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Getting started as a group practice

Getting started as a group practice

This guide will provide all the necessary resources to help build the foundations for running a successful group practice. By familiarizing yourself with the many features we offer, you'll be able to efficiently flow through our platform. Setting your practice up for success now can ultimately mean that you and your team have more time to spend with clients.

Below, you'll see the recommended walkthrough for setting up a new SimplePractice group account.

Note: The individual who started the account will be the Account Owner by default, and they'll have the ability to customize any of the settings outlined in this guide below. Access to these settings will vary depending on your team member permission level. For more information on team member permissions, see Adding team members.

In this guide, we'll cover:


Practice settings

The first step to setting up your group practice account is to enter your clinical information and licenses. To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings > My Profile > Personal
  • Enter your Name, Date of Birth, and contact information
    • The contact information entered on this page will be used by SimplePractice to contact you going forward. Make sure the phone number you enter is able to receive text messages
  • Click Save Information
  • Click into the Clinical tab
  • Enter your Clinician Information and Licenses
    • If you're not a clinician, you can leave the clinical information section blank
    • The NPI Number entered here should be your individual NPI. For more information on setting up for insurance billing, see: Getting Started Guide: Insurance

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  • Choose Save Information 

Once your clinical information has been entered, your next step will be to establish the practice settings for your group. All of the information included in your practice settings will be client-facing for the entire group. 

Note: Only the Account Owner and Clinicians with Administrator Access can adjust these settings.

To start:

  • Navigate to Settings > My Practice > Details
  • Enter your Practice Name, Practice Email, and Practice Phone Number
  • Select your Time Zone
    • This time zone will be set for the entire practice

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  • Choose a Cancellation Policy from the drop down
    • This setting will dictate when clients can cancel appointments before incurring a fee and whether they can cancel them online via the Client Portal. You can also indicate If you’d like your clients to call in order to cancel. For more information, see Setting up your practice's cancellation policy

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  • Click Save Information
  • Choose the Locations tab
  • Click Add a Location
  • Enter your location information and make sure to choose the appropriate Insurance Place of Service if you intend to bill insurance through SimplePractice or if you’ll have clients seeking reimbursement from their insurance payer directly

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  • Click Save

Note: If you're using Telehealth by SimplePractice or are still in trial, you'll see a Video Office location listed under Telehealth Office. This location will be used to schedule Telehealth appointments through SimplePractice.

  • Scroll down to Billing Addresses and choose which location you'd like to be client facing, as well as which location you'd like to have listed on your SimplePractice subscription invoices 

Billing services and automations

After your practice settings have been established, you're ready to set up your billing automations. 

Note: Only the Account Owner and Clinicians with Administrator Access can adjust these settings.

To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings > Billing and Services > Settings
  • Enter the Tax ID for your practice 
  • Enter your group NPI under Organization NPI 

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Note: Group practices in SimplePractice are designed to bill Insurance under one group NPI number, with each clinician’s individual NPI number listed as a rendering NPI on claims. If you’re billing using multiple NPI numbers, you may want to explore having individual SimplePractice accounts as opposed to a group subscription.

  • Continue down the page and choose your automation settings for invoices, statements, superbills, and billing email notifications 
    • Keep in mind that these settings are going to apply for your entire practice
    • We recommend choosing Daily invoicing to keep these documents up to date and each client's balance fully accurate

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  • Click Save

Note: You can also enable AutoPay. To learn more about AutoPay, see Billing documents and best practices.

Next, you have the option to set up an Online Payments account so you can process client credit cards through SimplePractice. To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings > Billing and Services > Online Payments 
  • Enter your Business Details and a copy of your ID
    • You can only have one Online Payments account per SimplePractice account, so make sure to link a business account or the account that you pay your clinicians from
  • Click Save once you're ready to submit your application

Keep in mind that only the Account Owner has access to this page and can set up the practice’s Online Payments account. For more information on our integrated Online Payments processor, see Getting started with Online Payments.

