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TYP Articles

Important content and news for mental health professionals.

This archive contains all of the publicly published articles on the Tame Your Practice site. If you’re looking for my EHR reviews, you can find them here. For exclusive content, only available to Members (it’s free!) head here.

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Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

Is Your Practice Prepared For Any Contingency? A Professional Will Is Not Enough

There has been a lot of emphasis in recent years on creation of a professional will, a document that clarifies who has responsibility for client records and finances, should a therapist die. While a professional will is a great start, it is not enough.

ICD-10 for Behavioral Health – Oct. 1, 2014 Deadline (Delayed)

No one can say that you don't have to be on your toes to keep up with changes in the field of mental health. 2013's big changes included new CPT codes and the DSM-V.  This year's will include ICD-10 and the latest stage of implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, Hybrid?

In my private practice consulting work, I'm often asked by mental health professionals which type of computer they should get. It wasn't that long ago that the choices were simple.

EHR – Practice Management System Features – Notes

Proress Notes are an integral part of the work of mental health and wellness professionals. Keeping good clinical notes allows a provider to recall information more readily, focus on targeted goals, and track progress.
Business Issues for Therapists

Passing On Credit Card Fees – Do Or Don’t?

Imagine going to your favorite restaurant or store one day and seeing a new two to three percent surcharge on your bill?  When you ask, they inform you of a new policy that calls for passing credit card merchant fees on to the customer.  How would you feel?
Business Issues for Therapists

Are You Responsible For Fraudulent Credit Card Charges?

ICD-10 isn't the only change that happened in October of 2015. Credit cards also implemented new technology in efforts to become more secure.

Going Paperless – Verify and Backup Remotely

In carrying out these tasks, it's important to be mindful since there are legal and ethics implications. To ensure proper conversion, recall these two key terms: Verify and Backup Remotely.

EHR – Practice Management System Features – Scheduling

A private practice doesn't exist without client appointments. Unless the practitioner or office manager is gifted with perfect memory, a tool for keeping track of those appointments is necessary.
Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

Your Software and Devices Are Not HIPAA Compliant

With growing frequency, vendors market their software, devices, and services as "HIPAA Compliant".  This feeds into the mistaken belief that such beasts exist.  It's somewhat understandable.  
stepnotes review

STEPNotes – Review

STEPNotes was developed by Dr. Rhonda Sutton when she realized that most counselor education programs didn't adequately address the completion of good progress notes.
CentralReach Review

CentralReach – Review

CentralReach starts off with a wonderful premise and shows a lot of promise.  A newcomer to the market (launched in late 2012), CentralReach endeavors to not only provide a Meaningful-Use Certified EHR for mental health professionals, but also a tool through which  users and other professionals can collaborate.
Expert EHR Reviews for therapists and counselors.

QuicDoc Office – Review

DocuTrac, Inc. has been around for quite some time, starting as a traditional software program focused on documentation.  They eventually acquired Office Therapy, primarily to serve as the financial piece of the practice management system.

EHR – Practice Management System Features – Client Portal

How much time and money would your practice save if it no longer had to worry about reminding Clients about appointments? What if you no longer had to print Intake forms and assessments?
Practice Fusion Review

Practice Fusion – Review

At the beginning of March, 2018, Practice Fusion announced that they will no longer be offering free accounts as of June 1, 2018. New users must sign up for a paid account and current users must sign up for a subscription by May 31, or be given limited access.

EMR vs. EHR Redux

It's important to note that a clearer distinction between Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) has taken hold here in the United States.  
Technology News for Therapists

How Do Domain Names Work?

Therapists aren't alone in being confused about domain names. Despite the Internet being commonplace for over twenty years now, the inner workings of Domain Name Service remain a mystery to many.
Expert EHR Reviews for therapists and counselors.

