How Many Clients Are Too Many Clients?

When balancing a practice caseload, things aren’t always as simple as they appear on some “idealized” schedule. Life has a tendency to get in the way. Achieving the right balance starts with a conscious choice of what that balance will be. There are numerous factors to consider.

One key consideration — Do you have the right number of clients for your practice?

Understand your caseload

Recently someone in the SimplePractice Community on Facebook asked, “How do you know if you have enough clients?” Many people responded, but we really liked the method shared by Shayna Reibman and decided to create a tool, The Caseload Calculator, for all SimplePractice customers to use.  

Here’s Shayna’s original comment:

Based on her methodology, here’s how the tool works:

  • clients you see once a week get a score of 1,
  • clients seen every other week receive a score of 0.5, and
  • monthly clients receive a score of 0.25.

Adding these points together yields a final score.

If a clinician sees clients 3 days a week, they could take on new clients if the sum of their scores falls below 15. While most part-time clinicians aim for between 15-18, and full-time clinicians would aim for around 24 points, these ranges can differ based on goals and priorities.

Because clinicians have different degree levels, revenue streams, and overall priorities, our recommended score ranges may not work for everyone. It’s best to find a range that feels right for your practice.

Download your Caseload Calculator here:

Tips for owning your schedule

You might enjoy a light workday, or a heavy one may be more your style. Either way, there are pros and cons for each side of the equation. Ultimately, the best gauge for determining how your caseload fits into your life will be you, but here are some tips to help you plan out a workable schedule.

  • Use a calendar to document responsibilities and practice management tasks, no matter how seemingly small or repetitive
  • Make sure highest-priority tasks are given highest-priority scheduling
  • Understand realistic time requirements to do different tasks in your practice
  • Allocate an appropriate amount of time to complete each task correctly and hold yourself accountable to the schedule
  • Schedule realistic time each week to complete the administrative work required to run your practice
  • Carve out time on your calendar for documentation work each week as that can be particularly time-consuming
  • Schedule time for billing and new client calls, if needed
  • Reallocate time to other practice tasks like marketing, etc. for weeks that don’t require the scheduled time
  • Identify when new clients are most likely to come in for initial visits, and block that time off for new clients only
  • Reserve after work slots for self-pay clients who prefer that time period
  • Schedule reminders to follow up on any workflow tasks started in a mobile platform

Achieving a work-life balance

Just like there are finite hours in the day, your mental bandwidth is also fixed. And sessions don’t end when the client leaves the room — your work on that session may have just started.

Your clients aren’t the only ones in your life who deserve your time and attention. At the very least, you have one other incredibly important person to take care of — you.

Money doesn’t grow on trees and there’s also no magical formula to add extra hours to your 24-hour day. There’s a good reason the term is work-life balance.

There is a silver lining here — it’s your decision. As a private practitioner, you determine your hours and caseload.

If the financial health of your practice concerns you, consider these resources for suggestions and solutions:

Get the admin help you need

A proven way to help manage the clients you have is to work with a quality EHR. Using a fully integrated platform will save time, which as a private practitioner is your most valuable resource.

Enjoy a free 30-day trial of SimplePractice to see how its integration and flexibility lighten your administrative burden.

 

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