How does a group practice owner create a sustainable work environment and motivational work culture? What are some benefits that group practice owners can consider offering their clinicians? What are some tips for hiring out assistance for your practice?
In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon does a live consulting call with Bren Shantz about how he can grow his group practice.
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Meet Bren Shantz
Bren is an LPC who has practiced since 2014 in Grand Rapids, MI. He has worked in both community mental health and university settings before starting a solo private practice in 2019. He has been moving to a group practice over the past month and hopes to have several employees up and running by this fall.
His specialties are working with trauma and supporting various sexual and gender identities through the use of EMDR, CBT, Mindfulness, and Existential techniques.
In This Podcast
- Establishing great culture within your group practice
- Essential benefits to offer your clinicians
- Hiring assistance
Establishing great culture within your group practice
For Alison, the importance and ability to create a sustainable group practice culture relies on the balance between having a mission vision and values in the practice.
I spent a good time thinking about ‘okay, how can I actually convey to the therapists that they are respected and have autonomy and [that] I want a collaborative relationship with them … a lot of that is modeling [those values] for them and being open to hearing feedback, whether it’s positive or negative.(Alison Pidgeon)
Over time, the staff in the practice will get to know the owner and see how the owner embodies the values that they encourage the staff to have because it is a lot easier to follow someone by example and to embody principles when they are enacted in the shared space.
As an owner, it is important to be intentional about creating the space that you want your staff to work in and contribute towards.
Essential benefits to offer your clinicians
In Alison’s practice, she found a large request for benefits to be offered that covered health insurance and a retirement plan.
You can do it a few different ways and it depends a lot on your area and how the insurance companies set up the plans but where I am the requirement is that I legally have to pay up to 50% of the employee’s premium. I could pay for more but that is the minimum I have to pay and I do, so they pay for the other 50%. (Alison Pidgeon)
In this way healthcare then becomes quite affordable to the employees and is, therefore, a major attraction of their job.
Depending on what things in your practice you need help with, you can decide on hiring a virtual assistant and how much work they take on from you.
The other structure that you could have which is what we did in my practice was that the therapists actually did their own billing and then the assistant did everything else. She checked the benefits, she entered the OB, followed up on problem insurance claims, she answered the phone, she scheduled people – so again, not a right or wrong, it just depends on how you want your set up to be. (Alison Pidgeon)
Hiring assistance greatly helps you because by delegating out you clear up some time on your hands, enabling you to focus on growing the practice and working on tasks that fall under the CEO categories.
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Meet Alison Pidgeon
Alison is a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a 15 clinician group practice. She’s also a mom to three boys, wife, coffee drinker, and loves to travel. She started her practice in 2015 and, four years later, has two locations. With a specialization in women’s issues, the practices have made a positive impact on the community by offering different types of specialties not being offered anywhere else in the area.
Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.
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