Behavioral Healthcare Business Resources
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Tips from the Starting a Private Practice Forum

During Small Business Behavioral Healthcare Week in 2018, Provider360° hosted a forum at UNC Charlotte.

Practitioners interested in private practice are often clueless about the process for starting a business and more importantly strategies to stay in business. Within 2 years of starting a practice, 80% of providers will be out of business. So, how do you start or sustain a private practice and beat the odds? The following 3 tips are suggested for private practitioners:

Tip #1 - Understand Basic Business Knowledge

If you are starting a private practice, then you are essentially starting a business. You could potentially be a great clinician, but not a great business owner. If you are considering starting a business, then make sure you are educating yourself on basic business principles including budgeting, cash flow, financial statements, and taxes. Utilizing PROVIDER 360° for building your business knowledge is another way to education yourself.

Tip #2 - Develop Policies and Procedures

Ensure that you have developed basic policies and procedures that govern your practice. What are your policies for scheduling clients, no shows, emergency calls, and documentation? Are your policies aligned with insurance policies regarding standard, routine and urgent care for clients? These are questions you need to consider and include in your policies.

Tip #3 - Determine Fees and Reimbursement Strategies

Are you planning to get credentialed with insurance companies or only accept private pay? Do you know which insurers are currently accepting new providers? If you are considering credentialing with Cardinal Innovations Healthcare as a Licensed Independent Practitioner (LIP), do you know if they are accepting applications for new providers? Whatever method for reimbursement, you will need to set fees that are reasonable and fair.

These are just a few strategies for starting a private practice. We will release our forum video featuring the keynote address and panel discussion later this summer. Check on upcoming monthly editions of our newsletter for additional details and information.

About the Author: Sonyia Richardson, MSW, LCSW is the Principal Investigator for PROVIDER 360°. She is the BSW Program Director and Lecturer at the School of Social Work at UNC Charlotte. She is a co-owner of Another Level Counseling and Consultation in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has over 14 years of entrepreneurial experience and expertise. She can be reached at

Provider 360° is made possible through a partnership between these dedicated organizations:

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The database of materials to promote business acumen, known as “Provider 360°” was created by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (“UNCC”) for Cardinal Innovations Healthcare (“Cardinal Innovations”), and Cardinal Innovations will be making the database available to public users through its website.
Nevertheless, Cardinal Innovations does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information contained in Provider 360°, or in any of the websites or resources referenced therein. Use or reliance on such information is strictly voluntary on the part of the user.
Lastly, the inclusion of any materials and/or resources in Provider 360 does not constitute or imply an endorsement by Cardinal Innovations. The views or opinions expressed in any such materials do not necessarily state or reflect those of Cardinal Innovations.
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