7 Deadly Mistakes Made By New Practice Startups

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13: What You Need to Know: Scheduling Essentials In Speech Therapy Private Practice

We really aren’t trained in graduate school to create boundaries for ourselves and say “no” sometimes.  When scheduling clients, we need to be clear and have expectations for clients and families so that we can do the best job possible.

Treatment is a 2-way street.  We have to value client’s time and they must value ours.  In this episode, I discuss scheduling strategies that I feel are helpful in a speech therapy private practice.  Whether you are just starting a speech therapy private practice or have an ongoing operation, there is something to learn in from recording.



In this episode:

01:26 – Beautiful Tucson, what A beautiful place to live
01:41 – What are you doing to better yourself –  Are you in action?
02:45 – What would you like to hear on the podcast
03:18 – 1 Summer position left – The Perfect Student
04:30 – Email me if you want to be mentored
05:03 – Thank you Christina for the email
06:49 – Thoughts on obtaining your own contract
08:01 – Get incorporated, UPS Store, EIN, NPI, GL and PL
09:41 – Scheduling – have boundaries –
11:31 – Hard conversations
12:28 – Scheduling and calendars

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Transcription of Episode Thirteen:

So those are kind of conversations we don’t like to have with people, but its necessary because you don’t want to sit around and wait on people. You don’t wanted be taking advantage of. We have a service and we have to provide that service. We can’t provide that service unless the family works in conjunction with us.


Well, Hello everyone! You’re listening to the Speech therapy Private practice Startup Podcast; this is episode number 13. My name is Kyle Meades and I’m a speech pathologist since 1993 and these podcasts are designed to help you improve your business and your life one podcast at a time.

I want to always start out and say Thank you for all the follows on Twitter, emails and Tweets. It’s just really cool I have this kind of feedback because when I am sitting here behind this microphone, I am kind of staring at this wall. I got a whiteboard here. I am in my office at home. I am kind of here on edge of the mountain here in North Tucson. Its really beautiful area and I got a shadow in here; sun coming through and birds are outside. It’s a gorgeous day and I am talking into this microphone.




I always wonder are you guys doing anything with this information?   Are you following these instructions and are you taking action? I am kind of curious because I get this emails, “Hey, I want to be mentored by you”.  Sometimes people just don’t get back at me; some people say “Thanks” but I never hear back.   It’s nice to know here you guys doing anything with this information. I really think its valuable information. This is the kind of stuff that I wanted when I started my own Private practice. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I downloaded some PDF and I went on some websites but I couldn’t find the good solid information like checklist, do this, do this and do this and then you can have this. I just didn’t find that so that’s why I am throwing this out there for you guys for free and I just wanted to know, Hey leave some comments for me at the bottom. If you go to PrivateSLP.com you’ll see this blog post and at the bottom they’ve got a place for comments. Shoot me some comments, let me know what you guys are finding valuable so I can kind of steer this Podcast which now as like over 3300 listeners (Its really cool) from all over the world. I can steer this thing the way you guys wanted to go because I got the microphone right here.


I also wanted to tell you I have one space left for the “Perfect Student”. I have one time slot this summer to work one person in. So the Perfect Student is going to work with me weekly it’s a minimum of a 6-month commitment (and its not free but it is affordable) and I really think that the person who gets this spot is going to learn so much information. You’re not only going to get the ability to fly in to Tucson and work with me for a week for seven straight days. You’re going to see the clinic; you’re going to see the home health agency that we have. You’re going to see how we bill it, how we collect it, how we schedule it, how we get the referrals, how we fax it, how we answer our calls, our systems, everything that we do, you are going to get that information too. I will personally work with you one-on-one to make sure that you get the best information. You’re just going to be blown away if you can do it. I got a lot of emails from people, “Hey I want to do this.” And I throw right back catch you and no body does anything with it. I don’t hear anything from people any longer, once a while I get a Thank you and I appreciate response. This stuff is kind of hard and this is not easy stuff. This is a long game and on the last podcast I talked a lot about that. This is a long game and when you start a monster like a Home health or a Speech therapy private practice business, you’re in for the long hold. You can’t get flaky; you got a show up, shoot up and get it done. And for the right person if you’re listening right now, I want you to send me an email at kyle@privateslp.com and I want you too to put The Perfect Student in the Subject line of that email. I want you to tell me about yourself where you are in this Journey for Private practice and what you wanted to accomplish. I will help you and if its a good fit between you and me, I will personally help you. But you got to take the first step; you got to get into action, send me an email. Don’t be scared, don’t be shy, come on do it and I will help you. For the right person you’ll see that this will change your life. And I’ll tell you it’s going to happen.

Also I want to read an email that I received from a lady named Christina. She’s up in New York and I send her a reply recently and I just got to thinking about this email that Christina send me recently this month, May 2016. I sit down and do a Podcast on this because this is really good. This is a great email. So let me read it to you, “Hi Kyle, I recently relocated to New York city to live closer to family. And now I am working at a big Home care agency. I’m considered it Independent provider which means I pay my own Taxes and Insurance. I do my own scheduling and paperwork. The Agency takes care of payment processing through early intervention and Insurance for patients and they just refer cases straight to me. I’ve thought about going into private home care a lot as I’ve recent especially as an Independent provider I feel as I’m doing half the administrative work already and I am excited to learn more about the financial aspect of the business and I have not yet experienced too much of that. As such I really enjoy your podcast and all the valuable information you offer to so many of us as an SLP. A big question I have at the moment is whether or not you use any type of special Software to manage your appointments for Home health care or if you have tips to better manage location-based services; I would love to hear how you do it. (and there was a big smiley face there.) ☺ and all the best. Thanks again for all the great tips and pointers”



