Thank you so much for purchasing my paperless customization service. You've taken an important step towards improving your private practice, and I'm so glad you're taking it with me. I am looking forward to getting to know you and your practice better, and provide you with tools and resources to take your paperless practice to the next level. I'm ready to meet you where you are and I hope we have a good time working together.
How We'll Work Together
I'm so excited to work with you and this section will help you understand how it all works.
In addition to my coaching work, I have a busy private practice here in New York City, and I also homeschool my kids. I tend to find it hard to get on the phone, so we'll do most of our work together by email.
Your first step will be to choose a project start date. Please note—you’ll need to have everything assembled for me by your start date, so give yourself enough time to get everything together for me. I’m happy to answer questions during this time if anything is unclear. Your start date is your deadline to submit all materials to me, create any accounts, give me necessary permissions, and make any decisions. Please choose your start date ASAP because if you don’t, I might not be available when you’re ready and then you’ll have to wait even longer. The start date holds us both accountable and is a great motivation for you. Take as much time or as little time as you need, just make sure you get on my calendar.
If you need help choosing a platform, please fill out this charting platform needs assessment to get started. If necessary, we’ll schedule a 15-minute project kickoff call (but email is WAY faster for me to get things done). You can always save your call for later in the process; some of my customization clients don’t need a phone call.
I also offer video chat through Marco Polo, which I personally think works WAY better than a phone call because we don’t have to be on at the same time. You’ll find instructions for that in both of the surveys linked here.
Your final step will be to complete my private practice customization survey, due by your project start date. You will get an invite to a Dropbox folder which you'll use to send me files. Do not send separate documents or files via email because that's a surefire way for me to lose track of them :)
Your services will be completed within 5 weeks of your project start date—so choose wisely, there is a ticking clock on my end.
If there is anything in the survey that is unclear to you, please feel free to email me. I'm happy to provide you with guidance at this stage of things. You may not yet know which EHR you will want me to customize, but all of them will need the information I'm asking you for.
Please know that I'm here for you and am committed to your success!
When doing business in the US, while it's not required to have a corporate structure like an LLC or an S-Corp, there may be tax benefits if you have your income flow through a corporate structure first. Here's a good article explaining why. You can use an online service or work with an attorney, and it will cost money but it won't take much time. I recommend not being tempted by the idea of saving money by filing the papers yourself--yes, it's possible, but a true headache and an area where you really want it done right.
If you are not incorporating, you can get an EIN for free from the government.
If you are incorporating as an S-Corp or LLC, that will cost you money, and I recommend using an attorney or reputable online legal service if you are going that route. It should take a few days and you will get an EIN along with your incorporation papers.
The NPI is the number you need to be identified as a healthcare provider whose services may be covered by US insurance companies (that’s all IBCLCs, by the way). It’s free to get and supplied by the US government.
In your application, you’ll be asked for a taxonomy code. Here are two that are most likely to apply to you:
RN IBCLC: 163WL0100X
Non RN IBCLC: 174N00000X
If you're hoping to go in-network with insurance, it's strongly recommended to get credentialed as a corporation rather than an individual, as it can be really difficult or even impossible to change it after you're credentialed. Here’s a helpful PDF.
The best way to get a secure email address is to get a domain name then set up a G-Suite account through your domain name for your emails. It's very easy to sign up and costs $5/month/user. Here's how to sign the BAA to make it HIPAA-compliant. Once you do that, you'll have a HIPAA compliant email attached to your domain name. I use GoDaddy for my domain names.
I've also got some helpful blog posts on email.
Choosing a Platform
I've written some blog posts on choosing a charting platform that you can find here.
Most of my clients are using ChARM, which handles charting, basic scheduling, and secure messaging beautifully and the cost can’t be beat.
I do have some clients using Simple Practice. In order to be able to create custom charting templates, you’ll need the $49/month plan.
If you offer classes in addition to private practice visits, if you want to take a deposit at the time of booking, and/or you want to offer classes and packages, definitely look into Acuity. Yes, it’s $50/month but it may end up paying for itself in increased bookings.
Mobile Lactation Consultant is a wonderful option for those of you who want to chart via an offline app. It’s not as customizable as ChARM and doesn’t have online scheduling, and sometimes clients don’t want to download the app to complete the intake. However, if you pair it with Acuity with the customizations I’ll make for you, you’ll have a really powerful platform that’s easy for you and your clients to use.
I am able to customize a platform not listed here. If your practice needs a platform that does more than the ones I’ve listed, let’s talk! I love learning new EHRs :)
If you’re using Google Voice for a second line, please stop immediately as it’s not secure for client interactions. I’m personally a fan of Spruce (mention me and we both get a free month). Others are liking Phone.com.
Your phone (over telecomm carrier) is considered HIPAA-compliant for voice calls.
This is my favorite resource for understanding HIPAA-compliant communications.
If you don’t want to be printing documents to fax through a physical facsimile machine over your phone line, you’ll need an email-to-fax solution. Faxage is relatively low cost; Srfax is another popular option. Both are HIPAA-compliant when you get the BAA with them. ChARM also has integrated faxing—it is pricier than a standalone service but the seamless integration may make it worth it.
Basically, these services will let you send a PDF via email to a special email address, and the service will convert it into a fax, add a cover page, and send it to your desired recipient.
(This section is US-specific) In order to accept online payments, most platforms will require you to have an account with a payment processor. Those that just do payment processing (like Stripe) do not require a BAA because payment processing is allowed under HIPAA. If they do more than just take the card number and generate a receipt, you’ll need to have a BAA and make sure you’re using in a HIPAA-compliant way. For example, don’t use any platform that encourages social sharing of transactions. If your clients decline consent for email communications—ie they only want secure messaging—then you can’t let Squareup or PayPal send them receipts.
I recommend using Stripe with Acuity, and for ChARM I recommend paying the fee for the integrated payment processing with Bluefin. It’s a flat fee per month, but other payment processors take out a percentage from each transaction and that can quickly add up. Jane does payment processing through Payfirma. Both Bluefin and Payfirma are like Stripe; they are payment processors only and will not give you HIPAA problems.
Because I’m not an attorney, I can’t make any changes to my standard consent form or the one you provide to me. You are welcome to customize my consent form to suit your needs; I just can't advise, copyedit, or make alterations.
This customization service includes any charting templates I’ve made for the platform you choose. If you’ve made your own forms, I’m happy to convert that wording into whichever platform we’re customizing. Put .doc versions of your charting templates into the Dropbox folder and let me know they’re in there.