In the next tab, you can edit and add service codes to your SimplePractice account. To do this: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Billing and Services > Services
  • Click Add New Service to create an additional service code

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  • Click the existing service codes to edit the following:
    • Description
    • Rate
    • Default Duration
    • Availability for online appointment requests
    • Clinicians offering the service

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Similarly, the following Products tab located at Settings > Billing and Services > Products allows you to set up products that can be added to invoices and charged through SimplePractice. 

Note: For more information on creating and using service codes, see: Creating and using service codes and products.

The last tab in this section is the Insurance tab, located at Settings > Billing and Services > Insurance. This page is where you'll enter your:

Organization Billing Provider Info

  • Select the circle next to Organization and enter the information you'd like to populate to Box 33:

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  • Check Use Practice default if you'd prefer that the NPI and client billing address populate from the settings you previously established in your Locations and Clinical tabs

Group NPI

This NPI will populate into Box 33A on the claim form; however, the rendering provider's NPI entered in their Clinical tab will populate into Box 24J:

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Group Taxonomy Code

This will populate in Box 33B for every claim your practice creates within SimplePractice:

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Additionally, this page is where you can enable Modifiers, include the Service Facility Location on claim forms, and select whether multiple diagnosis codes will populate onto claims and superbills. For more information on using modifiers in SimplePractice, see How do I add modifiers to my claims?

Note: If you're not going to be using SimplePractice for billing insurance, you can leave this section blank.


Adding team members

Note: Only the Account Owner can add and manage team members. 

Once you have your practice and billing settings established, you're ready to start adding additional team members to your SimplePractice account. There are two types of team member roles in SimplePractice:

Clinical roles

Clinical roles consist of any team member who's providing services to clients. There are five different clinical access levels:

  • Account Owner
    • This is the highest level of access, and if you're setting these team members up, this is likely the type of permission you have. This level can edit individual team member accounts, as well as edit any settings that affect the practice as a whole. Additionally, Account Owners have access to all client data
  • Administrator Access
    • This level can access all clients, documentation, billing, and practice financial reports throughout your practice
  • Full Client List Access
    • This level can see your practice’s full client list, but can only see notes for his/her own clients
  • Basic Access + Billing
    • This level can access his/her own clients and can bill them
  • Basic Access
    • This level can access documentation for his/her own clients, but can’t see any client billing information

Non-clinical roles

These are team members who may be scheduling or billing appointments, but won't be providing services to clients or accessing client records. This can include clinicians, interns, and testing staff. There are three different non-clinical staff options:

  • Biller
    • This role can manage billing for all clients and can access most practice financial reports
  • Scheduler
    • This role can manage scheduling, online appointment requests, and assign clinicians to all clients
  • Supervisor
    • This role can sign notes, review documentation, and view appointment fees of pre-licensed clinicians. If this team member also sees clients, you’ll want to grant them a clinician role as well
      • For more information on supervision in SimplePractice, see Supervision

Note: If you have non-clinical team members who don't need access to client files, you can add them as a Biller or Scheduler by following the prompts on the screen. Additionally, team members can have multiple non-clinical roles. If you find that your office staff needs more access than these roles currently allow, we recommend granting them clinician access. For more information on team member access levels, see Team member roles and access levels.

To add a team member:

  • Navigate to Settings > Team Members
  • Click Add Team Member
  • Enter the team member's information
  • Select the team member's Role

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  • If you're adding a clinician, enter their NPI, License, Speciality, and set their Permissions
    • If you're giving a non-clinical team member clinician level access, you can leave the NPI and license fields blank
  • Click Add Team Member

Note: If you're still using a trial account, we recommend adding additional clinicians to see how SimplePractice operates with multiple team members. For more information on how to add team members, see Adding and managing team members.


Client Portal settings

Once your team has been invited to join your SimplePractice account, you're ready to set up your practice's Client Portal. To start, navigate to Settings > Domains. Under Default Domain, enter the URL that’ll be used for your account's Client Portal. The URL you choose is going to be the Client Portal link for your entire practice, so use a URL that's representative of all your clinicians. Your practice's domain can only be established by the Account Owner.

Note: Instead of using the default domain we provide, you can opt to connect a custom domain hosted by a third party. See Setting a domain for more information.

After you've established your domain, you're ready to set up your Client Portal settings. To do this, navigate to Settings > Client Portal. Here you'll see three tabs:

Settings

Note: These settings are only accessible to the Account Owner and Clinicians with Administrator Access.

