Live Consulting Session with Dr. Andrea Brandon | GP 65

Live Consulting Session with Dr. Andrea Brandon

Do you have questions about how to structure PTO for your clinicians? Are you a group practice owner wanting to hire or transfer clinicians to W2 employees? When should you consider going full cash pay?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon does a Live Consulting Session with Dr. Andrea Brandon.

Podcast Sponsor

Try out TherapyNotes! It makes notes, billing, scheduling, and telehealth a whole lot easier. Check it out and you will quickly see why it’s the highest-rated EHR on TrustPilot with over 1000 verified customer reviews and an average customer rating of 4.9/5 stars.

You’ll notice the difference from the first day you sign up for a trial. They offer live phone support 7 days a week.

So when you have questions, you can quickly reach someone who can help, you are never wasting your time looking for answers.
If you are coming from another EHR, they make the transition really easy. TherapyNotes will import your clients’ demographic data free of charge during your trial so you can get going right away.

To get 3 free months of TherapyNotes,  no strings attached including their very reliable telehealth platform click on and enter the promo code: Joe

Meet Andrea Brandon

Andrea Brandon is a Board Certified Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologist who is licensed in the states of Indiana and Illinois, and provides office, community-based, and telehealth treatment. Andrea is a specialist in the treatment of selective mutism/social anxiety and disruptive behavior disorders. Andrea is trained in evidenced based models such as Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Parent Child Interaction Therapy Adapted for Selective Mutism (PCIT-SM); she is a certified therapist in both modalities and is the only provider in the Northwest Indiana area trained in these modalities. Due to the need and demand for high quality pediatric and adolescent behavioral treatment, Andrea has developed a waitlist and is currently receiving consultation to learn how to grow her solo-practice into a group practice with providers who can also serve this client base.

Visit her website.


In This Podcast


  • PTO for Clinicians 
  • Alison’s tips on moving towards being a cash pay practice

PTO for Clinicians

There are a few ways you can go around structuring the PTO for your clinicians. First, check: 

  • If there are any state laws that regulate or mention the amount of time you need to give clinicians PTO because some states do require a certain amount of hours that should be available.
  • If there are no laws around that, it is up to your preference. Alison recommends going by what is standard for your industry. 

Obviously you want to be competitive you want to see what other people in [your] area are offering, not that you have to do the same thing, but so that you get an idea so that you’re in the same ballpark. (Alison) 

  • You can work out what is the expectation of how many clients they would see over the space of a year. 
  • Work out how much income they would be bringing in and then factor in potential PTO time and you can play around with these numbers to see how much PTO could be allocated so that they get sufficient leave without hurting the business. 

Therefore, when you are working out the PTO, try to look at it from a yearly perspective instead of from a weekly one. Look at the whole year. 

For Alison, a general guideline is that 25h and above is full-time and 24h and below is part-time. 

Alison’s Tips on Moving Towards Being a Cash Pay Practice

  • Be clear on who your ideal client is: be specific and real about who you help and what you help them with. The more niched you are the more people are willing to pay for your expertise. 
  • When you have a waiting list you can also consider giving cash pay a go, because it shows that people are willing to wait to work with you, and shows that you have interest that is strong enough for you not to have to rely strictly on insurance pay.

Useful Links:

Meet Alison Pidgeon

A portrait of Alison Pidgeon is shown. She discusses ways to grow your group practice on this week's episode of Practice of the Practice. Alison is a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a 15 clinician group practice. She’s also a mom to three boys, wife, coffee drinker, and loves to travel. She started her practice in 2015 and, four years later, has two locations. With a specialization in women’s issues, the practices have made a positive impact on the community by offering different types of specialties not being offered anywhere else in the area.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[ALISON PIDGEON] Is managing your practice stressing you out? Try Therapy Notes. It makes notes, billing, scheduling, and telehealth a whole lot easier. Check it out and you will quickly see why it’s the highest rated EHR on Trustpilot with over a thousand verified customer views and an average customer rating of 4.9 out of five stars. You’ll notice the difference from the first day you sign up for a trial. They offer live phone support seven days a week so when you have questions, you can quickly reach out to someone who can help. You are never wasting your time looking for answers. If you’re coming from another EHR, they make the transition really easy. Therapy Notes will import your clients’ demographic data free of charge during your trial so you can get going right away. Use the promo code [JOE] to get three free months of trying out Therapy Notes for free, no strings attached, including their very reliable telehealth platform. Make 2021 best year yet with Therapy Notes.

