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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 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 practice 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 role and permissions 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 get in touch with you going forward. Make sure that 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
    • The Clinician Information section can be left 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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  • Click 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 Account Owners, Practice Managers, 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 how many hours before an appointment a client will be able to cancel before incurring a fee and whether they can cancel online via the Client Portal. You can also indicate If you’d prefer that your clients call 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: You'll see a Video Office location listed under Telehealth Office. This location can be used to schedule Telehealth appointments through SimplePractice. Telehealth is included for free on the Plus plan.

  • Scroll down to Billing Addresses and choose which location you'd like to be client-facing, as well as which location you'd like 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 Account Owners, Practice Managers, 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 the 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 practice subscription.

  • Scroll down to choose your automation settings for invoices, statements, superbills, and billing email notifications 
    • Keep in mind that these settings will 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 an Account Owner or Practice Manager will have access to the Online Payments page for setting up the practice’s 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, is where you can add products (or non-appointment items) 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.

Finally, the Insurance tab, located at Settings > Billing and Services > Insurance, is where you'll enter your:

Organization Billing Provider Info

  • Select 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 Account Owners and Practice Managers 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 2 types of team member roles in SimplePractice:

Clinician roles

Clinician roles consist of any team member who's providing services to clients. There are 5 different clinician access levels:

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

Non-clinician roles

These roles can be granted to an office manager or team members who are scheduling or billing appointments, but won't be providing services to clients. There are 4 different non-clinician access levels:

  • Practice Manager
    • This role can manage practice settings and can be granted additional access to client clinical documentation and practice financial information as needed.
  • 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 the pre-licensed clinicians they're supervising. If this team member also sees clients, you can grant them a clinician role in addition to the Supervisor role.
    • For more information on supervision in SimplePractice, see: Supervision.

Note: If you have non-clinician team members who don't need access to client files, you can add them as a Biller or Scheduler. Additionally, team members can have multiple non-clinician roles. For more information on each role, 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-clinician team member clinician level access or adding a pre-licensed clinician, you can leave the NPI and license fields blank
  • Click Add Team Member

Note: We recommend adding additional clinicians during your trial so you can 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 you've invited your team 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 be established by the Account Owner or a Practice Manager.

Note: Instead of using the default domain we provide, you can 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 establish your Client Portal settings.

Note: These Client Portal settings are only accessible to Account Owners, Practice Managers, and Clinicians with Administrator Access.

To get started, navigate to Settings > Client Portal. Here you'll see 3 tabs:

Settings

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

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

  • All consent documents

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  • Practice wide PDFs
    • If you'd like to share a PDF with multiple clients, you can upload it under Files (Read-only) 
    • Once uploaded, the document can be shared with individual clients 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 that you want to share with all clients, 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 Information form settings
    • The Credit Card Information form will only be available if Online Payments is enabled 
    • To gather client's contact information, you can share the Demographics form 
      • This form will prompt the client to enter their contact information and 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 Information 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 display 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 can 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, Practice Managers, and Clinicians with Administrative Access can adjust the practice's calendar display. If a clinician schedules an appointment that falls outside of the display hours selected, they won't be able to locate that appointment on the calendar and will need to have the view adjusted by an account administrator. 

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 using 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 you can manage all progress note, intake form, and assessment templates for the entire practice. Account Owners, Practice Managers, and Clinicians with Administrative Access can create and customize templates in this section of your account. It’s important to remember that these templates will be used by the entire practice, and that other team members may not have access to customize these forms further for their own use. 

If the box next to a template is checked, it'll be available to use in the client's Overview page (assessment and progress note templates) or to share with the client through the Client Portal (intake form templates). If the box next to a template is unchecked, it won't be available for use in the account.

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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 the 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 a single template several times and make edits to 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 Account Owners, Practice Managers, and Clinicians 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 

In addition to the Notes and Forms page, there are two other pages in this section:

Business Documents

Note: This page is only accessible to Account Owners and Practice Managers. 

This is where you can upload any practice 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 Account Owners, Practice Managers, and Clinicians 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 set up your Supervisor and Supervisee settings. You can choose which team members will supervise and which will be supervised. To grant the Supervisor role to a team member:

  • 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 designated your Supervisor(s), you can choose your Supervisees: 

  • 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 supervising team member from the drop-down menu
  • Click Update Team Member
  • Repeat for all other supervised team members as needed

Note: Although Account Owners and Practice Managers can designate Supervisees and Supervisors, a Supervisee can also select their Supervisor from their account. 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 have outstanding progress notes or intake forms

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

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  •  
    • This page is also viewable by Billers, who can use it to track if a progress note has been written prior to submitting a claim for an appointment
    • 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

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 need to sign their notes. These notes will be easily accessible from the Supervision tab to 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 the note for approval. After reviewing the note, you can send it back to them with changes or sign and lock it.

One way to ensure that your clinicians’ documentation meets all necessary standards is by using Wiley Treatment Planners. This will allow clinicians 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 option of including Supervisor information on 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 appointments that are 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 one invoice for each appointment
  • Make any necessary changes to appointments 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 can return to this page any time to enable this feature 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 that bill 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.


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, there can only be one Professional Website for a practice, customizable by an Account Owners or a Practice Manager. For group practices, we recommend that you adjust the website so that it represents the practice as a whole.

The domain for your Professional Website will default to the Client Portal domain that's listed in Settings > Domains. You also have the option of connecting a Custom Domain, which will replace the default clientsecure.me domain with an external domain you've purchased through a third party. If you have the Professional Website enabled, your website will function as a landing page from which existing clients can log in to their Client Portal. 

Note: The Professional Website is included at no additional cost on the Plus and Essential plans

To get started:

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

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Note: For a detailed walkthrough of how to customize each section, 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 practice accounts, there are different workflows you can follow to field appointment requests, initial consultations, and send intake forms. Below, we’ll cover the two most common approaches.

Note: If it says Not Supported on a clinician's profile, it means that the speciality they’ve listed at Settings > My Profile > Clinical isn't supported on 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 listing on Monarch.

Each clinician manages their own appointment requests and intakes

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

To start: 

  • Navigate to Settings > Client Referrals
  • 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

If you opt for this approach, we recommend that each clinician enter details about the practice in the introduction. To do this, click Edit under Basic Information next to Your Introduction:

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Administrators manage appointment requests and assign them to clinicians

With this workflow, the Account Owner, a Clinician with Administrator Access, or a Scheduler will manage online appointment requests and assign them to clinicians based on 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 > Client Referrals
  • 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 additional things to keep in mind while customizing Public Information settings in a group practice:

Contact Form

If each clinician is fielding their own contact submissions, the contact form email will automatically be set to the email a clinician has listed in Settings > My Profile

If an admin will be fielding 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.

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, you can also 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 under Public View

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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 on Monarch. If available appointments aren't appearing for a clinician, they should 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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