In the Settings tab, you can enable and set up online appointment requests

To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings > Client Portal > Settings
  • Check the box next to Allow clients to make online appointment requests
  • Click Open online appointment-request setup wizard 

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  • Select who can book appointments with you and the duration of the appointment they can book
  • Click Save and Continue 
  • Choose the Services that you'll be offering 

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  • Click Save and Continue
  • Specify your Availability by choosing the Location, Services, and time

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  • Click Save and Continue 
  • Select Done

Note: The Client Portal settings page will apply to the entire practice; however, each clinician can choose their own availability for online appointment requests. If you enable Monarch, your Availability will sync with your Monarch profile. For more information on setting up availability, see Managing your Availability.

Emails 

In this tab, you can customize the email templates for your practice. Each template is sent depending on the action taken by you or the client.

Note: For more information on when each of these emails are sent, see When are different email templates sent to clients?

To edit an email template: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Client Portal > Emails
  • Click Edit next to the template you'd like to customize

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Shared Documents and Files tab

Note: This tab is only accessible by the Account Owner and any Clinician(s) with Administrative Access. 

Navigate to Settings > Client Portal > Shared Documents and Files. This tab contains:

  • All consent documents

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  • Practice wide PDFs
    • PDFs can be uploaded to individual client profiles
    • If a document is going to be shared with more than one client, you can upload it under Files (Read-only) 
    • Once uploaded there, the document can be shared with each client from their Overview page

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  • Intake package settings
    • When sharing forms with a client, you can check and uncheck which documents to share
    • If you have an intake form you want to share with all clients, you can check the box next to it to set it as a default
    • For more information on sharing documents with clients, see: Sending intake forms and documents to clients

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  • Demographic and Credit Card Info form settings
    • The Credit Card Information form is only available if Online Payments is enabled 
    • To gather client's contact info, you can share the Demographics form 
      • This form will prompt the client to enter their contact information and their optional emergency contact information
      • Once completed, the information will auto-populate into the client's profile 
    • For more information on the Demographics and Credit Card Info forms, see: Choosing to send the Demographics form and the Credit Card Information form

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  • Your Client Portal greeting message
    • This message will show up when a client logs into the Client Portal for the first time
    • Click Edit next to Welcome Message to customize as needed

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Note: All settings on this page are practice wide, so it's important that you consider adjusting these settings based on the needs of all clinicians within your account. 


Calendar

An important step in setting up your SimplePractice account is establishing your practice's calendar view. This view should include any hours that an appointment may be booked with a clinician in your practice. To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings > Calendar
  • Under Calendar Display, choose the hours that will be visible in your practice's account 

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  • Click Save

Note: Only Account Owners and Clinicians with Administrative Access can adjust the calendar view for the practice. If a clinician in your practice schedules an appointment that falls outside of the established view, they won't be able to see that scheduled on the calendar. They’ll need to have that adjusted by one of their account administrators. 

Each clinician in the practice also has the ability to sync their SimplePractice calendar with their personal calendar. For more information on how to utilize our calendar sync, see:

Our calendar sync feature links your SimplePractice calendar with your personal calendar, however you won’t be able to sync your work calendar to multiple external calendars. If you'd like to share your SimplePractice calendar with multiple people in your practice who use Google Calendar, see Sharing your Google Calendar with your team.

Tip: For best practices on using your calendar in a group practice, see: Using your calendar in a group practice.


Notes and Forms Template Library

My Notes and Forms

My Notes and Forms located at Settings > Notes and Forms > My Notes and Forms is where all progress notes, intake forms, and assessment templates live for the entire practice. Account Owners and Clinicians with Administrative Access can create and customize templates in this section of your account. It’s important to consider that these templates can be used by the entire practice when making any adjustments, as any team member without admin access will use these forms and won’t be able to customize them. 

If the box next to a template is checked, it'll be available to use in the client's Overview page (assessments and progress notes) or to share with the client through the Client Portal (intake forms). If the box next to a template is unchecked, it won't be available for any clinician to use in the practice.

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For details on how each of these different templates are used, see Template types.