You are listening to the Grow a Group Practice podcast. Whether you are thinking about starting a group practice or in the beginning stages, or want to learn how to scale up your already existing group practice, you are in the right place. I’m Alison Pidgeon, your host, a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, One of which is a large group practice that I started in 2015. Each week, I feature a guest or topic that is relevant to group practice owners. Let’s get started.

Hi, I’m Alison pigeon your host. I’m so glad that you’ve joined me today. We are in the middle of doing a series all about live consulting with our Group Practice Launch membership community. So we have a group of solo practice owners in March who started learning how to start their own group practice. And so we’re just a couple months into it now and asked if folks wanted to come on to get some live consulting. You can kind of hear how consulting goes and then also hear what are the common questions that practice owners are just starting a group practice or interested in. So today I am talking to Andrea Brandon. She is a licensed child and adolescent psychologist. She’s licensed in both States of Indiana and Illinois. She has a practice called Child Thrive, where she has a couple of different specialties that she will explain during the interview. Her practice is totally growing by leaps and bounds in terms of referrals and she is in the process right now of hiring a W2 clinician. So she has a lot of questions about that, which we go into during the consulting call. Yes, so without further ado here is my live consulting call with Andrea Brandon.
[ALISON] Hi, Andrea. Welcome.
[DR. ANDREA BRANDON] Thank you so much for having me.
[ALISON] Yes. I’m excited to talk with you today. So I was thinking maybe we could just start out by having you describe your practice a little bit.
[DR. ANDREA] Sure. Well, my practice is dedicated to helping children, specifically those who suffer from selective mutism. Oftentimes with selective mutism, there’s a co-occurring disorder of social anxiety. So those typically get treated together and then I also treat disruptive behavior disorders. So that might look like oppositional defiant disorder, sometimes conduct disorder and ADHD can go along with that. I provide a therapy called parent child interaction therapy and that helps, that treats children with destructive behaviors and selective mutism. And so my business is a hybrid business in terms of taking payment. So I am paneled with one insurance provider, but I also am out of network for anybody else who’s looking for the specific treatments that I provide to treat specific disorders. Right now I’m in the process of hiring another clinician to help because there’s a lot of need in my community for some of the work that I’m doing. So I haven’t hired anybody yet, but I’m in the process of developing job descriptions and I have not yet posted anything, but that’s what I’m in the process of doing right now and just trying to build up the infrastructure to be able to onboard one or two clinicians.
[ALISON] Okay, great. Yes, that’s super helpful. So you’re in our Group Practice Launch community and so you’re going through the process right now of figuring out how to start your group practice and thought it would be great if we could kind of do a little mini consulting session today on the podcast. So I know you have some questions prepared, so happy to answer them and to help you in any way I can.
[DR. ANDREA] Yes. Well, right now in the group podcast or the group therapy lunch, not podcast, sorry, the group therapy launch consulting, we’re on a podcast right now, I’m in the middle of preparing, as I mentioned before job description and thinking through the benefits that I would like to offer but then also what’s realistic. As I said, I’m a hybrid business as far as payment goes and my thoughts are that I would like to eventually become a cash pay business. So I’m thinking that person I onboard would just start as cash pay. And I know it’s going to take a while to develop a caseload. So some of the benefits that I’m thinking of is work-life balance. That’s why I became a solo practitioner, because I believe in the marriage of the two, the work-life balance and that’s really important to help avoid or manage burnout. So I think that’s a benefit to offer and of course, peer supervision, but I’m thinking of PTO or paid holidays. Of course, I’m thinking of 401ks and health benefits, but that might come later down the road. So I have like multi-part questions. One question is what amount of hours as a clinician have to work before being able to earn PTO and conversely, like what dollar amount needs to be accrued or percentage by a business owner to be smart about offering PTO? So that’s one question.
[ALISON] Let’s go question by question so that way I don’t forget what there were.
[DR. ANDREA] Absolutely. So, what amount of hours does a clinician typically need to work before being able to earn PTO?
[ALISON] Yes, so I think this is where you have a lot of latitude in how you decide to set this up. And obviously the first thing that you really need to check is just if there’s any state laws around PTO or sick time. In some States, they do require you to give a certain amount of hours of sick time per hours work. So obviously, if there’s a law around that, then you have to be in compliance with the law. If there’s not any sort of laws around that, it really is up to your own preference. And I also typically go by what are, you know what’s kind of standard for our industry. So for somebody obviously who is a licensed clinician, it’s very common that you’re going to get two to five weeks, maybe even six weeks of PTO, depending on how long you’ve been at a job.

