Which other insurance policies should you take out besides malpractice insurance? Why should you consider working with an attorney even when you do not need one? Who should be in your team outside of therapy to help you become a great business owner?
In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks about 5 Ethical Mistakes Made by Practice Owners with Melissa Wesner and Daniel Mayer.
Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision
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For the entire month of September, they’ll be teaming up with the top brands, consultants, and coaches in the mental health industry to provide you with the best advice, tools, content, podcasts, and giveaways; all centered around one main theme – helping you grow your practice and make more money.
Plus, in celebration of the 5th anniversary of ‘Fall Into Cash’, they’re also offering a very special discount exclusively for Practice of the Practice listeners. From now until the end of the month, they’re offering new websites for only $49/month for your whole first year plus no setup fees – that’s a savings of over $200!
For more information and to take advantage of this great offer, head on over to brightervision.com/joe.
Meet Melissa Wesner and Daniel Mayer
Melissa Wesner is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (MD) and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (NH) who enjoys helping mental health providers and small business owners work through fear and growing pains in the pursuit of their dreams.
Melissa is the owner of LifeSpring Counseling Services, an online consulting service. She is a sex therapist, Certified Brainspotter, and one of the original founders of the Baltimore Brainspotting Collective. She provides consultation services to mental health practitioners through her consultation practice, Intentional Practice.
Melissa holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Community Counseling and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual and Existential Approaches to Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.
Daniel Mayer is the Principal of Mayer Law, LLC, a practice specializing in providing top-notch legal services to healthcare and mental health practitioners.
Daniel understands all aspects of starting or running a healthcare or mental health practice. As a husband and father, he empathizes with the pressures a practitioner may be facing; whether starting their own mental health practice or working to expand and grow an existing one.
In addition to his work with Mayer Law, Daniel also serves on the board of the Maryland Pro Bono Counseling Project and serves as their legal counsel.
Melissa and Daniel are co-hosts of the Protecting Your Practice Podcast, a podcast for therapists.
In This Podcast
- Not going to accurate sources of information
- Not taking something seriously
- Not having the proper liability and insurance protection in place
- Not looking at the logistics of hiring 1099s or W2 employees
- Not having the right people in place
- Melissa and Daniel’s advice to Christian counselors
Not going to accurate sources of information
Many private practice owners make the mistake of not fact-checking their information before setting a change in motion.
A lot of times I have found [when] I meet with practitioners and they’ll tell me something and I’m like, “that’s not right – where did you hear that?” … it’s a game of broken telephone: by the time they’re repeating it’s been distorted to the point where it’s just not correct. (Daniel Mayer)
It is advised that you consult with an attorney before making any big changes and that you consult trusted sources of information, instead of unquestioningly following the crowd.
Know what you do not know so that you can get the necessary help and guidance about what you are supposed to do.
Not taking something seriously
If you’re thinking about it now if you are aware that this potentially is an issue, then you should be planning for it. (Daniel Mayer)
If something is hanging around in the periphery of your business that you shrug off and consider not that big of a deal, you are leaving a problem in the corner to grow.
When you see something crop up, be proactive and sort it out as soon as you see it. By leaving a potential issue alone, you may be causing a larger issue for the future that you will then have to spend more time and energy on to fix, than if you had dealt with it when you first saw it.
Just because you didn’t know it doesn’t mean that you are going to get off the hook … because it is our job to be informed. Obviously, there are many things that we need to be informed of but [know] that not knowing isn’t an out. (Melissa Wesner)
Not having the proper liability and insurance protection in place
If you have a business, you must have the appropriate liability protection, and having adequate insurance protection is more than malpractice.
Insuring for malpractice covers what you do in the course of your practice; essentially, what you do in your office and when you are working with a client. However, this does not cover if a client trips on the rug in the waiting room and injures themselves in the process.
Consider taking out general liability insurance to ensure that your practice and staff are kept safe from accidents that may happen in the workplace.
Connect with a good local lawyer and build up that relationship even when you do not need them legally because when something difficult happens, you can rely on them to assist you through the legal processes.
Not looking at the logistics of hiring 1099s or W2 employees
This is a big decision that many owners of growing practices have to decide on at some point.
Whether you decide to hire contractors or W2 employees will depend on the laws in your state, which direction you want your practice to go in, and what feels most comfortable for you as the owner.
Not having the right people in place
Load up your cavalry with people who can help support you as a well-rounded and informed practice owner. Create strong relationships with:
- An attorney
- An accountant
- A HIPPA-compliant advisor
There should be what I call a team. It doesn’t necessarily have to be people who work in-house for you inside your practice, but they should be people outside who you do work with to help you with the areas of practice that you don’t handle. (Daniel Mayer)
Work with people who are farther along in the process who can guide you and give you seasoned tips and advice.
Melissa and Daniel’s advice to Christian counselors
Melissa – Listen, stay connected, and go within so that you can listen well.
Daniel – Remember that your practice is a business while you work as a clinician, so those are two hats that you need to wear.
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- Brighter Vision Fall Into Cash
- Visit the Protecting Your Practice Website
- Visit Melissa’s consulting practice
- Email Whitney: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out these additional resources:
- Investing in Your Financial Future with Sarry Ibrahim | FP 104
- Next Level Practice
- Killin It Camp October 2021
- Join the Faith in Practice Mastermind
- Practice of the Practice Podcast Network
- Group Practice Boss
Meet Whitney Owens
Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.
Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.
Thanks For Listening!
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Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.