One of the challenges of starting private practice is developing your practice policies and forms that go with it. There are tons of forms… just figuring out what you need can be daunting. Be patient as you work through the process and keep in mind you will need to edit them as your practice evolves (hint: don’t print too many copies at once).
I started my practice in fall of 2014. I am still modifying forms and policies, as things change and new informed consents and policies are added to the ridiculously long list of forms private practice requires.
This is one reason I switched to electronic health record (EHR) and chose Simple Practice. Charting and editing forms is so much easier. Still, the seemingly endless forms are required whether you are using paper or using an EHR with e-sign for a “paperless” chart.
You will need to develop and/or review and understand most of these forms, depending on your practice model:
- Registration/Intake Form
- Diagnostic Evaluation / Biopsychosocial Assessment
- Client Payment Record / Appointment & Activity Log
- Informed Consent for Psychotherapy
- Introductory Letter for marketing
- Practice Policies
- Confidential Psychotherapy Notes
- Receipt for Payment / Superbill
- Sliding Scale Payment Agreement
- Treatment Plan
- Sublet Rental Agreement (if you sublet your office)
- Group Therapy Note
- Group Therapy Informed Consent
- Progress Note
- Progress Note with Treatment Plan
- Telehealth Informed Consent
- HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP)
- Receipt and Acknowledgment of HIPAA NPP
- Consent for Release of Information (SUD requires a different consent)
- Consent to Charge Credit Card
- Informed Consent for Reminder Messages
- EAP Assessment and Referral Progress Notes & Informed Consent
- Social Media Policy
- Diagnostic tools like the PHQ9, GAD7, and PCL5
This list is not an all-inclusive list of the forms you could possibly need, but these are common. Several of these forms you can find online for free, such as the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices, Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9), and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 (GAD-7).
For a Social Media Policy, I recommend checking out Dr. Keely Kolmes at https://drkkolmes.com/2010/02/01/updated-private-practice-social-media-policy/#.XyzbRijYo2w. This is her free version you can modify and she has an updated version for a fee.
For additional forms, I recommended doing an online search plus, looking at the list of forms provided in The Paper Office. The Paper Office includes a disc with all the forms in editable format and tons of great information every clinician needs.
If you are considering your forms, then congratulations are in order! You are deep in the process of starting your private practice.
This part of the process can feel overwhelming. Like the old adage, one step at a time, think of this process as one form at a time. Consider an EHR with e-signature so that modifying forms is easier. And above all, don’t give up. It is totally doable, I promise.