So obviously if you’re looking to be competitive, you want to see, “Well, what are other people in my area offering?” Not that you have to do the same thing, but just to get an idea, if you’re in the same ballpark. So one really great way of figuring out, you know because it sounds like part of your question is can I afford this, right?
[DR. ANDREA] Right.
[ALISON] So what I do, and we actually have a form for this, like a template that is in the Group Practice Launch materials where you kind of work out what, and it sounds like you’re obviously going down the W2 road, you work out what is the expectation of how many clients they would see over the period of a year and then how much income would they be bringing in? And then you factor in, okay, how much PTO time and you can sort of play around with the numbers to see. So if you think about it in the context of a year, it is really helpful because then obviously if you’re only looking at a month, it’s like too small of a time. So if you look at, for the whole year, okay, let’s say I’m giving them four weeks of PTO and I know a year’s worth of a health insurance premium, maybe costs about this much money and a year’s worth of CUs, money that I want to give them is this much money and then you can kind of factor that in.

So you want it to fall between like 45 to 50% of what you’re actually bringing in for the year. So let’s, just for a round number. Like if they bring in a hundred thousand dollars in a year, you don’t want to pay them any more than $50,000. And so that should really account for a lot of those benefits, like the PTO time and all of that kind of stuff. Like you’re basically just factoring all of that in over the course of the year.
[DR. ANDREA] I see. So if they bring, I’m just going to kind of reflect what you said. So if it’s a, you’re bringing in about a hundred thousand, you’re paying about half of that and that already factors in the benefits? Okay. So I think that’s what I need to look at the big picture, because I’m looking at hourly, I’m looking at monthly, I’m looking at weekly, but really the best way to gauge that is to look at it on an annual basis.
[DR. ANDREA] Okay.
[ALISON] Exactly. And it would probably make a lot more sense once you see the template. I think we call it a total compensation worksheet.
[DR. ANDREA] Oh, okay.
[ALISON] Yes, and so that way you can, like I said, like in one month’s time, they may not take any PTO. And so that’s why you need to look at the whole year.
[DR. ANDREA] So when, I guess you just look at the whole year, right? I guess I’m digesting this. So they’re probably not going to have a whole lot of patients or clients at first. So if they hit that mark over the year, then they’re eligible or do I offer it up front? Does that make sense? I guess I have little faith that they’ll fill their caseload, which isn’t good.
[ALISON] Yes. Yes. So again, this is where it comes down to your preference. So you could have them accrue PTO based on the amount of hours they work. So obviously in the beginning they’re working less hours and they’re accruing less PTO. And then once they get full they’re accruing the regular amount that they will earn on a regular basis, the way I decided to do it was, you know they got so many days of PTO every year and that added up to a certain number of hours and then I just divided that number of hours over 26 pay periods. So every pay period, they just get 1.25 hours of PTO time or whatever it turns out to be. Another way you could do it is you could give it all to them at the beginning of the year. January one, you get your four weeks of PTO, you can spend it however you want. You’ve already kind of got it all. So again, it’s just preference depending on how you want to do it.
[DR. ANDREA] Is it easier to like, so for you said they get 1.25 each pay period and that’s different from accruing it per hour work, yes?
[ALISON] Right, yes.
[DR. ANDREA] Is it easier to do that way or?
[ALISON] I think it was just easier for tracking purposes.
[DR. ANDREA] Yes, okay.
[ALISON] Yes, so that’s the way we decided to do it.
[DR. ANDREA] Okay. Okay.
[ALISON] And I’m just making up a number. I have no idea if it’s 1.25 hours.
[DR. ANDREA] Yes, yes, yes. I get what you’re saying. That makes sense. How do you determine, oh gosh. Well, okay, so I’m also thinking of paid holidays. What are your thoughts on that for someone who’s starting out? Would you recommend just offering the PTO and then the paid holidays as I grow? Or is that something that’s just recommended to put in right away?
