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Group Practice 101 (for Associates Too)

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…

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Associates – You’re Asking the Wrong Question

If you’re a clinician working as an associate in a group practice, or considering joining such a practice, you’re probably asking the wrong question on how you’d be paid. It’s not your fault, since it’s based on how so many group practices have been operating for decades. Still, it doesn’t serve you well, and here I discuss why, and what you should do instead. If you're the owner of a group practice, the following can help you decide how to structure your offers and how to educate prospective associates about them.

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Is your Practice Model Setting You Up for a $300,000 fine? Ours was

It was about two years ago. My wife Risa, a Marriage and Family Therapist with a thriving group practice, met with a colleague. When she came home, what she told me was shocking. His group practice had just been audited by the state. The audit had concluded that his associates, who had been classified as independent contractor for years, should have been classified as employees. The state fined him $300,000! That was a wake-up call...

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Are You Getting the Same Benefits as Employee Associates at Other Group Practices?

If you’re an employee associate or are considering becoming one, here are lists of benefits employee associates get at some practices. If nothing else, this offers a sanity check to see if you're incredibly pampered, taken advantage of, or somewhere in-between.

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Transitioning Your Group Practice from Independent Contractors to Employees

If you have a group practice based on independent contractors and are contemplating transitioning to an employee-based model, here are the steps we took to transition my wife’s practice to an employee-based model, including deciding on benefits for the staff, and best practices of managing the team through the change.

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Associates in a Group Practice – Independent Contractor vs. Employee

Many therapists in private practice at some point expand their practice by bringing in associates, either as independent contractors or as employees. If you joined such a group practice as an IC, or if you’re considering joining, there are certain things you should be aware of so you know your rights as a contractor, and know the possible consequences that risk your source of income if the practice owner misclassified you.

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Choosing the Right Group Practice Model – Independent Contractors vs. Employees

Not every practice has to become a group practice, but those that don’t will reach a ceiling of how much of a difference they can make, dictated by the limited time of a sole practitioner, especially if she also does all her own marketing, purchasing, appointment-setting, etc. If you want to expand to a group practice, you can add associates either as independent contractors or as employees. Whether you run a group practice or are planning to expand into a group practice, here are some critical things you must consider when choosing how to add associates.

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Set Your Rates the Right Way

If you’re a mental health provider, grad school taught you all about how to be a clinician. You learned to diagnose and treat the seemingly endless variety of ways in which we humans make a mess of our emotions and those of our loved ones. Then, you learned how to implement all that knowledge in a clinical setting through supervised therapy, learning from teachers, supervisors, and mentors, perfecting your ability to provide therapy. What you probably did not study nearly as much (if at all) is how to run your practice as a business. One aspect, the one that determines how much money your practice brings in, is setting your rates.

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