What are the benefits of having a psychologist in your group practice? How can you train your admin staff to work well alongside the different schedules of your psychologist? What are some tips for onboarding your new psychologist?
In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with Dr. Jeremy Sharp on how to add a psychologist to your practice.
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Meet Dr. Jeremy Sharp
Dr. Jeremy Sharp is a licensed psychologist and Director at the Colorado Center for Assessment & Counseling, a private practice that he founded in 2009 and has grown to about 20 clinicians and staff. He earned his undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina before getting his Master’s and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Colorado State University. These days, he specializes in psychological and neuropsychological evaluations with kids and adolescents.
As the host of the Testing Psychologist Podcast, he provides private practice consulting for psychologists and other mental health professionals who want to start or grow psychological testing services in their practices.
He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his wife (also a therapist) and two kids.
In This Podcast
- Scheduling and billing a psychologist in your practice
- Things to be aware of when adding a psychologist to your practice
- Onboarding your new psychologist and marketing
Scheduling and billing a psychologist in your practice
If psychologists are doing therapy, no problem, it’s the same but testing complicates things a little bit both with the scheduling and the billing … if you are thinking of bringing on a psychologist, are you ready to make some adjustments to the way that you do scheduling and are you ready to train your admin staff to do things a little differently? (Dr. Jeremy Sharp)
In terms of training admin and having psychologists on staff, it is different because:
- You need to spend a bit more time on the phone with potential clients to explain what they will get out of the testing upfront.
- What the testing is about and what to expect.
- There is a different scheduling flow throughout the evaluation. These scheduling appointments run in different time blocks, some an hour long and some even six hours.
In terms of payment, Dr. Sharp pays them per billed hour as recorded in their EHR.
Things to be aware of when adding a psychologist to your practice
Ask yourself: why?
Once you answer that question, you have to ask yourself what kind of psychologist would you want and what this means. What kind of testing would you like to have done in your practice?
There are a huge number of specialties even within testing, so that’s the first thing, try to get really clear on what kind of testing you want to bring into your practice and usually that is driven by the clientele that you are seeing. (Dr. Jeremy Sharp)
If your practice deals mostly with children and teenagers, then you could hire a psychologist that tests for ADHD, autism, and learning disorders. If your practice deals with married couples and adults, then you could consider hiring a psychologist that tests for personality concerns or adult ADHD.
A big part of our interview process with psychologists is reviewing their evaluation reports and doing some conceptualization around how they would assess for certain concerns and how do they synthesize that data. (Dr. Jeremy Sharp)
If you have someone in your network, consider connecting with a fellow seasoned therapist or psychologist friend who can help you to understand how you can best interview a potential psychologist with these aspects in mind.
- Ask how candidates for the psychologist post do with their timeline and getting their paperwork done.
- Check their references and cross-examine what their references say with regards to how they explain their time management, in terms of handing in reports and how long their report-turnaround is.
Onboarding your new psychologist and marketing
If you only have one psychologist doing testing in your practice it is really easy for them to become isolated so I would support them or encourage them to find consultation group of some sort so that they feel a little bit more connected to other folks doing testing, even if it’s not within your practice. (Dr. Jeremy Sharp)
- You may need to acquaint your admin staff with your psychologist since they will be spending time together to schedule clients into all the different time blocks that the psychologist has available.
- Polish up the script that your admin staff will use when selling testing over the phone to potential customers. Make sure that it explains the processes fully and clearly, detailing all the services that are offered and how the testing setup is structured.
- On your group practice’s website, you can create pages that are dedicated to the testing that is done at your practice so that you can really showcase it as an available service.
Books mentioned in this episode
Ian Crohn – The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
- Sam Carvalho Gives 5 Tips on Branding your Practice | FP 74
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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.
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