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4 Types of Medical Practice Models for Mental Healthcare Providers

At some point, mental healthcare professionals must decide what type of practice they will pursue. These fall into four primary categories, including solo (or private) practice and working as part of a group practice. You can also serve as an employed practitioner, or work as an independent contractor under what is known as “locum tenens.” Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and requires different business insurance for mental health providers.

Here are the particulars of each model:

Solo/Private Practice

If you’ve always wanted to call your own shots and control your own destiny, the solo model is the one for you. Operating without partners or any other affiliations, you’ll make all the management–oriented decisions. You’ll also shoulder all the costs and bear all the responsibility for the activities of the practice.

The size of your practice is limited by the number of hours in the day, since you’ll see each patient personally. However, you have the opportunity to truly get to know your patients. You’ll also be the one entering into agreements with insurers and medical facilities, at which you might need privileges. You’ll need to come up with the investment capital to set up your office, as you’ll bear the debt. This type of practice typically does best in rural and suburban areas where competition is less intense.

Group Practice

Functioning as part of a group still gives you a degree of control, though you’ll share it with the other doctors. You’ll usually make more money and you’ll have more free time, as management duties won’t fall upon your shoulders. You can also spread patient care over a larger collective of doctors. The management committee makes decisions, and the cooperative unit takes on financial obligations. On the other hand, you may sacrifice autonomy and face bureaucracy in decision-making. This can take some of the joy out of your practice, even as it frees you to other things.

Employed Practitioner

Hospitals hire mental healthcare professionals as staff, as do health care corporations. Medical entrepreneurs also launch practices and hire doctors to run them. In these situations, you’ll serve as an employee, in much the same fashion as you would in any other field. You’ll get a salary, benefits, paid time off, and the like. However, you’ll have no say whatsoever in the way the place is run. On the other hand, you’ll operate pretty much risk-free, as the employer will handle all management issues and financial responsibilities. Plus, you’re completely free of administrative burdens.

Locum Tenens

Latin for “place holder,” locum tenens is a temporary situation practices offer to fill gaps in their offerings. Because it’s usually a short-term agreement, pay is better. It also provides the advantage of trying out a location before choosing to settle down into something more permanent.

Maintaining business insurance for medical professionals is crucial, regardless of the model you decide to pursue. No matter your specific situation, CoverHound can help you find the right coverage for free. Compare quotes today!

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