Group Practice 101 (for Associates Too)

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Several therapists I work with either own a group practice, or are considering expanding their solo practice to a group in the future.

Many therapists I’ve talked with over the years were (and may still be) associates in someone else’s group practice.

If you’re in either situation, here’s a roundup of resources for you…

If You Own a Solo Practice and Plan to Expand...

To grow and make an ever-larger impact, at some point you must expand beyond a solo practice. If you don’t, you’ll reach a ceiling of how much of a difference you can make. There’s simply a limit to how many hours a week you can sit in the chair, especially if you also do all your own marketing, purchasing, appointment-setting, etc.

However, to avoid potentially disastrous consequences, you should seriously consider bringing in associates as employees, not independent contractors. Here’s why.

If You Own a Group Practice...

You own a group practice – congrats! If your associates are independent contractors, you may be open to huge liability if the government audits your practice (see the link above to learn why). Here’s how to transition your practice to an employee-based model without losing your associates, your shirt, or your mind.

If You’re an Associate at a Group Practice (or Are Considering Becoming One)...

What’s the first question most therapists ask when offered a position as an associate at a group practice? It’s some variation of “What will be my split?” – referring to what fraction of session fees will go to them. That’s the wrong question to ask. Here’s why, and what’s a better question to ask.

Next, if you’re an independent contractor associate, here’s why that may be a problem, even if the government wouldn’t go after you for being a misclassified employee.

Finally, if you’re an employee associate, do you know if you’re getting the same benefits as colleagues at other practices? Here’s what they may be getting so you can compare to your situation and figure out if you should be happy, or if you should consider asking for more.

The Bottom Line

Group practices can make much more of a difference than a solo practitioner. However, expanding into a group practice isn’t trivial, and there are pitfalls to avoid. Similarly, if you’re an associate in someone else’s practice, you'll find the above resources useful for learning some things you should know.

If you own a practice and want to know more about how to look at your financial future in terms of both your personal and business finances, email me to coordinate a free, no-strings-attached call.

Disclaimer

This article is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be considered financial or legal advice. You should consult a financial and/or legal professional before making any major decisions.

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