[ALISON] Yes, I mean, I think with paid holidays, like clients aren’t necessarily going to show up on Memorial day or Labor day for an appointment. So I feel like it’s just a nice gesture to pay for holidays and you can decide like I’m only going to do it for full-time people. You don’t necessarily have to do it for part-time people. And then it really ends up being just like extra days of PTO. So again, if you’re adding that into the salary, compared to what they’re bringing in, like it’s not necessarily going to cost you anymore because you’re paying for holidays. It’s just, you’re kind of decreasing their hourly rate to make up for the fact that they’re going to get paid when they’re not actually working.
[DR. ANDREA] Okay. Is there a formula you use to decrease the hourly? That was the other thing, is we have this recommended percentage for a W2 between ,40 and 45%, but then I was re-watching the video last night and Whitney was saying, “Well you might do 37% if you plan on offering benefits.” And so is that what you mean by decreasing the hourly because you’re factoring in benefits.
[ALISON] Yes, exactly. Yep. And I think it’s always better. I mean, Whitney and I have said this many times, it’s always better to err on the side of being a little bit more conservative, especially in the beginning because you haven’t done this before. And if you start out at 40% and you see like, “Oh wow, we’re making a ton of money and this is great. I can afford to give them a bonus or increase their pay or whatever,” then that’s awesome, versus like you overpaid them in the beginning and now you have to go back to them and say, “Oh, guess what? I’m paying you too much and I need to decrease you pay.” Like, that’s never a good conversation.
[DR. ANDREA] No. I agree. That could hurt morale.
[ALISON] For sure, yes.
[DR. ANDREA] Now what is considered part time in our industry? Is that 10 hours? Is it 15 hours a week?
[ALISON] Yes, it really varies. And again, this is where you might need to run your own numbers to see what makes sense. But for me, 25 hours and over is full-time. Anything below, like 24 hours and below is part-time. So if you’re skewing towards more private pay, you actually might be able to do less for full-time. Like private pay practices tend to be about 20 billable hours a week. But I would say definitely have part-time people commit to working at least 10 hours a week because otherwise it’s not really financially advantageous for you.
[DR. ANDREA] And is that something, and I haven’t looked at the offer letters on Teachable yet. Is that something that you would present in an offer letter, like the minimum expectation?
[ALISON] Yes, exactly.
[DR. ANDREA] Okay. So I need to do a lot of number crunching, if I put it that way.
[ALISON] It’s quite a bit more complicated with W2 employees, because like I said, there’s all these other things that you’re paying for that you probably never really thought about until now you are being the employer, as opposed to just [crosstalk] the employee. You don’t think about, “Oh, they’re paying half my insurance premium and they’re paying for this and that and the other thing.” It just kind of gets paid and you don’t think about it or see it.
[DR. ANDREA] Right, right. Well, and I’ve worked as a W2 before where they only just pay you per hour. There are no benefits and I thought, well, I could do that to start with, but it just never felt good to me. However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t do that to get started and then add as I go on, however you want to attract good talent in the first place, I suppose and the benefits can help with that, I’m assuming.
[ALISON] Yes. And I think that’s one thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that again, this goes back to what is the law in your state about what you have to offer versus is there not any sort of rules around that, but like in Pennsylvania where I am, there are no rules around having to offer a certain amount of benefits or sick time or anything like that. So I could have W2 employees and have no benefits whatsoever, but it makes me a lot more competitive and attractive to have health insurance and a 401k plan and all of that kind of stuff. So because there’s a shortage of mental health clinicians in my area, I have to offer those things to be to be competitive in terms of hiring.
[DR. ANDREA] Got it.
[ALISON] But you’re absolutely right. You can have W2 employees and just to make it simpler for yourself to start out, just have them on payroll and just pay them an hourly wage. And then down the road decide that you want to do PTO and health insurance and all that stuff. There’s no reason why you can’t do it that way.
