Crafting Office Policies for Your Private Practice

There are a million different types of forms that come through the nutritional counseling private practice world. From BAAs, to Superbills, to PCP Referral forms, it can be confusing very quickly. That is why today we are going to share a little advice on different types of office policies and releases for you and your clients.

Today, we’re going over a variety of policies and releases that will support the relationship between you and your client. From these policies, your client will be able to see how you are respecting their privacy and in turn, what kind of relationship they should expect to build with you over their sessions.

Types of Office Policies You’ll Use with Your Client

The HIPAA Notice of Privacy Policy is a private practice essential. This policy ensures that your client’s private health information will be protected as mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This policy shares how private health information may be used or shared so that your client is aware of the extent of protection along with what rights are available to them. It explicitly lets your client know that you will not share their private information without their informed approval.

Often nutrition professionals will have this policy written up by a lawyer. At Healthie, we offer a standard HIPAA form that may be easily added to be signed along with digital intake forms to make staying HIPAA compliant easier than ever.

The Information Release Authorization Form will allow you to connect directly with the other health care providers your client is working with. This form works as a functional list of all individuals your client has allowed you to share their private health information with. This form typically includes doctors, therapists, and other health care specialists, but can also include parents, guardians, and other family members.

The Statement of Financial Responsibility is a short signed statement that holds your client accountable for paying for your services. One solution we often see is that providers will ask to keep a credit card on file. This ensures that you will get paid for the work you’ve done with them.

Your Cancellation Policy is something we always recommend for those new to private practice. While implementing it may initially sound off-putting, it only works to benefit you and your practice.

Cancellation policies are often simple and to the point. The essentials you’ll want to include are:

  • the window of time in which your client can no longer cancel,
  • the fee for canceling too late, not showing up, or coming late to an appointment

Some additions might include “First-offender forgiveness” or letting it slide if they reschedule their appointment. If you charge a fee for no-shows or breaching policy guidelines, you also will have to make sure to keep a card on file as a way to make a charge in your client’s absence. Be sure to let them know that this is the penalty, right on the policy. We always say post it clearly, introduce it right away, and don’t be afraid to enforce it!

Your Testimonial Release you may only use occasionally. If you had a particularly good relationship with a client, you might want to ask them to write a testimonial for you to include on your website. The most important thing is to get a signature from them authorizing the release of this testimonial along with whatever else they have approved for release. Always get it in writing!

The last policy I wanted to share is a General Office Regulations Policy. This policy is especially helpful with new Telehealth inclusions such as messaging and phone calls – the kinds of interactions that might go on between appointments. This kind of policy likely won’t need a signature, but it is a nice-to-know policy that will aid in setting appropriate client expectations.

For Healthie users, we always recommend including something along these lines when it comes to engagement with the Healthie app. If you’re only checking the app once a day or twice a week, it’s good to let your client know upfront, so they know it may take a day or two for you to respond to a message or check their journal.

Looking for more help in setting up your office policies? Let us know at hello@gethealthie.com.

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