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[00:00:00] Hello everyone. Welcome to the Testing Psychologist podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

Many of y’all know that I have been using TherapyNotes as our practice EHR for over 10 years now. I’ve looked at others and I keep coming back to TherapyNotes because they do it all. If you’re interested in an EHR for your practice, you can get two free months of TherapyNotes by going to thetestingpsychologist.com/therapynotes and enter the code “testing”.

This episode is brought to you in part by PAR.

The Personality Assessment Inventory Bariatric compiles the results of the PAI into a useful report for bariatric surgery candidates. Available on PARiConnect, PAR”s online assessment platform. You can visit parinc.com\paibr.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to [00:01:00] The Testing Psychologist. We’ve got a business episode today. I’m talking about profits and ways to increase profits quickly. Most of us want to increase our profits, I think. I’m going to be talking through five ways to do that, that you can put into place pretty easily and pretty quickly. So if that’s interesting to you, listen on.

If you want to dive into increasing your profits and many other things that are important in running a practice, you might consider The Testing Psychologist Mastermind groups. It’s group coaching, it’s accountability, it’s people supporting you, and diving deep into the problems that we all face as we run our testing practices. If that sounds interesting, you can go to thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting and schedule a pre-group call.

In the meantime, let’s dive into some profitability tactics.

[00:02:00] All right, people, here we are. We’re talking about profits. So listen.

Running a business can be hard. Unless you’re in the nonprofit space, and even then, you do need leftover money. You don’t spend absolutely everything. You likely want to make more money from your practice. To do so, you can either increase your revenue or decrease expenses or go all in on both and try to do both.

We’ll talk about options for both. There are many ways to do so, or as business people say, levers to pull in this whole process, but some are more complicated than others. I wanted to focus today on five easy ways to increase your profits within anywhere from two days to maybe a month.

All right. Item #1, do [00:03:00] a subscription audit. This is one of those dumb, simple things that people talk about in personal finance as well, but I think it goes for testing practices too. I think many of us sign up for software or other services that have a monthly subscription fee and then we don’t end up using it. But then we forget about it.

One example for our practice was a continuing education service. We could theoretically log in anytime and do these on-demand webinar kinds of things, but the only problem is that we never actually used it. It was just a “perk” that was sitting in the background that gathered dust. 

So as far as you are concerned, other subscriptions that might be either overpriced or just not needed are web hosting, extra EHR users, extra Google workspace users, office 365 user accounts, and time-tracking software. It’s usually [00:04:00] software. It’s all kinds of things that we might sign up for, we might be overpaying for, and you could either eliminate it or negotiate a better rate on it or if you have the money, you could pay the annual rate, which typically will save you 10% to 20% on something. So lots of leverage within this whole subscription realm to make some changes and increase your profit by let’s call it $50 to $100 a month; not going to be a huge game-changer, but every little bit counts.

This is also a really easy one to audit because there are several apps out there that will do it for you so you don’t have to comb through your financial statements. Two that come to mind and are pretty highly graded are Rocket Money and Bobby. This is not a paid ad or anything like that, but you can check those out and hopefully, they will work for you.

All right. Option #2, do a testing materials audit. [00:05:00] There are two components to this one. The first one is to look at your ordering habits. Are you ordering too much? Are you way overstocked? If so, you can cut back your regular order and let the stock thin out a little bit.

I will say the exception here is something like Q-interactive where you get a discount if you buy admins in bulk, this goes back to the software question. If you buy a year’s supply, if you can afford to do that, then you can often save quite a bit of money. Most of the software publishers, I know PAR does this with many measures, Q-interactive certainly, likely others as well, where you can get a discount if you’re able to buy in bulk. So that can increase profitability. Again, think about it, if you could save gosh, 10% to 20% on your testing materials budget by paying at the beginning of the year, that is super valuable.

The second component of this is, are [00:06:00] you over-testing and overspending generally on testing materials? I think we all know that materials are getting very expensive. We calculated recently that our average eval that includes a personality measure with the interpretive report is about $125 when all of a sudden done for materials. This forced us to look at our testing habits to make sure we weren’t just testing because we could, but because it was necessary and helpful.

A third component of this item is digging deep to figure out if you have to spend as much as you do on the materials. This is where you get to the question of, can you possibly sub in some say public domain questionnaires instead of paying for private or commercial questionnaires?

NO #3: Are you overpaying for extra stuff? This is referring to things like office snacks and drinks, copy paper, [00:07:00] paper towels, all that kind of stuff that you need in your office, but is really easy to overpay for. Again, the theme here, as you will see is buying in bulk.

An example that came up in our practice, oh my gosh, this is embarrassing to talk about, to be honest, but we went for probably a year ordering our office snacks via Instacart. If any of you know Instacart, you know that they mark up the prices, they add a delivery fee, and you tip on top of it. When we looked at it, Instacart was adding almost 50% to our snack budget by virtue of the fees. So, how you run into these items in your practice is worth thinking about.

 I think it’s also worth evaluating what you would like to pay for. Do you desperately need that fancy organic popcorn [00:08:00] to snack on or can you eat the Costco brand, for example?

Now, when you’re ready to take the plunge again, buying in bulk is super helpful. Bypass any single grocery store, look for bulk deals on Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, that sort of thing. A lot of them will have business accounts that you can start, earn points, and get discounts.

Let’s take a break to hear from a featured partner.

Y’all know that I love TherapyNotes, but I am not the only one. They have a 4. 9 out of 5-star rating on trustpilot.com and Google, which makes them the number one rated Electronic Health Record system available for mental health folks today.