To create a custom template: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Notes and Forms > My Notes and Forms
  • Click + Create New Template > Create New Template 

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  • Choose template type from the drop down

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  • Add a title 
  • Click Add New
  • Select the question type from the drop down under Question Name / Form Element

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  • Enter your question into the text box
  • Click + Answer (if applicable)
  • Enter your answer choice into the Answer text field (if applicable) 
  • Repeat for any additional answer choices
  • Choose whether to Require answer

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  • Click Save once you've completed the question
  • Repeat for each additional question you would like to add
  • Select Save

To edit an existing template: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Notes and Forms > My Notes and Forms
  • Select the title of the template you want to edit
  • Click the question name to change the content of the question
  • Click the three stacked lines to drag and reorder the question

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  • Click Add New to add additional questions or content
  • Click Save once finished 

To copy a template: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Notes and Forms > My Notes and Forms
  • Click the stacked paper icon to duplicate the template

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  • Select the title of the duplicate template you just created to customize

Tip: If the team members in your practice need variations of the same template, you can duplicate the same template several times and make edits for each copy as needed.

Template Library

Pre-made templates can be found in the Template Library located at Settings > Notes and Forms > Template Library. This tab is only accessible to the Account Owner and Clinician(s) with Administrative Access. These templates can be customized and duplicated as needed to fit the needs of your practice.

To use a template from the Template Library:

  • Navigate to Settings > Notes and Forms > Template Library 
  • Click Get Started
  • Select the eye icon next to a template to preview it

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  • Choose + Add next to a template to add it to your My Notes and Forms page
    • After you add a template to your My Notes and Forms page, it’ll be checked by default so that it's available for immediate use by the clinicians in your account
  • Click the name of the template to customize as needed 

Documents and files 

Other than the Notes and Forms page, there are two other pages within this settings section:

Business Documents

Note: This page is only accessible by the Account Owner. 

This is where you can upload any practice related documents that you don't intend to share with clients. To upload a document:

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Documents

Note: This page is only accessible by the Account Owner and Clinician(s) with Administrator Access. 

This page houses the different email templates that accompany each type of billing document. These email templates will be sent when you email a billing document directly to a client or contact outside of the Client Portal. You can edit the content of these emails, choose whether to include your logo on billing documents, and add footer information. To do this: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Documents 
  • Click Edit next to the template you'd like to adjust

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  • Check the box next to Include Logo to populate that to all completed, downloaded documents
  • Check the boxes next to Include Diagnosis Description or Include Signature Line for superbills as needed

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Supervision

In this section, you can establish your supervision settings. You can choose which team members will supervise and which will be supervised. To set up the supervising team members:

  • Navigate to Settings > Team Members
  • Click a team members name
  • Check the box next to Supervisor Role

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  • Click Update Team Member
  • Repeat for all other supervising team members as needed

After you've chosen your supervisor(s), you can choose your supervised clinicians: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Team Members
  • Click a team member’s name
  • Check the box next to This clinician is pre-licensed under supervision

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  • Select the team member who will be supervising them from the drop down
  • Click Update Team Member
  • Repeat for all other supervised team members as needed

Note: Although the Account Owner can designate the supervisee and supervisor, the supervisee can also select their own supervisor from their individual clinical settings. They can do this by navigating to Settings > My Profile > Clinical.

Once you've set up the supervisors and supervisees, there are a few places you'll be able to monitor the pre-licensed clinicians activity:

  • Supervision tab
    • Navigate to Calendar homepage > Supervision 
    • This page will show you which notes you've signed and which are still outstanding

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  • Reminders
    • Navigate to Calendar homepage > Reminders 
    • This page will show you which clients and clinicians may have outstanding notes or intake forms

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    • This report will show you which appointments have taken place within a specific date range and the status of the associated notes: Missing, Unlocked, or Locked and Completed

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  •  
    • This page is also viewable by Billers, and they can track if a note has been written for an appointment prior to submitting claims
    • For details on how to sign and review notes as a supervisor, see: Adding a Supervisor to review and sign notes

Reviewing and signing notes

It’s important to note that locking a note effectively signs and timestamps the note. Make sure that your documentation is up to standards in the event of an audit or a document request from a third party. 

