employed or self-employed professional. Protects against malpractice claims. Various companies can provide.
    Incorporation Strongly consider setting your practice up as an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) or PLLC (Professional Limited Liability Corporation). Most providers utilize PLLC, but you can check with a CPA or Attorney for further guidance. Why incorporate? It can protect your assets from lawsuits, provide for tax benefits and is another form of protection. Check with your licensing board to see if they require incorporation. Your state Secretary of State office.
    NPI Number An NPI (National Provider Identification) number is a 10 digit identification issued to health care providers. Issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/#/ or Call 800-465-3203
    Tax Identification Number (TIN) Utilized for tax purposes & assigned by the Social Security Administration or the Internal Revenue Service Required by many insurance companies for reimbursement. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/taxpayer-identification-numbers-tin
    Office Space - Physical If you are going to have a physical – (brick and mortar) space for face-to-face office. You can rent or share office space with others
    Office Space – Online If you are going to do telemental health you will need a “virtual” office You still need to set up a physical area to do video appointments- ensure privacy – no ringing phones- door bells interruptions etc. HIPAA compliance is a MUST
    Liability Insurance If you have a physical office you will need liability insurance coverage Protects against legal claims. Various companies can provide.
    Credentialing If you intend to accept insurance coverage you will need to be credentialed with each insurance company you will be filing claims with. Commercial Companies (BCBS, Aetna, CIGNA, etc.) Government (Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare) Each company has its own credentialing process. CAQH – allows multiple insurance companies to access your credentialing information. It is recommended that you set up a CAQH profile. multiple companies: https://www.caqh.org/
    Supervision Some designations are required to have a supervisor. It is also good practice to have someone to consult with even if supervision is not required. This is another service that can be provided via online platform. https://counsellingresource.com/supervision/
    Marketing Strategy Determine what you want your marketing strategy to be and how to implement it Face-to-face, social media, advertising
    Forms Privacy Practices, Informed Consent, Intake Questionnaire
    Emergency Coverage Determine a process to handle emergency coverage in case of your absence or if the client is unable to reach you. 911- Hospital, Suicide Hotline & Individual
    Medical Management Relationships Establish relationships with providers who are able to assist with clients who require medical management You might want to say Medication Management
    Referral Sources (How to obtain) Need to establish an ongoing network of referral sources to provide your practice with referrals
    Referral Sources (Who you can refer to) Need to establish an ongoing network of people/organizations you can refer clients to Backup, Outside of Expertise
    Web Presence In today’s environment, an online presence is a must. This can be the “front door” to your office for clients & potential clients.
    Online Counseling Platform Ability to provide telemental health HIPAA compliance is a must.
    Notes & Client Management Provide for client information, session notes, insurance submissions, client invoicing, credit payments & client portal HIPAA compliance is a must.
    Communications Telephone/Fax/Email Consideration of a business telephone number, fax line & email to provide a more professional image
  • Enter your name and email to receive this checklist as a downloadable PDF.

iTherapy is here to help! We can assist with providing information and, in most cases, offer services to support you and your practice!

Have Questions?

If we can be of any assistance to you, be it answering a question or helping you locate more information, please feel free to contact us using the form below. We also have some quick links provided here: