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Costs Associated with Starting a Mental Health Practice

Going into private practice is the dream of many a psychotherapy or psychiatry student. But where do you start? If you’re considering striking out on your own,;it’s important to weigh the costs of starting your own mental practice before diving in. You’ll need to budget for a commercial space, business insurance for mental health practitioners and much more.

Here are some costs to consider:

A Venue to Serve Clients

While the traditional office remains the most popular option, there are different scenarios to consider with this strategy. Subletting space from another therapist is a relatively inexpensive way to start out, as long as you can coordinate your schedules. In some instances, you can make arrangements to pay only when you use the place. This relieves you of the pressure of coming up with rent until you have clients.

Telephone/Email/Website

People will need to be able to contact you. You’ll want to maintain a separate phone number for your practice so your personal calls and business calls can be tracked separately. Plus, it’s just a good idea to keep the two separated to preserve your private life.

A dedicated email address tied to your website is a must for a couple of reasons. One, it gives clients a way to contact you other than by phone. Two, it establishes you as a serious professional. You’ll also need to design and host a website to tell prospective patients about your philosophies and grow your web presence. All three are necessary tools that often require money at a professional level.

Office Equipment/Computer/Internet Access

Every contemporary business needs electronics, and psychotherapy is no exception. The good news is unlike other healthcare providers, their footprint is rather small for the private mental health practice. In fact, many therapists keep their businesses organized on a tablet. Just be sure to uphold rigorous cybersecurity best practices to protect patient information, and invest in cyber insurance. The healthcare sector has been devastated by data breaches.

Practice Management Software

This tool serves as a digital assistant. It helps you keep track of billing, maintain clinical notes in a secure environment, schedule appointments and even accept credit card payments.

Business Cards/Stationery

While the need for these items has been reduced considerably in the digital age, there are still times when you’ll need to hand someone a business card, such as in a networking situation. Similarly, you’ll also need to write plain old snail mail from time to time.

Association Memberships

These are very important in terms of helping you stay abreast of the latest developments in the field. Further, when you’re just starting out, meetings are a great resource for connecting with other practitioners, developing client referral agreements and the like. While it might seem like a frivolity at first glance, money spent for membership in the right professional associations is an investment in your success.

Insurance

In addition to the costs associated with starting a mental health practice, business insurance for mental health professionals is paramount to the continued wellbeing of your business. All you need is one successful lawsuit against you at the beginning of your career to impose a significant setback upon your ability to earn. Proper insurance will provide you an umbrella against certain prevalent types of risk.

CoverHound can help you acquire the best coverage possible at a reasonable rate. Get your quote today!

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