7 Deadly Mistakes Made By New Practice Startups

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29: Your Private Practice & the Travel Test


Let’s face it, we all want (and need) to get away from time to time so that we can relax and spend time with our family. But when you’re in business, you may not get paid if you’re not seeing patients. In this episode, I discuss the travel test and why it is important that you pass this important milestone in speech therapy private practice.

In this episode:
02:40 – Answering Nancy’s Question on the Podcast
05:35 – All Access Community
08:15 – The Travel test and Why is it Important?
11:25 – Staying Profitable
12:04 – Avoiding This Big Mistake: Owning Your Own Job
13:40 – The Difference Between a Job and Business
14:50 – Being Proactive


Now when I say just open up a business and leave, I think some people may get the wrong idea. This is not like just get rich quick and hire a bunch of people and just hope it works. No we’re talking about providing good solid treatments for the patients, having a wonderful place to work with the employees, offering those employees wonderful health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, 401k with a match paid time off paid vacations. I mean the employees are very important you have to take care when you have your own business and employees you’ve got to take care of people.


Well, Hello everyone! You’re listening to the Speech therapy Private practice Startup Podcast; this is episode number 29. 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.

Welcome back to the show everyone. Thanks again for all the email and questions, and as of today, today’s Friday, August 25th 2017, we have well over 19,614 listeners to the show and it’s just really nice to have you guys on board. Now when you look at that number around the world you’ll see most of those listeners are coming in from the United States. But we have about fifteen hundred listeners in Japan, about eight hundred ninety five in Australia. Got some in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, India and South Africa. And there’s also some in the Bahamas so it’s just really nice to see you guys out there getting this valuable information. Now when you look at the geography more specifically the United States right now topping the list is California, then we have Texas, New York, Florida, Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. So I know that you guys are getting good value out there and values what you get in the absence of money and these podcasts are free for you so if you don’t mind can you help me help other people by just going simply to iTunes and leaving some good Five-Star feedback on iTunes that way other people can find the podcast easier.

Now I wanted to jump in on this episode and answer a question there’s a listener. Her name is Nancy. She sent me an email. More specifically speak pipe through the contact web page www.privateslp.com. You’re able to send me a voicemail so she had some questions and let’s listen to that now. “Hi Kyle, My name is Nancy. I’m currently I’m a full time bilingual SLP. So I just I’m really wanting to do my own thing. I think I would love it. I think I’d be great at it. I have a good feeling that this is what I want to do in the next few years so specifically with the next six months I want to get something go and pick up my first client. So I just have a few questions – Where do I find information regarding my state laws about licensure, any sort of insurance, that kind of information legal stuff? Where can I find the rates for Medicaid reimbursement? Thank you so much for your time.“

Okay, Thanks for the question Nancy. I’ve got a bunch of answers for you and I really thought the listeners to the show would get some good information from this as well. And if you go back to other episodes www.privateslp.com and you click on the Podcasting tab there you’ll see a list of all the previous podcasts and early on we were talking about starting up and you know if you’re ready for Speech therapy private practice that was episode number two, number three – how to transition in this Speech therapy private practice, number five – your first Speech therapy office, number six – six principles for business growth. Each one of those podcast address some of your questions and so I’m going to break it down a little bit further for you.

But when it comes to your State law you definitely want to get licensed in the state that you’re going to be practicing so you want to get your state licensure and also you want to get your ASHA certification and go ahead and through the ASHA website you can be included in their pro search so that will help you with your marketing because there’s really no certain law there’s no law you need to follow. Besides being a licensed practitioner in the state that you’re going to practicing and also being a member of you know at the American Speech and Hearing Association and also you want to get your professional and general liability. Professional liability will cover you in case there’s something like a professional issue in your treatment let’s say for example you’re working with a swallowing dysphagia patient and something happens. That’s why you have professional liability insurance. Then you also need general liability insurance if you’re going into people’s homes or if they’re coming to your office. You want to have general liability insurance to cover any issues that arise especially in your office.

Now the legal stuff you want to worry about credentialing and contracting if you want to take third party payers or private insurance and you want to worry about that billing. So again we just had a Webinar with the listeners in the “All access” community if you go to www.privateslp.com/coaching there is a section here to sign up for the “All Access” forum and we have some really nice people in this forum right now. One of the ladies owns a very large Private practice in California. There’s another lady who owns a private clinic and she is doing well. There’s also another person who is doing tele-therapy so you’re really coming for the content staying for the community we’re working together helping each other out. So if that interest you again www.privateslp.com/coaching that way you can have direct access to me and direct access to all our systems and forms that we use in our clinic.

But we are just now talking about the billing and credentialing and collections in the PrivateSLP community so that’s something you may want to look into. You need a city license to practice so for your particular city you want to apply and get a license a city license so you can hang that in your office to be compliant. And as far as rates you can work with Medicaid patients. If you Google search your own state, for instance ‘the state of Texas Medicaid reimbursement rates for speech therapy’, you should find a web site that will give you the rates for the CPT code 92507. And so all of that can be found normally on the Medicaid Web site of the state where you’re going to be practicing. Also too as far as the quote legal stuff you definitely want to have access to an attorney because there will be legality issues that will arise. And so when you’re signing contracts and let’s say you’re negotiating your lease and you want someone who’s knowledgeable to look at your lease and make sure everything is working well, reading well you want to have access to an attorney. And again we talk about all of these questions in the “All access” community at www.privateslp.com/coaching and we would love to see you there. So if you would like to go ahead and join the price is very low right now. And that will be going up in January 1st 2018. But for those listeners who sign up now your price will never increase it’s going to stay the same and this is where you can learn from me I’m logged in every single day. I answer all the questions from the community. And if there’s something you want to know about and you don’t see it listed in the form the great news is I’ll create it for you. I want to help you guys succeed, learn, grow, prosper, develop and just scale your own Speech therapy private practice.