Delphi PBS – Review

Delphi is a true dinosaur in the cloud-based practice management system market, pre-dating most of the other offerings. Unlike many of the “traditional”  practice management systems that have struggled to keep pace with new rush toward cloud-computing, Delphi has adapted and continued to keep pace with changes in the industry.
CounSol Review

CounSol – Review

CounSol is a standout choice for solo clinicians who desire the ability to customize.  In 2015 they introduced electronic claims filing and now also feature integrated ERAs.
Expert EHR Reviews for therapists and counselors.

EHR – Practice Management Systems In The Cloud

In this series, I discuss and evaluate cloud-based EHR/practice management systems.  These are online software solutions that allow you to manage various facets of your practice electronically, typically through a web browser.

eTherapi Listing Therapists Without Permission?

It was brought to my attention through one of Tamara Suttle's wonderful Private Practice From the Inside Out channels, that eTherapi appears to be listing thousands of therapists without their permission.

EHR / Practice Management System Features – Billing

I feel pretty safe in stating that most mental health and wellness professionals are not in this line of work primarily for the money. Still, most of us in private practice are hoping to make a living or at least supplement our income.
Web Site Options for Therapists

Web Sites For Therapists – Where To Go?

I regularly visit many online forums for therapists and one of the questions I hear asked most frequently is, “What's the best way to create my web site?”
Expert EHR Reviews for therapists and counselors.

EHR Your Way – Review

EHR Your Way's core selling point is the ability to take your current forms (progress notes, treatment plans, forms you're required to complete as part of a contract, etc.) and integrate them into a robust practice management system.

ICD-10 Checklist – Prepare for October 1st!

What changed with ICD-10? Read this for a reminder and for a handy checklist for weathering simliar insurance/billing/coding updates.

EHR – Practice Management System Features – Miscellaneous

In the previous articles, I have covered the major features and concerns when evaluating a Cloud-Based Practice Management System.  There are quite a few more things to consider that are less universal and/or don't require full article unto themselves.

Cloud Practice Management System EHR / EMR – Table of Contents

Table of Contents for an article series explaining EHR, EMR, Practice Management systems and leading up to reviews and selection.

Why Is Yodle Health Calling Me?

It appears that Yodle is heavily targeting mental health practitioners for new business. In addition to receiving the cold calls myself, I've received multiple reports from others who have received them as well. 
Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

EHR Good, Cloning Bad

One of the strongest selling points of an EMR/EHR or Practice Management System, is the potential for huge time savings. When well programmed and structured, most tasks can be completed in these systems through pull down menus and mouse clicks. 

EHR – Practice Management System Features – Clients

While it would be nice if EHR / Practice Management Software would produce clients for us, this feature is about tracking client data. At a bare minimum, practitioners have a need to track names and contact information for clients
Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

Minimizing the Risks of Discussing Clients Online

This comes with some caveats, however. The most important one, in my opinion, is the need to protect our clients' (and prospective clients') privacy by being mindful about how we address case consultation and referrals online.

Understanding Crowdfunding Lingo – A Traveling Blog Series

Choosing which crowdfunding platform to use for a project is one of the most important decisions to make and one that should be settled on early in the process.
Valley Hope Review

Valley Hope iAC/ESS – Brief

This system was developed for a residential chemical dependency treatment program and they are now hoping to branch out to offer it to other providers. 

Medicare Doc Fix Applied and New CPT Codes In Effect

With the House voting yesterday to approve the latest "avoid the fiscal cliff" bill and President Obama promising to sign it, the Medicare "doc fix" will once again occur.
Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

HIPAA Final Rule Templates and Requirements

The Final Rule brought many changes to the game.  In order to be fully compliant, there are some specific things Covered Entities need to have in place.

The Fiscal Cliff, SGR, and You

The SGR referenced in this article was ended by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2015. This article remains published for reference.
Procentive Review

Procentive – Review

Procentive is another in the class of Meaningful Use Certified EHRs that has been working to broaden its marketing appeal.  All but solo, part-time practitioners who want integrated insurance filing are likely to find a pricing and features plan that might work for them with Procentive.

