Get Paid Up Front to Improve Your Bottom Line

Dennis Given, Psy.D.

Licensed psychologist & owner of Psychology Associates of Chester County, Inc.

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13 Responses

  1. Great suggestions. I have been putting these thoughts into use for the last 14 year’s and is something I believe in. Have not had a problem getting paid due to this strategy. Thank you for providing this insight to others. Very useful suggestions

  2. Excellent points and clearly articulated. Very helpful.

  3. About 10 years ago I worked with a client who was a prositute and used her prositution career to finance her way through an MSW program. I remember her telling me ” You have to get the money up front and end on time”. I thought it was great advice. She had learned it as a prostitute but was going to implement it in her practice. Unforntunately, my own issues get in the way from my being able to get the money up front

  4. suku says:

    Nice idea,i have been using for past 5yrs,frustration come down after working with them.

  5. MDA says:

    I accept credit cards, cash, or checks. I also have the patient’s fill out at the initial session a Guarantee of Payment form with a credit card number. This form explains that in the event they are a No Show; the insurance denies payment; or there is a balance due after the insurance payment is received, they will be responsible and charged on the card on file. I have not had any issues with any of my patients with this form. I have used it for the past five years. It has kept my accounts receivable near zero.

    I also accept payment before the session starts but I haven’t done this consistently. However, I always collect my fees, if not at the beginning, then as we rap up and schedule the next appointment. I am real clear that I am not a low fee clinic, county clinic, or university clinic. I am a private practice which is my full time job. Psychotherapy is conversation with a purpose. Not anyone can “just do this.” It is a business requiring a certain kind of individual to with specific training to perform it. In mental health patients pay us for our critical thinking utilizing the psychological sciences. I realize it’s also an art, but so is medicine and law. They never seem to have issues collecting their fees for their professional time. I suspect they value their time and training, as many of us do, but we seem more vulnerable to feeling guilt because we’re often caring to a fault. Nonetheless, if you run a private practice where your in debt because you are negligent in collecting your fees, you also run the risk of losing your objectivity for your patients. It’ll just be a matter of time before you start keeping patients in treatment longer than they need to be and it starts to become a possible ethical concern. Patients expect to pay us; it’s part of them being responsible and accountable. Otherwise you may be enabling some really unhealthy behavior (yours too).

  6. Hi I’m new to this site. I’ve only had one client who did not pay. He simply stated that he had forgotten to bring any cash that day and that he would pay next time. Fortunately for him and not me, he was ready for discharge and did not make any further appointments. I include a short contract in my Informed Consent/confidentiality form which states that payment is due at the end of each session. It appears to work. I’d be really interested to see the ‘Guarantee of Payment form’ if its not too much trouble. Thanks, Rob.

  1. February 25, 2013

    […]  If for any reason they do not, what is you billing policy?  (See related article: Get Paid Up Front to Improve Your Bottom Line) Some practices will charge an additional “billing fee” and others do not.  What […]

  2. March 18, 2013

    […] To read about other ways of improving your bottom line check out my post – Get Paid Up Front to Improve Your Bottom Line […]

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