They make billing, scheduling, note-taking, and telehealth all incredibly easy. They also offer custom forms that you can send through the portal. For all the prescribers out there, TherapyNotes is proudly offering ePrescribe as well. And maybe the most important thing for me is that they have live telephone support seven days a [00:09:00] week so you can talk to a real person in a timely manner.

If you’re trying to switch from another EHR, the transition is incredibly easy. They’ll import your demographic data free of charge so you can get going right away. So if you’re curious, or you want to switch, or you need a new EHR, try TherapyNotes for two months, absolutely free. You can go to thetestingpsychologist.com/therapynotes and enter the code “testing”. Again, totally free. No strings attached. Check it out and see why everyone is switching to TherapyNotes.

The Personality Assessment Inventory Bariatric or PAI Bariatric compiles the results of the PAI into a useful report just for bariatric surgery candidates. Log into PARiConnect, PAR’s online assessment platform where you can administer the PAI and select the bariatric score report to view results based on bariatric presurgical candidate norms. Learn more at [00:10:00] parinc.com\paibr.

Let’s get back to the podcast.

Okay. So we’ve talked about a few ways to reduce expenses, but I would love to talk about some ways to increase your revenue.

The number one way to increase revenue is by raising your rates. There are a few paths to doing so, however. 

If you’re private pay, you just raise your rates. You can do it starting today, like literally today, you could go to your office or go to your laptop and raise your rates. Just change it on your website and your paperwork. If you’re doing 100 evals a year, which is averaged about two a week, and raise your rates by $50 per evaluation, that is $5, 000 right there. You can still keep enjoying that organic popcorn. You don’t have to cut that out.

Now, if you’re taking insurance, you have two options, a little more complicated. You can request raises from panels, which takes time and is [00:11:00] unlikely to work most of the time, honestly. We get a raise about every 3 to 4 years. The other option is to drop your lowest-paying panels. Again, this will likely take up to three months just due to carrier contract provisions, but you can send the termination letters ASAP and get the clock started to drop those lower-paying panels.

These are both ways to increase your revenue. You may think of other ways. You can increase your revenue by working more, of course. You can increase your revenue by building courses or something like that. So there are lots of ways to increase revenue, but these are a couple of the easiest.

And then the last thing I want to talk about is maximizing your billing. What does this mean? This is a relatively simple component that many practices aren’t doing. What I mean by this is they do the work, but they don’t bill for the time. [00:12:00] If you’re not billing for literally every hour you’re spending on evaluations or otherwise baking that cost into your rate, you are hurting your profitability.

Now, when I suggest this to folks, I usually get two different responses depending on whether the practice is taking insurance or not. The insurance-based practices say something like we can’t do that. The panel won’t reimburse for more hours. So then I ask, are you sure you’re maxing out the billing?

Some panels have daily limits on units billed, but not limits for the entire evaluation, for example. Some panels reimburse for codes that you may not have thought of. I’m thinking about a 90837 for your feedback session to buy you an extra hour, maybe a 96116 plus a 96121 if you are doing developmental or neuropsychological evals. The question is, are you maxing out the hours and using all the [00:13:00] codes that you can?

Now, if you are maxing out the hours and you’re still working more than insurance is willing to pay, then my question is, why are you doing that? You have three choices in that situation. You can either keep losing money by working more than you’re getting paid for and likely burn out quicker, you can make changes to your testing battery or testing process like report writing to fit into the hours allowed, even if it means not doing as much as you’d like, or you can contact panels to see if you can balance bill the client.

Those are your choices. I think if you are one of those folks who is out there, and I’ve been there, where you were working more hours than insurance is willing to pay, you do start to have to ask yourself, why are you doing that? I have not met anyone who is [00:14:00] altruistic enough to continue that pattern over any amount of time. You burn out.

I’m a big fan of the second option, which is making changes to your battery or your process to fit into the hours that insurance allows. And so that could be cutting out tests. It could be getting back to the point I made above about not over-testing and making sure you’re proficient. It could be using some software to help write your reports so you’re not spending as many hours on report writing. Many things.

The private pay folks typically respond to that statement about billing for time with something like, well, I’m already charging a lot, I feel bad charging more, it’s too much work to track all the hours, and things like that. Now again, this is your choice, but in many cases, it’s not a huge deal for [00:15:00] private pay clinicians to increase your rates by $200 or $300 to account for some of the extra work that you’re doing. The vast majority of folks who are private pay are charging $2, 000, $3, 000, $4, 000 and upwards. So once you get into that realm, adding $200 or $300 isn’t going to break the bank for your customers.

These are just a few quick tips or things that you could do to increase your profits relatively quickly and hopefully, help you feel a little bit more satisfied in your practice.

Now, I will acknowledge as I wrap up that not everyone cares about money. It’s not necessarily about that, but I will say that profit equals freedom as far as I’m concerned in a business. Profit is like oxygen. It’s the air that your business has to breathe. You have to have money to be able to do anything else, even if you want to [00:16:00] give it all away, you still have to have it. You can’t run a business in a deficit. So hope that these have been helpful and good luck with those profits.

All right, y’all. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. Always grateful to have you here. I hope that you take away some information that you can implement in your practice and your life. Any resources that we mentioned during the episode will be listed in the show notes. So make sure to check those out.

If you like what you hear on the podcast, I would be so grateful if you left a review on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcast.

If you’re a practice owner or aspiring practice owner, I’d invite you to check out The Testing Psychologist mastermind groups. I have mastermind groups at every stage of practice development, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. We have homework, we have accountability, we have support, we have resources. These groups are amazing. We do a lot of work and a lot [00:17:00] of connecting. If that sounds interesting to you, you can check out the details at thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting. You can sign up for a pre-group phone call and we will chat and figure out if a group could be a good fit for you. Thanks so much. 

The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here. Similarly, no supervisory [00:18:00] or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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