EHR Practice Management System Features – Electronic Claim Filing

If you've been following this series, you've probably noticed I bring up time and money a lot. Specifically I point to how the various features of Cloud-Based EHR / Practice Management Systems have the potential to save practices a significant amount of both time and money.
Free Tame Your Practice Membership

Recommended Technology, Tools, and Resources for Therapists and Counselors

Recommendations for technology, web sites, secure email, phone, credit card processing, therapy tools/interventions, podcasts, and much more!

HIPAA Compliant Email For Therapists

As a mental health professional, you've probably been hearing a lot about how you should encrypt your email communications with clients. This is true, with some caveats.
Technology News for Therapists

Health Information Exchanges (HIE) and How They May Affect Your Practice

Health Information Exchanges (HIE) are an initiative related to the Affordable Care Act and the HITECH Act. Their purpose is to ease the communication between the EHR/systems of various providers of health care, because the EHRs themselves are behind in doing so (i.e. interoperability).

TYP Privacy Policy

This policy explains how Rob Reinhardt, LPC, PA (owner/operator of the Tame Your Practice web site and used interchangably below) may collect, use and aggregate personal information about you on https://www.tameyourpractice.com.  Rob Reinhardt, LPC, PA respects your personal privacy and is committed to protecting it.
ICANotes Review

ICANotes – Review

ICANotes has made some improvements since my last update. Most notably, they've shined and polished their scheduling system. In my opinion, it's the most aesthetically pleasing part of the application and now has robust availability search functionality.

EHR – Practice Management System Features – HIPAA Redux & TOS

One of the most important things I've learned during my evaluation of Cloud-Based EHR / Practice Management Systems is that not all HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAA) are equal. This was brought into focus for me when I had an attorney, specializing in HIPAA, review the BAA of one of the vendors.
Expert EHR Reviews for therapists and counselors.

MHP Office – Review

MHP Office originally was on a fast track for growth.  While maintaining one of its strongest selling points, the “Checkout Wizard”, it had added further standout features that make it a viable application for many practitioners.
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Tame Your Practice Free Membership

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carepaths Review

Carepaths / eRecord – Review

Carepath's eRecord application packs an impressive array of features. They have all the major feature categories covered and have some unique offerings like a complete suite of note and assessment templates. 

Affordable Electronic Records (EMR, EHR) for Mental Health Professionals

One of the top concerns I hear expressed about keeping electronic records in a cloud-based system are the ongoing monthly costs.

How To Recognize and Avoid Phishing Attacks

How do you avoid a phishing attack? No, I'm not talking about rampaging schools of piranha, nor the venerable, ever touring rock band. I don't even mean that amazing ice cream flavor that references the aforementioned rock band.

The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Mental Health Private Practices

Ever since the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA or Obamacare) was passed in 2010, people have been speculating as to how it would impact mental health providers in private practice.
Expert EHR Reviews for therapists and counselors.

Therapy Charts – Review

I was impressed by the demo I was given of TherapyCharts. The GUI/UX is well done and it's obvious a lot of thought was put into work flow.
Valant Review

Vālant – Review

Long-time readers may remember that I initially ruled Valant out as product for solo and small group practices to consider because of it's pricing.

Meaningful Use and Mental Health Professionals

Meaningful Use, in relation to EHRs, is an incentive program run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services along with regional supporting offices.  The goal of the program is to encourage the adoption of EHRs by eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs)

Crowdfunding Your Product – A Traveling Blog Series

Many of us have experienced it. We've hit upon a wonderful idea for a product. Something we'd like to have; something we know our friends and colleagues would value. We've even figured out what it would look like and how to use it.
Empathic Review

Empathic – Review

When you combine these missing and underdeveloped features with the price point, Empathic drops into the realm of “Not Likely Contender” for most practices.

Does Your EHR Vendor Sell Your Patients’ Data?

