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National or International Resources

American Psychological Association - A landing page for best practices and national resources.

Small Business Administration - Resources and Support for Small Businesses in the US.

 

General Resources
State Level Resources

Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council - The Regulatory Agency for Texas Mental Health Practices.

State Resources
Software Resources

TherapyNotes EHR - An EHR written by mental health professionals for mental health professionals.   I have used dozens of EHRs / EMRs in state service, private practice, training programs, etc.  TherapyNotes is the one I come back to time and time again. It works seamlessly with my billing service, the reminders are non-intrusive, it recently added the ability to create and edit portal forms, outcome measures, and lets me upload documents to my clients to review and sign.  It's not free, but I have never waited more than a couple hours for a response to a question, and when Change Healthcare shut down, they proactively sought out ways to help us submit billing and keep the lights on. I'm a fan.

Software Resources
Service Resources

Medical Billing Professionals - There are a lot of billing options out there. I was referred to MBPros by my EHR initially, and I looked at a lot of other services before trying them out. I stepped away from them when I went to Alma (since Alma does all the billing for you), but I returned when I decided to credential myself and expand to a group practice. Steven has been a consummate professional. Throughout the entire Change Healthcare situation, he and his team stayed on the phones, kept all of his clients updated, and took time to answer individual questions. They took time to get to know my practice, and they have been an enormous help as I learn all the things they never taught us in graduate school about the ins and outs of insurance. They are a key link in my chain of provider <----> client.

Service Resources
Credentialling and Insurance
Credentialing and Insurance Resources

Credentialing takes a while, that's why when I was in a hurry, I used Alma to get started on getting paid, and then went through the process of credentialing on my own until I had completed credentialing and contracting with enough payers to sustain my practice.  The first link will give you an idea of what reimbursement rates look like for masters level mental health clinicians. My current insurance payer rates for a one-hour session are between $50 and $150 as a licensed psychologist. The average is around $130.

When you are considering what insurance to credential with, or if you want to take insurance at all, please keep a few things in mind. First, it's not that difficult once it's set up. The right EHR + Billing and a little patience is all it really takes to be successful as an insurance based practice. Next, when looking at the vast differences between the lowest and highest payers, it may be tempting to just credential with the highest payers and snub the rest. Consider who you intend to provide services for in your community. What insurance payers are used in that industry area? And finally, the rumors about Medicaid and Medicare being unsustainable are not really true for Mental Health. Their rates are published. Look at them and make your own decision about whether or not to participate. Again, with the right software and billing service, you're not going to notice a huge difference between public and private insurance.

Therathink 2024 Insurance Reimbursement Rate Tables - These are general rates and give a great overview. 

Alma - This is a paid service that charges a monthly fee, provides billing services, client referrals, and credentialing support.  I started my practice using Alma and I highly recommend it for the first time solo private practice. Note the link here will take you to their website from my private referral link, and if you join within 90 days and stay for 60, I will get a $500 referral bonus.  The bonus is not why I recommend them. This has been an extremely positive experience for me and helped me fill my practice while I was getting credentialed on my own. Even when Change Healthcare was down, Alma kept paying me. I regularly recommend Alma to my clients trying to find therapists for family members or when they move. The matching algorithm has been fantastic. And I can confirm their claim that their rates are better than what we get on our own.  I'd stay with them if they would institute a group practice program that was more cohesive.

Aetna - Large insurance panel, takes a very long time to complete the process.  This panel pays well compared to others in North Texas. They seem to have streamlined the process for getting credentialed from what it was two years ago.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield - Another large insurance panel, but theme to get credentialed was much shorter. Th pay rates are reasonable, and the support for providers has been very good in my experience.

Evernorth Behavioral Health - This was known as Cigna until recently. The rates are lower than some others, but they provide insurance to a number of First Responders, and large companies in my area. Knowing who you want to serve is sometimes more important than the bottom line (as long as you are paying all the bills).

Magellan Healthcare - This payer is one of the lowest rates I have seen. This provider also services First Responders in our area. Many times, the lowest cost MarketPlace Insurance plans for Blue Cross Blue Shield will subcontract out their mental health services to Magellan.


Medicare - This page introduces you to what you need to do to enroll as a Medicare provider.  It may look complicated, but there are tutorials on YouTube at the bottom of the screen.  The rate for Medicare is higher than most private payers, but it is more complicated to bill on your own, depending on what software you use.  I have never had an issue with TherapyNotes.

Texas Medicaid - This page is for information about Texas Medicaid for Providers. The truth about Medicaid reimbursement for mental health services is that it is on par with other health plans. In 2024, the psychologist rate for 90837 (60 Minutes of Therapy) is $116.81 for adults aged 21 and up and $122.65 for youth aged 20 and younger. This is more than twice the rate of the lowest paying panel I am credentialed with (they are an EAP provider for first responders), and about $35 less than the highest paying panel I am credentialed with.  Masters levels clinicians can expect 70% of the above rates for TX Medicaid, which is on par with the general practice of private payers.

Resources for use with Clients and Patients

Pesky gNATs - A Trauma Focused CBT Program for Youth and Adolescents. You can request the workbook from the author Gary O'Reilly. I have used it for years with great success.

Clinical Resources
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