Crafting Office Policies for Your Private Practice

Opening the doors to your private practice can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here. From choosing an office location to getting your first client, we want to make launching your business as easy as possible. Today, we’re eliminating some of the confusion and going over the office policies for your private practice that we highly recommend.

There are a million different types of forms that you could have for your nutrition private practice. From BAAsSuperbills, and physician referral forms, you may be overwhelmed in discerning which forms are necessary for your business. This is why we’re sharing our advice on the office policies and release forms you need to start.

Although it may seem like a lot of paperwork, the goal of office policies is to support the relationship between you and your clients. For example, your clients will be able to see how you respect their privacy from these policies. In turn, your clients can see the type of relationship they should expect to build with you over their sessions.

Here are 5 Office Policies For Your Private Practice:

 

1. HIPAA Notice of Privacy Policy

A HIPAA Notice of Privacy is a private practice essential! This policy ensures that your client’s private health information is protected as mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This policy states how private health information may be used or shared so that your clients are aware their protection and 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 provide a standard HIPAA form that providers can add to their digital intake forms to be signed by their clients. Plus, using a HIPAA-compliant platform, like Healthie, makes it easier than ever to ensure your client’s information is secure.

 

2. Information Release Authorization Form

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

3. Statement of Financial Responsibility 

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

4. Cancellation Policy

A 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.

Be sure to let your client know the penalties. We always say post it clearly, introduce it right away, and don’t be afraid to enforce it!

If you charge a fee for breaching policy guidelines, be sure to keep a credit card on file. This lets you easily follow through on your policy in your client’s absence.

Download a free copy of our sample cancellation policy here.

Some additions you may want to include in your cancellation policy are “first-offender forgiveness” or a different fee they reschedule their appointment.

5. Testimonial Release

You may not use your testimonial release form with every client, however, if you’d like to obtain testimonials from your clients (and we highly suggest that you do!), we recommend having a testimonial release waiver ready to go!

Download a free testimonial waiver here!

If you had a particularly good relationship with a client, you may want to ask them to write a testimonial. Testimonials are a great marketing tool. It’s important for your clients to authorize the release of their testimonial.Always get it in writing! In addition, clients need to authorize the release of anything else you may use, like their name or photos.

 

As a bonus, the last policy you may include in your client’s intake paperwork is a General Office Regulations Policy. This policy is especially helpful with new technology practices, such as messaging and food logging, the types of interactions that might go on between appointments. This policy likely won’t need a signature, but it’s a “nice-to-know” policy to help set appropriate client expectations.

For Healthie members, we recommend including some general office policy to set expectations when it comes to engagement with the Healthie app. If you’re only checking the app once a day or twice a week, let your clients know upfront. This way, they know it may take a day or 2 for you to respond to a message.

 

These are just some of the most popular office policies we frequently see private practices include in their intake paperwork. If you’re curious about automating your intake paperwork, learn more about how Healthie can help you!

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