So I wanted to talk today about the Travel test. Now what is a ‘Travel test’? Recently we’re kind of moving from the summer into the fall schedule and my son and I and my family we’ve taken a lot of trips this summer is just really nice to have my own business so I can do that I can spend some time with him during the summer while he’s still an 11 year old it’s just really a wonderful time in his life. But every year we go to the North shore Oahu we stay up around sunset Beach across from Ted’s bakery around pipeline we’re always enjoying ourselves. And I did do some content when my son and the family when they were sleeping I was making some content and some webinars for the members of the “All-Access” community at www.privateslp.com/coaching and also too I had some pictures from that trip posted on a few episodes recently.

But we also went from Hawaii to the Bahamas so we were able to take a three day cruise I’ve never really taken a cruise before so it was something new to me we took a plane ride from Tucson down to Miami and boarded on a Friday and came back on a Monday so it was really interesting. I swore that I would never do a cruise but I made it through. I’m not a drinker so I ate a lot. I’m still doing that vegan diet thing. So they had some good selections and I hate to say about drink a lot of Coca-Cola. That’s my big big downfall. But my son and I and his buddy we played a lot of basketball and all those games that they have on the boats. We played a lot of Bingo and just went to the open night karaoke stuff. My son thought that was great. We actually met the drummer for there was a band one time I don’t know about two young’s out there. But us older people know who Jefferson Airplane is we met the drummer for Jefferson Airplane was a Jefferson Starship one of those two but we met the drummer who’s a really cool guy and I play the drums. I used to march in the LA Show band at Louisiana State University when I went to school back in the day with Shaquille O’Neal. But I love drums and so I recognize this guy and like, “Oh, there’s the drummer”. So it was cool.

And then after that we went to Mexico. No we didn’t do all this stuff back to back to back. But I was able to get away for a week at a time and when I was away I was able to make sure the business passed the Travel test. So what is the Travel test? I’m sure you guys are wondering. Well, the Travel test is a way for you to check your business to see if you, Number one, own your own job or two own your own business. Now if you own your own job you’re probably just trading time for money so your business may not pass the travel test. What is a job? A job is when you have to be there to see the clients and to make the revenue to pay your expenses. And your expenses are your rent, your electricity, and your insurance like the listener ‘Nancy’ she was talking about general liability professional liability. All those are expenses; payroll taxes all that stuff you want to be able to afford that every month so you can stay in business. Because our main goal when we have a private practice is to stay profitable so we can serve more consumers and also provide a great place to work. And that’s how you do it.

Now if you go away and you’re not making any money to pay your expenses, you just own your own job but if you own your own business you have people in places ready to go, you’ve got process’s, you’ve got systems in place and again we discuss all the systems in the ‘All access’ community at www.privateslp.com. So if that interest you, I really suggest you join up now before those prices increase here in January.

But again you don’t want to own your own job you want to have your own business. Now when I say just open up a business and leave, I think some people may get the wrong idea. This is not like just get rich quick and hire a bunch of people and just hope it works. No we’re talking about providing good solid treatments for the patients, having a wonderful place to work with the employees, offering those employees wonderful health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, 401k with a match paid time off paid vacations. I mean the employees are very important you have to take care when you have your own business and employees you’ve got to take care of people.

And so it does it means you can open up shop in just disappear. No that’s not what I’m saying. But this Private practice has taken many years to build to grow to scale. And we’re really good at what we do so we all deserve a break. So all I’m saying is when you start your own Speech therapy practice when you start growing and scaling your own speech therapy private practice you want to make systems put those systems in place where you can check and recheck and make sure that you can tweak those systems from time to time. And having time away from the office I either Travel test. It’s a wonderful way to do that. Now why would somebody want to do this? It’s the only way to see if your business can function by itself. And again if it’s not self-supporting then you only own your own job. So again trading time for money is a job but a business is self-supporting. There are systems in place. There’s people in place as far as referrals and follow up and scheduling, office manager, employees, payroll all that stuff needs to be looked after when the owner is away.

So this is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot too because you know things do come up from time to time and I say that’s something I really need to tweak in the system. So when I go away next time those problems when they arise they can be taken care of and dealt with appropriately. So it’s just something to think about when you’re just starting out. Now if you’ve already got your own Speech therapy private practice and you’re growing it you want to make sure that you can duplicate these principles from person to person in the office. For example, if you go back to one of the podcast called ‘The Noah principle’ you’ll see how you can make sure that you can code train and cross train employees to perform certain tasks. So if one person has gone or that key person is away then somebody else can jump in there and take that task because the last thing you want when you get to a certain level you want to be proactive rather than reactive. So again these systems are in place for a reason and that is so you can own your own Speech therapy business and not just a job. So I hope this has been a great episode for you guys, the travel test and also answering questions.

As always if you have questions about Speech therapy private practice, how to start it, how to grow it, how to scale it, just hit me up. www.privateslp.com/contact, you can send me an email or you can do what Nancy did and send me a voicemail via the Speakpipe application. And as always if you want to scale and grow your own practice and you just want help and you want to be a member of a functioning community of like-minded people I mean don’t do this alone don’t do it alone. There are people out there to help you. People come for the content but they stay for the community and that’s what we do with the ‘All Access’ forum at www.privateslp.com. Just go have a look and if there’s anything I can do let me know and as always thank you for listening.

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