Many of us are concerned, even wary, about what health insurance companies do with the medical data they collect about us and our clients.  What's perhaps even more concerning is the prevalence of such data being used, traded, and sold by other entities, including some EHR (Electronic Health Record) vendors.
Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

Best Practices for Data Security

One need only read the harrowing tale of the destruction of Mat Honan’s digital life to understand the importance of securing our data. Passwords aren't enough.
Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

Finding the Balance With Privacy and Quality Care

Can we, as mental wellness practitioners strike a balance between respecting client privacy and providing convenient quality care?
TherapyPartner Review

TherapyPartner – Review

TherapyPartner has been a player in the realm of cloud-based mental health practice management services for many years. Their original focus was to provide automated credit card billing and statement generation and their primary target market has been professionals in a fee for service practice.
Therabill Review

Therabill – Review

Since that time, WebPT has acquired TheraBill. It's important to note that TheraBill started out as an OT/ST/PT software that then extended it's market to mental health professionals.

Cloud Practice Management System – EHR? EMR?

Some readers of this series on Cloud-Based Practice Management Systems have asked why I've not been using the current buzz terms like EHR and EMR. I thought I'd take a brief opportunity to explain.

Pieces of the Paperless Office Puzzle

While many mental health and wellness professionals are interested in an integrated practice management system, there are those that wish to keep their systems and information separate. For many this is driven by relationships.
Therapy Mate Review

TherapyMate – Review

TherapyMate is relative newcomer to the scene, and has made some significant improvements since my original review. It sports a clean, well-organized interface and pricing based on the number of active clients.

Therapist Checklist for Going Paperless

I often help mental health clinicians create and follow-through with a plan to go paperless in their private practice.  Following is a brief checklist of what that often entails:
Expert EHR Reviews for therapists and counselors.

TherapyZen – Review

Considering it just became publicly available in 2016, TherapyZen is already off to a solid start. From the helpful set up wizard to the clean, user-friendly interface, there's a lot to like.
MyClients Plus Review

MyClientsPlus / Jituzu – Review

At first glance, the combination of MyClientsPlus and Jituzu seems enticing. They have all the major feature groups covered and Jituzu even offers integrated credit card processing. The gloss quickly fades however,
ClinicTracker Review

ClinicTracker – Review

ClinicTracker is an application to investigate for larger practices (at least ten users) needing a robust feature set, customization options, and/or a Meaningful Use certified EHR. Small therapy-centric private practices may find ClinicTracker to be overwhelming and cumbersome.
BestNotes Review

BestNotes – Review

BestNotes started out as a solution for residential treatment homes and retains a significant market share there.  They've eventually recognized the usefulness of their tool in other environments and have expanded their marketing to include those providing outpatient therapy.
Expert EHR Reviews for therapists and counselors.

EHR – Practice Management Systems and HIPAA

A primary concern for HIPAA Covered Entities when evaluating cloud based applications is whether they are HIPAA compliant. The short version is, if you file insurance claims electronically, you are likely a HIPAA Covered Entity.
Therasoft Review

TheraSoft – Review

Therasoft Online put some significant improvements and new features in place the last time I evaluated it. Particularly noticable is the much more friendly user interface that resulted from a facelift and overall design overhaul.

Business 101 – Return On Investment

I don't believe it is news to any of us that most mental health professionals don't have a strong business background.  This is not surprising considering the topic is rarely even brushed against in our graduate level coursework.
Expert EHR Reviews for therapists and counselors.

Cloud Practice Management System EHR/EMR – Reviews

Technology expert, Licensed Professional Counselor, and CEO of Tame Your Practice, Rob Reinhardt provides his insightful reviews of EHR - Practice Management Systems intended for therapists in private practice.
Compulink Review

PsychAdvantage – Review

Compulink Psychadvantage has been around a while and, like Valant, has recently begun offering restructured pricing in an attempt to address the mental health market. 
Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

HIPAA Final Rule and the Conduit Exception

Probably the hottest topic is the expansion of the definition of Business Associate and the clarification of the Conduit Exception. 

