Solo practitioners and startups often juggle multiple jobs like administration or billing in addition to clinical work. In addition to startup pains, new agencies need to scale and grow at their own pace.
Ashley Williams, a licensed mental health counselor in Syracuse, NY, experienced these challenges firsthand when she created her practice, Cardinal Hope Mental Health Counseling Services PLLC. As a solo practitioner specializing in couple counseling and anxiety, she needed a practice management solution that included everything she needed to run her startup business without being so financially prohibitive that she would break her budget. And while her business was just getting off the ground, Ashley was already thinking about the problems she might encounter while her practice grew. Her practice is small but growing very quickly. As of this writing, she has an intern and is searching for a second employee.
“As a black female business owner, I just wanted to say I greatly appreciate TheraNest and its impact on my business.”
Ultimately, she picked TheraNest, as it was the most cost-efficient solution. With TheraNest, she could stay within her budget, even after adding new employees once Cardinal Hope got more clients. Ashley saved much-needed time on billing and documentation, which was essential since she ran her practice all by herself. She quickly saw the potential of telehealth in improving access to mental health services and reaching more clients.
“Overall, I’ve seen a lot of areas where I’ve been able to save time, money, and help grow my practice with TheraNest.”
Ashley needed a digital solution to save as much time as possible. As a solo business owner, time was of the essence. While she fully intended to dedicate herself to her practice, she also understood the importance of a life outside of work. Her previous experience with TheraNest helped her realize the impact of a digital solution on her workload.
“Going digital allowed me to save more time to prioritize myself and other aspects of my life, self-care time with family, and also still being able to get things done that I needed to do, but not being as time-consuming.”
While Ashley started as a solo practitioner and business owner, she always intended to grow and take on staff later. That impacted her decision when searching for the right practice management solution. “I often worried about when I did start growing my practice, how much that would cost me later down the line as well, because I also want to make sure that I’m keeping the money flowing within my practice as well.”
Breeze Through Billing
Ashley says that by using TheraNest, she didn’t have to stress about spending too much time getting billing done. “And I’ve noticed that it takes me less than an hour to get through all my billing. It’s really as simple as two or three clicks. And then I’m done with my billing, which is great and good for me.” By cutting the amount of time she spends on billing, Ashley can care for more clients or take some time off to spend with her family. And since billing takes less time, she can slow down and make sure her billing workflow is error-free. She gets paid on time, which ensures her practice’s cash flow isn’t disrupted.
Speed Up Documentation
Ashley saves a lot of time by using templates for notes, treatment plans, intake forms, consent forms, travel, and other documents already built-in the system. She can tweak the templates, which takes less time than creating documents from scratch. “The treatment planning and note setup takes the dread out of documentation!”
Even initial documentation wasn’t bad: “So I really spent maybe again half an hour when it came to my initial documentation that I was setting up in the system because all I had to do was put my business information in and then it was completed. So I didn’t need to draft up specific documents, which saved me so much time.”
Ashley often copies and edits notes as needed. She finds the ability to carry notes and treatment plans over and make adjustments as needed to be especially helpful. She spends less than an hour, and reviewing her intern’s documents is just as easy. “So it makes it just a dream as a new business owner.” Ashley also uses the client portal, which she finds very streamlined, to message clients securely, then copies and pastes messages into clients, charts, notes, treatment plans, and other intake documents to decrease the time spent on paperwork. This also helps to keep notes current and can reduce miscommunications.
Bridging the Gap with Telehealth
Using telehealth also opened a new avenue for Ashley: “And then I quickly realized into my telehealth service work that allowed me to connect with others of a diverse background throughout the state of New York. I’m servicing in more populated towns in Rochester, Syracuse, New York City area, Long Island.” This allowed her to reach a wide array of clients and build connections beyond her local practice. She provides services for people who may not have been able to find a clinician of color or get transportation for an in-person visit. It’s also helpful for people who might have multiple jobs and deal with school or child-raising, where gaps in their schedule can be difficult to predict or fill if they have to drive to a physical space.
Reflecting on TheraNest
After more than a year has passed, Ashley says that adopting TheraNest was the easiest decision she has made and has really helped her practice grow. It has simplified the process of starting her own practice, has taken a lot of stress away, and lifted a burden off her shoulders.
“And so I’m really appreciative of how TheraNest has not only allowed my practice to grow but also streamline the process for my clients. […] It really has overall saved me time, money and improve time for myself as a business owner.”Ashley Williams, business owner and licensed mental health counselor