[DR. ANDREA] Okay. Let’s see. What was my, I have another, what are your thoughts on no compete contracts? I’ve had to sign them a couple of times in my lifetime as a therapist and I’ve never heard you and Whitney talk about them. So I wanted to ask about that.
[ALISON] Yes. So this is my, obviously, opinion on non-compete clauses and you could certainly decide to do whatever you would like, but yes, so I’ve always looked at it like, I don’t want to have a non-compete clause because if somebody really isn’t happy and they want to leave, I don’t want to keep them there. Because if they’re not happy, they’re not going to be doing their best work. The clients are going to be able tell they’re miserable. You know, I mean, like it’s just not going to be a good situation and so I didn’t want to prevent them from leaving if they really wanted to leave. So the opposite side of that then is that I look at my job, especially as a CEO to treat the therapist as well as possible and keep them happy so that they don’t want to leave. And so that’s really like infused in a lot of my culture that I’m constantly looking at how do we make this a better place to work for the therapists. And so I have had a lot of therapists that have stayed for a long time because of that. So that’s just kind of how I look at it.
[DR. ANDREA] Well, that’s good. I had a colleague of mine tell me that, “Be prepared that about every three, once every three years, they’re going to leave because they want to find, they think they could find something better.” But it almost sounds like that hasn’t been your experience as a practice owner.
[ALISON] In some cases it has like, especially when I had contractors, they got the taste of what it was like to be self-employed and they’re like, “Oh, I can just go do this myself.” So in that sense, I did have quite a bit of turnover and that’s actually one of the big reasons I switched to W2 employees so that the staff really saw it as more of a long-term place to work. So yes, and as we’ve grown and changed too, like obviously we started out a handful of clinicians and now we’re 20 plus.
[DR. ANDREA] That’s amazing.
[ALISON] Yes, thank you. But then some of the clinicians were like, “Oh, wait, I came here because it was small and now it’s not so small anymore.” Like this isn’t what I signed up for, which is fine. And they moved on and you know, it is what it is, but yes, there’s always going to be, I think there’s always going to be people, people are going to stay with you for a long time and people who are going to come and go and, okay.
[DR. ANDREA] Yes, that’s just the nature of the business.
[ALISON] Right, exactly.
[DR. ANDREA] I have so many questions. So you just tell me when to stop.
[ALISON] Okay. No problem.
[DR. ANDREA] You know, and this is something that we might still discuss in the Group Practice Launch, and maybe not. It might not be the scope of this consultation, the group practice, but any thoughts on a marketing plan while moving towards a cash pay practice?
[ALISON] Yes. I think one of the big things, and it sounds like you’re already doing this, you’re very clear about who your ideal client is. So not only are you saying, “Well, we work with children, but you’re saying we specifically work with children with selective mutism and this kind of disruptive behavior disorders,” if I’m saying that correctly.
[DR. ANDREA] Yes, yes.
[ALISON] So I think that’s fantastic because the more kind of hyper niche you can be, the more people are willing to self pay for that if you really are positioning yourself as an expert in those areas. So I think, yes, I mean, I don’t know what your sense is of the self-pay market there, but, or like how much of your population currently is self-pay versus insurance.
[DR. ANDREA] I mean well, I take Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, and I have a lot of people who are wanting to use their insurance. You know, I don’t know how many of those would maybe convert into cash pay if I didn’t take that. And then I don’t have a real big cash pay population, you know a couple of people. And I have reduced fees for people. So there’s some people who have Medicaid and they still want help. So I do have a sliding fee scale for that population. There are a few clinicians in my area who are self-pay and they’re surviving. I have not yet called them up and say, “Hey, let’s talk about how your business is doing,” but I see their practices growing. I think they’re the exception, not the rule in this area.