If you’re supervising another clinician, you'll also need to sign their notes. These notes will be easily accessible from the Supervision tab on the left of your Calendar homepage. 

Supervised clinicians can click to sign and send the note as if they were locking it permanently, but will instead submit it for approval. You can then send the note back to them with changes, or you can sign and lock the note.

One way to ensure that your clinicians’ documentation meets all necessary standards is by using the Wiley Treatment Planner. This will allow them to enter a Diagnosis and Treatment Plan that's standardized to most insurance payers and designed to document notes swiftly and accurately.

You also have the choice to include supervisor information to notes and billing documents. To enable this: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Documents, and scroll down to the Pre-licensed Clinicians section 
  • Check the box next to Add supervisor info to notes and billing documents and edit the text as needed 
  • When you’re finished, click Save Documents 

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Billing documents and best practices

Client billing

Client billing in SimplePractice is based primarily on invoices. These documents function like receipts, and other billing documents, including statements and superbills, will populate their information based on what's been invoiced. Each client's balance will only reflect the appointments that have already been included on an invoice. Any appointment fees that are not yet invoiced will populate next to Uninvoiced on the client's Billing page:

uninvoiced.simplepractice.billingpage.png

As a best practice, we recommend the following:

  • Create an invoice for every individual appointment
  • Make any necessary changes to sessions as soon as possible
  • Collect payments in full at the time of session as often as possible
  • Use our automatic Daily invoicing feature to ensure that your clients' balances are always up-to-date

Note: If a client no-shows or late cancels, adjust the appointment status on the calendar fly-out as soon as possible so that the invoices will reflect correctly. For more information on changing appointment statuses, see: How to change an appointment status.

AutoPay is a great way to automate your billing. To enable AutoPay, navigate to Settings > Billing and Services. Under AutoPay, switch the toggle to on. Once enabled, you'll be able to return to this page any time to enable it for clients with credit cards on file. For more information on AutoPay, see: Getting Started with AutoPay.

Insurance billing

SimplePractice is designed to bill under one Group NPI. If you’re the Account Owner, you’ll want to enter your Group NPI at Settings > Billing and Services > Insurance tab, and enter your Individual NPI at Settings > My Profile > Clinical tab.

If you intend to file claims and receive Payment Reports through SimplePractice, you may need to submit enrollments at Settings > Insurance. Any enrollments you complete for this practice should also be submitted using your Group NPI. For more information on submitting enrollments, see: How do I submit an enrollment to file claims or receive payment reports?

If you have clinicians in your practice billing under Individual NPIs, it’s best if they have their own SimplePractice account. You can manually edit the claims before submitting them; however, if a different NPI is used, they won’t be able to receive ERAs through SimplePractice.

To get started with insurance billing and submitting enrollments, we recommend viewing our Insurance Billing with SimplePractice on-demand class.

If you have team members who will be billing insurance using a supervisor’s credentials, see: How to bill insurance under your supervisor's credentials for more information. 


Professional Website 

The Professional Website is designed to provide a simple and clean foundation for you to showcase your practice and better engage with your client base. Currently, the Professional Website represents the Account Owner and is only customizable with that access level. For group practices, we recommend that the Account Owner adjusts their settings so that the website represents the practice as a whole.

The domain for your Professional Website will be the same Client Portal domain that we provide by default at Settings > Domains. However, you can connect a Custom Domain to replace it with an external domain you own if you want to direct to your SimplePractice website. If you use the Professional Website feature, clients will be directed to your website as a landing page before identifying themselves as an existing client. From there, they’ll be redirected to the Client Portal login page where they can sign in using the email they have on file. 

Note: The Professional Website is currently free with the Professional Plan. 

To start:

  • Navigate to Settings > Professional Website, and move the toggle to on
  • Click Customize your website

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Note: For detailed instructions on how to customize each section of your website, see: Setting up your Professional Website.


Monarch

Monarch is an online directory that simplifies how therapists connect with prospective clients, helps them maintain a cohesive online presence, and seamlessly integrates with SimplePractice. Every mental health clinician in your account has the opportunity to have a Monarch profile.

