Patient Retention in Your Mental Health Practice

There are many factors that contribute to a mental health practice’s Patient Retention Rate (PRR).

Retention refers to the number of patients who return for treatment.

> The patient does not feel comfortable with their therapist. Research shows that providers who query their clients during the first session concerning the “Comfort Zone” in the relationship have a higher level of patient retention.
>The patient underestimates the required commitment. Therapists who set expectations up front have a higher success rate in retaining clients.
>Flexible Scheduling when possible. This is where Telehealth can play a big role. Of course, this depends on how much of a patient load you wish to maintain.
>Limit patient waiting times in your office when possible. It starts the instant they walk in. If patients are uncomfortable in your waiting room, chances are they will not come back.
>When a patient misses a session, follow up with a quick message or phone call. Aggressively look to reschedule.
>Consider the possibility of patients making an appointment using an online portal, if applicable, to your practice. Confirm appointments with a phone call, email or text.
>Reach-out when visits are overdue. According to a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology one in five clients will drop out of psychotherapy before completing treatment. Emphasizing your patient’s progress could help improve on this statistic. The study also reports that the overwhelming majority of those who drop out do so after just two sessions.
>Administer Patient Satisfaction Surveys if you are so inclined.
>Reducing patient dropouts where possible helps to improve your Revenue Cycle Management (RCM).

Source: Mona Ruback, CSS
CEO/Associated Billing Center, LLC Your Mental Health Billing Specialist

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