And you know, one of my, I don’t know, concerns, one of the things that, some of the things that I do are really labor intensive. I need extra rooms, I need observation rooms, I need equipmen.t I’m going out in the community and that prevents me from seeing people back to back. You’re doing a lot of work outside of the therapy hour and so that’s one of the reasons that I’m thinking this insurance isn’t cutting it. You know, for example seeing a kiddo, it has a higher reimbursement than just seeing the parent. It reduces it by half and you need to really get parents on board to drive the treatment. So anyway those are some of my reasons for making some of the decisions that I’m making. Anyway, so I don’t know how I’m going to do it. It’s kind of, it’s just going to be trial and error and I’ll see how it goes.
[ALISON] Yes. And I think too, I mean, I know you said what about bringing on somebody to be all self-pay, but what if you did the opposite? What if you got the new person paneled and you dropped the insurance?
[DR. ANDREA] And that was one of the models I had been considering and then I thought, well, then I have to mess with insurance still, and it’s not easy. It’s not easy. You need more people to be able to chase claims and to bill. But I mean, I thought about that. I’ve thought about that, because that might be still a nice mix of the two. I think I was, I felt like I heard somebody, and I don’t know who, that sometimes if you do a hybrid business, people are always going to still want to use their insurance. And then the person who’s cash pay is less likely to get business. I don’t know if that’s —
[ALISON] Yes, I’ve seen that happen before.
[DR. ANDREA] So that’s why I’m kind of thinking, well, maybe I should go all in and just do all cash pay, but I don’t know what the right answer is. I think it might be one of those things. That’s why I’ve been asking around what are people’s opinions and I collect those opinions and kind of make a decision from there. I guess there’s no crystal ball, unfortunately.
[ALISON] Yes, I mean do you have a wait list right now? I mean, are you turning away clients?
[DR. ANDREA] I am. And I do have a long wait list and there’s no way I’m going to get through them. And then by this time, you know my assistant and I lately have been going through the waitlist every couple of months, “Are you still even interested?” They might’ve gone and found help elsewhere and then it reduces the wait list and then other people can maybe get on quicker. But yes, it doesn’t seem to go away. And I even put on my website, you know, not taking anymore calls just to help reduce my wait list. I have a hard time saying no, but then that means I need more people because there’s obviously a need, I guess, is what —
[ALISON] Right. Yes, I think if you, obviously, like you said, we can only make like an educated guess at this point, if going all self-pay will work or not. But I think just from hearing what you’re describing, it sounds like you’re in a good position to make it work. Like you have a very specific niche, you have a waiting list, you’re turning people away all the time. Like even if half of that waiting list would drop off because they want to use insurance, I think you would still have enough clients to keep yourself full and —
[DR. ANDREA] Yes, to give it a go.
[ALISON] Yes, absolutely.
[DR. ANDREA] And working with children too, like some of the therapy I deliver is very specific protocol and it takes a while and that it might also deter people from cash pay, like 12 to 24 sessions as compared to, I don’t know what the average adult sessions are. They might be willing to pay for seven sessions out of pocket. Anyway, there’s just a lot to think about. I guess, like you said it’s an educated guess. It’s kind of an experiment and I collect the data and track the data and see what happens.
[ALISON] Yes. And I think too, like, what I found is that parents are much more willing to pay for therapy for their kid than they are to pay for therapy for themselves potentially.
[DR. ANDREA] Interesting.
[ALISON] Yes. Like I know as a mom, would absolutely pay for something for my kid first, before I would spend that money on myself. You know, if my kid was really having a rough time and I needed to pay for something to help them or whatever I needed to do, I would absolutely do it, so, I am familiar.
[DR. ANDREA] I will, too, and that’s why I’m amazed at the amount of people that say, “Do you take insurance? Okay, I’m not interested in what you have to offer. I just want to know if you take insurance.” But maybe that’s the population I’m attracting because I’m on a panel. I don’t know, you know, but I think like you, and I’m sure there are parents out there, I just need to find them who can. I mean, sometimes you just can’t pay out of pocket even though you want to.
[ALISON] Yes. I think there’s probably some little tweaks that you could make to obviously attract or kind of sell the folks who are calling on paying out of pocket. But like I said, from what I’m hearing you say, it sounds like you’re in a good position to make that work.
[DR. ANDREA] Well, I guess we won’t know until I try, but it does.
[ALISON] Yes. So any other, we have a few minutes left, any other question?
[DR. ANDREA] Yes, a quick, this might be just a quick question. Have you ever heard of Zenefits as far as like an HR, online HR system?