With group practices, there are different potential workflows for fielding appointment requests, initial consultations, and sending intake forms. Below, we’ll cover the two most common workflows.

Note: If it says Not Supported on a clinician's profile, it means that the speciality they’ve listed at Settings > Client Info > Clinical isn't a supported specialty for Monarch. If this is the case, their Monarch profile will be disabled by default. If the speciality chosen is Other, but the clinician in question is licensed in the mental health field, they’ll need to choose a different speciality in SimplePractice to qualify for Monarch.

Each clinician manages their own appointment requests and intakes

With this workflow, the Account Owner will enable Monarch for each supported clinician and clinicians will manage their Monarch profiles and any inquiries individually.

To start: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Monarch Directory 
  • Click the toggle to enable Monarch for your practice
  • Navigate to Settings > Public Information
  • Choose the Clinician Profiles tab

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  • Hover over the clinician you'd like to give access and click Manage

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  • Select Full Access
  • Click Save
  • Repeat for each clinician you’d like to have listed on the Monarch directory

Here are some things to keep in mind while customizing Public Information settings in a group practice:

Your Introduction

To represent each clinician as part of a group practice, we recommend entering details about the practice in the introduction. To do this, click Edit under Basic Information next to Your Introduction:

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Contact Form

If each clinician will field their own contact submissions, the contact form email will automatically be set to the email in each clinician’s account located at Settings > My Profile

If the practice wants an admin role to field contact submissions, each clinician will enter the same email into the Email for Contact Form field. 

To adjust this email or enable/disable the contact form, click Edit next to Basic Information. From there, adjust the Contact Form toggle and Email for Contact Form as needed:

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If there will only be one Monarch profile for the practice, whoever is acting as the administrator for your account should have access to the email located under Basic Information at Settings > Public Information.

Administrators manage appointment requests and assign them to clinicians

With this workflow, the Account Owner, any Clinicians with Administrator Access, or Schedulers will manage Online appointment requests and will assign them to clinicians based on either their availability or other factors that would make them the best fit. We recommend that each clinician have their own profile with this workflow.

To start:

  • Navigate to Settings > Monarch Directory
  • Click the toggle to enable Monarch for your practice
  • Navigate to Settings > Public Information
  • Choose the Clinician Profiles tab
  • Hover over the clinician you'd like to give access, and click Manage
  • Select Full Access

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  • Click Save
  • Repeat for each clinician who will have their own Monarch profile 

Here are some things to keep in mind while customizing Public Information settings in a group practice:

Contact Form

If each clinician will field their own contact submissions, the contact form email will automatically be set to the email in each clinician’s account located at Settings > My Profile

If the practice wants an admin person to field contact submissions, each clinician will enter the same email into the Email for Contact Form field. 

To adjust this email or enable/disable the contact form, click Edit next to Basic Information. From there, adjust the Contact Form toggle and Email for Contact Form as needed:

emailforcontactform.simplepractice.publicinformation.png

If there will only be one Monarch profile for the practice, whoever is acting as the administrator for your account should have access to the email located under Basic Information at Settings > Public Information.

Locations

The same locations can be kept in place and populated for the entire practice. If several or all clinicians are in different areas, individual locations can be established for each clinician with their name in the location title. This way, when therapy seekers are reviewing profiles, they’ll see which location is associated with the clinician they're viewing. If there will only be one profile for the practice, it's best to add the clinician’s names to the locations since they won’t populate otherwise.

To add clinician names to each location:

  • Navigate to Settings > My Practice > Locations
  • Click Edit next to the location in question

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  • Enter the clinician's name under Office Name
  • Select Show Address

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  • Click Save

Note: For more information on customizing locations, see: Adding office locations.

Online appointment requests

Each clinician should establish their online appointment request availability. The availability that each clinician sets up will directly impact which appointments therapy seekers see as available in Monarch. If a clinician isn’t showing as having available appointments, they should first check whether they've set up their availability properly. 

If there will only be one Monarch profile for the practice, it's best to manage all online appointment request availability through one account, such as the Account Owner’s. If this is the case, only the Account Owner needs to establish any availability blocks. For more information on setting up availability, see: Managing your Availability.

For more information on Monarch, see:

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