TYP Terms of Service

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TYP Comment Policy

Tame Your Practice's policy on the posting of blog comments.
Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

Potential Privacy and HIPAA Compliance Concerns with Square

I have been using Square (also known as SquareUp) since 2012 and have been very pleased with the service. I've recommended it to countless mental health clinicians looking for an easy, affordable way to accept credit cards. For those who may not have seen it yet,
Technology News for Therapists

TrueCrypt No More?

In an odd development within the last 24 hours, the TrueCrypt site as well as the download site at SourceForge have delivered an announcement that TrueCrypt is no longer being developed and will not be safe to use.

Providing Telehealth Services – Opportunities and Cautions

Evidence is mounting that, under the right circumstances, telehealth can be as effective as in-person delivery of services. Consequently, interest in this mode of service delivery has been increasing swiftly and exponentially.
Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

How Easy Can Encrypted Email Be?

If you are a user of Gmail, you may have noticed something new recently. A small red padlock has been mysteriously appearing on some of the emails you are receiving or composing.
Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

Think You’re Too Small For A HIPAA Fine?

The ensuing investigation resulted in HONI agreeing to pay a $50,000 settlement to the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  It's important to note that the fine wasn't a direct result of the breach. 
PIMSY Review

PIMSY – Review

PIMSY is rare in that it is a Meaningful Use Certified EHR that was developed specifically for mental health professionals from the start.
Office Ally Review

Office Ally – Review

Many of the features one might want in a Practice Management System are present in the free version of the OfficeAlly product (Practice Mate). The pieces that aren't there can be found in Patient Ally (Client Portal) and EHR 24/7 (More refined EHR features). 
BreezyNotes Review

BreezyNotes – Review

Like so many of these applications, BreezyNotes started out as an application developed by a mental health professional who couldn't find an application that met their needs. In 2015, that application was put out for general public use and is adding features on a regular basis.

Technology, and Board Games, and Creativity!

It was March and I was at the American Counseling Association Conference in Orlando. My primary goals for the conference were to rock the two presentations I was involved in and to network, network, network.

Enhancing Security Online – Multi-factor or Two-Factor (2FA) Authentication

In addition to using strong-passwords, and a password manager (I use LastPass), I strongly encourage everyone to use Multi-Factor Authentication (now, more commonly referred to as Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA) whenever possible.
Complying with HIPAA and Ethics

What Health Care Professionals Can Learn From Edward Snowden

Whether you see Edward Snowden as a patriotic whistle blower or a traitor to his country, he has some valuable insights into technology and privacy.
ClinicSource Review

ClinicSource – Review

Still, ClinicSource's pricing suggests that it's a notch above the other applications in its market.  In many areas of the application it is evident that there is more attention to detail and some features that other applications lack.
WriteUpp Review

WriteUpp – Review

WriteUpp doesn't set out to be everything to everyone.  In fact, they are counting on a target market for those who want the most basic of practice management solutions.  They're off to a good start in that respect, with a nice clean, uncomplicated interface.  

Who Owns The Data In Your EHR?

We've probably all done it. Signed a contract or checked an “I agree to the terms and conditions” box on a web site without a thorough reading of the terms. I'll readily admit that I've done it dozens of times. There are certain instances, however, when it's imperative that we read through such agreements.

All Call Technologies – Virtual Receptionist

We use All Call Technologies for our private practice and can personally vouch, not only for the quality of the product, but the great customer service and attention to detail paid by the staff 

Choosing A Crowdfunding Platform – A Traveling Blog Series

Mental health professionals (and others!) often have great ideas for products that never make it to market. Often the primary barrier is that of initial funding for the project.
PSYBooks Review

PSYBooks – Review

One of the most impressive aspects of PSYBooks is that it has come out of the gates with ERA functionality. Most applications have added that long after launching since it can be one of the more complex features to implement.

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