[ALISON] I have heard of them. I haven’t heard anybody I know specifically who’s used them, but I have heard the name.
[DR. ANDREA] I was just wondering if you knew anything about that. I fell upon it last night when I was Googling PTO and how to calculate that. Anyway, just, just thought that’s just something, because you, you guys talk about different you wouldn’t, you have talked about different systems. And so I figured if you heard more about that, you probably would have mentioned more about that, but I just thought I’d ask.
[ALISON] Yes. I mean, there’s lots of different companies now, especially like payroll companies tend to have integrations for things that you would need as a business owner. Like they integrate with a 401k provider or they integrate with an HR company. So I’m assuming they’re probably more of an HR company. And if you’re going the W2 employee route, that would be a really good resource to have in terms of being able to ask somebody for advice but also to have a place to keep everything organized, like all your paperwork organized. I use a company called Bambe. It’s like B A M B E EHR, and they’re out of California, but they do, they have specific people that are familiar with the different States and they can, they assign you to that person. So that’s been a good experience so far.
[DR. ANDREA] So that’s something I didn’t even, I was thinking less about. Like it’s in the under the umbrella of things to think about, but really with a W2 it’s probably wise to just keep the paperwork organized that way. I would assume it’s one less headache to have a system or —
[ALISON] Yes. I mean, when we started out, like I took my existing 12 contractors and turn them into W2 employees. So, very different from where, you know you’re just starting out hiring one person. And I had 12 people basically all at once. So yes, we were surprised at the amount of paperwork that there was involved and we were keeping everything on paper and it was just a lot, I mean, same thing with keeping paper trails, right? It’s just a lot of stuff. You know, then now with COVID and everybody working from home, it was like, “Well, how are we going to get these papers to them? Do we put them in the mail? Do we email?” So we like the Bambe software because everything is automated and everything can be signed electronically. So like we hire somebody new, we send them all the paperwork, they sign it electronically, they send it back. It’s electronically filed. It’s just much more streamlined.
[DR. ANDREA] Okay, that makes sense. One last question. Just one last question. What EHR system are you using?
[ALISON] We use TheraNest.
[DR. ANDREA] And you like it?
[ALISON] We like it. TheraNest has had some customer service issues lately. Their customer service seems to not be as good as it used to be. I know other group practices like Therapy Notes and Simple Practice. Those are probably like the three biggest ones that I use most often.
[DR. ANDREA] With Simple Practice, I hate that you can’t call somebody. It could take up a week or so to get a question answered and their admin side is just kind of bizarre. It’s not user-friendly.
[ALISON] Right. Therapy Notes is definitely a much more customer service oriented. Like they have somebody you can actually talk to on the phone, I think, seven days a week. So if that’s important to you, then that would probably be a good one to go with.
[DR. ANDREA] Yes. They’ll probably all have their pros and cons.
[ALISON] They do.
[DR. ANDREA] So Alison, I could just probably keep asking you questions. So I’m going to stop. It is probably helpful.
[ALISON] Well, that’s why you’re in the group, so that you can keep asking questions and figure this out. Do you have any kind of big takeaways from our conversation today? Anything stick out in your mind that you’re going to do or work on?
[DR. ANDREA] Yes. Well I mean, I’m a processor and I can chew on a subject for a while. And so asking several questions in several different ways and hearing answers, whether the same answers or a little bit different is so helpful for me. I think I have, as far as my takeaway of a clearer picture of PTO and having, I really probably just need to contact my CPA and attorney, probably my attorney to talk about what do I have to do and then from there, what do I want to do? And I really do want to give benefits and I just want to make sure that I don’t over-give at first, but like make wise choices so I could scale my growth and get all the benefits along with that. I think it’s important. So, yes, that’s my takeaway.
[ALISON] Okay, great. Awesome. If folks want to check out your practice, can you give us the address?
[DR. ANDREA] Yes. it’s
[ALISON] Nice. And Andrea is hiring if you’re interested.
[DR. ANDREA] I am.
[ALISON] Well, thank you so much for coming on today, Andrea. I really appreciate it.
[DR. ANDREA] Well, thank you so much for having me
[ALISON] Once again, thank you so much to Therapy Notes for sponsoring this show. It makes notes, billing, scheduling, and telehealth a whole lot easier. And if you’re coming from another EHR, they make the transition really easy. Therapy Notes will import your client’s demographic data free of charge during your trial so you can get going right away. Use the promo code [JOE] to get three months free to try out Therapy Notes.

If you love this podcast, will you please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player?

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.