Thank you Christina. Well Christina, that’s an excellent question. I know you already get my email reply but I actually slept on this and thought of a lot of information for you. I wanted to make this into a Podcast. Here it goes, you’re doing all the work anyway. Why don’t you just go ahead and get your own early intervention contract in the state of New York. I can’t really speak for your State but I know in Arizona it’s a process. You can go ahead and carve out about six months for that process but start Google-ing – special needs, early intervention New York, developmental disabilities New York. And start looking on those Government websites and find some contact information, just throw it out there and put in that email, “I am a Speech pathologist and I have done this for so many years. I want to help kids and adults. Please give me the information that I need so I can obtain a contract to provide services in Speech therapy.” That’s how I did here in my state.

You would be amazed finally after sending out few emails failures out there, you’ll get somebody that will just say, “Hey, this is the person you talk to, this is the man or woman you want to reach out to.” You can pickup the phone or call them. They might give their number or direct email, but do it. Go ahead. Also follow these steps too. What I suggest is getting incorporated. You can go and talk to a lawyer and pay few thousand bucks. We’ve done this three times now. I use the services of a good paralegal here in Tucson and she is wonderful. She is very inexpensive; the last time I incorporated, it was actually few months ago, it was under four hundred bucks like Three seventy I believe. It was so inexpensive. It took about two weeks. I had my name already picked out and the paralegal just gave me a questionnaire. I filled it out with my name that I wanted, the address.

And also when you do your address for your business, don’t use your Home address because when you use your Home address, you’ll going to get all kind of solicitations through the mail and stuff like that. Go ahead and get a UPS box. Use that address as your point of contact when you register your business. So it gives kind of buffer between you and the public too. Its kind of privacy thing. Use that address and get incorporated. After you get incorporated what you should do is go ahead and apply for Tax ID number. And when you get that Tax ID number you can do that online. You want to get NPI number. You take all those articles of incorporation and Tax ID number to the Bank. You get a Business checking account. You want to get some general liability, some professional liability insurance. And once you get all those things you can apply for that contract. Once you get the contact person in your state’s information, you can apply for a contract under your business because you already got it done. Once you get the contact you can go ahead and start saying people like I said in the first few podcasts I started in the Home settings.

You can kind of start working in the Homes and certain areas. And you wanted to know about scheduling. There is nothing really magical about scheduling but I do know one thing you have to do to that we don’t learn a lot about in graduate school, that’s clarity. You have to be very clear about scheduling your patients. When you have a list of patients that you need to choose from in certain area you want to work in areas. For us we work within 5 square miles from a data on the Map. And once you work from that data on the Map, you speak to patients in that area and you say, “Hey I’ve got two opening in your area.” You give them a choice of two and you say, “I‘ve got a One O’clock or Two O’clock, would you like one of those appointments? And then you wait and the family might say, “Well, I cant do that. I am available on Wednesday but just don’t have anything available on Monday.” You can simply say and again we don’t learn this in Graduate school, “I am in only your area on the Monday. But I’ll keep your name and details and if something opens up on that day I’ll call you back. Sometimes the family will go “I can’t make it work on Monday and I can’t take that One O’clock” and you want to be very clear, “I have seventeen people waiting for an appointment but I will give you this appointment and its going to be weekly appointment and if there is any no shows or excessive cancellations, unfortunately I’ve got many people who want this appointment I’m going to have move on.”

Conversations that we don’t like to have with people, but its necessary because you don’t want to sit around and wait on people. You don’t want to be taking advantage of. We have a service and we have to provide that service. We can’t provide that service unless the family works in conjunction with us.

So that is either you’re on board with us on you’re not on board with us. Those are the conversations that are kind of hard to have because you are creating a boundary there. You are creating the opportunity to give that family way out or they can keep the appointments. So that’s how we do. I basically go far out on my Five square miles from a data on the Map and I work my way back towards home. If I am starting at point A and I’ve got six patients schedule that day. I try to go all the way to the top of that list to the furthest distance away and then I am working my way back home.

IMG 3 Right Outside my Home Office Window

It’s really nice when you get those families when they work with you and they know that you are busy and they do respect your time and you respect their time as well. It’s a two-way stream. You have to respect their time, show up, shoot up and be there on time and they’ll respect you too.

That’s my answer for that part of the question. Also as far as Calendars, we use Office Ally calendar in our Clinic and it’s a great program. We use that for billing. But the calendar part of it is good too. I have heard people use Google calendar, it is secure as far as HIPAA I am not sure about that. If you have information on Google Calendar and HIPAA compliance please leave a comment below and let us know about that.

I really suggest that Kristina at least go ahead and start working and learn the process of getting people on board, scheduling, building a case load, managing that case load and then overtime go ahead and do this suggestions that I am putting out there for you. Go ahead and get incorporated, get your Tax ID, get your Insurance, get the NPI number, get all that ready. So when it comes time to slowly work in your own Private practice, you’ll be ready for that.

I hope this is been a good episode. I hope this giving you guys some very good information and as always I would appreciate if you go to iTunes and leave some good quality feedback for me, some five stars. That way other people when they are looking for Speech therapy private practice podcast they’ll find it too. And they can get the same valuable information for free that you are getting.

I hope this is been helpful. This is Kyle Meades and Thank you for listening!!

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