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Managing your availability for in-network client referrals

Managing your availability for in-network client referrals

If you’re a SimplePractice customer who is in network with a participating insurance health plan or employee assistance program (EAP), you’re eligible to receive qualified new client referrals in your SimplePractice account. This means that care coordinators and members can view your availability and request an appointment through the healthcare partner’s provider directory. You can turn in-network client referrals off at any time.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

Note: In-network client referrals are powered by integrations with healthcare partners like Optum/UnitedHealthcare (UHC) and ComPsych.


Managing your availability for in-network client referrals

You can manage your availability for in-network client referrals directly in your SimplePractice account. Depending on the healthcare partner you’re enrolled with, you can set this up as new client availability or partner-specific availability.

Managing availability for Optum/UHC client referrals

Tip: You can also follow the steps below to manage your availability for Lucet client referrals.

Once you’re enrolled to receive in-network client referrals from Optum/UnitedHealthcare, your existing new client availability will appear to members in their provider directory.

Note: Optum/UnitedHealthcare client referrals through SimplePractice are part of a phased rollout, and may not be available in your account. If you’re in network with a participating Optum/UHC affiliated plan, we’ll notify you of your eligibility by email.

To view your existing availability:

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  • Choose the availability block you'd like to view
  • If the availability block includes a service that’s enabled for new clients, you’ll see Optum listed under In-network referrals

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  • You can uncheck the box for Optum if you don't want to receive Optum/UHC client referrals during this block

Note: To update the service associated with appointment requests from Optum/UHC, navigate to Marketing > In-network Referrals and select Change under Initial service. The initial service for ComPsych or Lucet appointment requests can't be customized at this time. To learn more, see What if I want to hold an initial consultation before accepting an in-network appointment request?

You can also create additional availability blocks for Optum/UHC client referrals. To do this:

  • Navigate to your Availability schedule
  • Click anywhere on the calendar to create a new availability block
  • Specify the days, times, and location(s) you’d like to make available
  • Under In-network referrals, check the box for Optum
  • Click Save

In addition to managing availability for in-network client referrals directly from your calendar, you can do so by navigating to Marketing > In-network Referrals and selecting Manage availability.

  • To update an existing availability block, click Edit
  • To delete an existing availability block, click the trash can icon
  • To open an existing availability block to in-network appointment requests, check the box under Allow requests from Optum
  • To create a new availability block, click Add new availability

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New client availability blocks that you've enabled for Optum will be visible in their member portal, where members will be able to request appointments based on this availability.

Managing availability for ComPsych client referrals

If you’re enrolled in the ComPsych referral channel, you can create partner-specific availability blocks for in-network client referrals. To do this:

  • Navigate to Marketing > In-network Referrals
  • Under Availability, click Manage availability next to ComPsych
  • Enter an Availability title
  • Specify the days, times, and location(s) you’d like to make available
    • Tip: To create a buffer before or after each appointment requested through this channel, click Advanced settings and specify how many minutes you’d like to block off

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  • Click Save

Any partner-specific availability you create will only be shown to ComPsych members. You can also make changes to your ComPsych availability from the In-network Referrals page. Next to ComPsych, click Manage availability under the Availability column, then:

  • Select the pencil icon to edit an availability block
  • Select the trash can icon to delete an availability block
  • Select Add Availability to create additional availability blocks

Receiving in-network appointment requests

In-network clients can request appointments based on your availability through a healthcare partner’s provider directory. To manage these appointment requests in your SimplePractice account:

  • Click Requests to the left of the Calendar
  • Review the request
    • The referral source will be indicated on the request
    • Select View more to see additional client and plan information, if available
  • Select Accept to schedule the appointment or More to Send link to reschedule or Decline appointment

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Optum/UHC appointment requests

Appointment requests submitted through Optum and UHC will include client and health plan information, such as the client’s name, date of birth, reason for visit, insurance plan, member ID, and group ID.

Tip: This client and health plan information will also be saved as an administrative note on the referred client’s Overview page.

You’ll also see a link to Provider Express, which will take you directly to Optum’s provider portal. While referred clients are prequalified, this client and health plan information can be used if you’d like to confirm eligibility and benefits before their first appointment.

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Note: For assistance with Provider Express, please reach out to your group practice administrator or the Provider Express support team directly.

When you decline an appointment request, you’ll be asked to select a reason for declining. If you decline an appointment request from Optum/UHC due to a Scheduling conflict, the referred client will receive a link to reschedule.

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If you select a different decline reason, the client will be prompted to request a new appointment with another in-network provider.


Turning off in-network appointment requests

You can turn off in-network appointment requests from a participating health plan at any time. To do this:

  • Navigate to Marketing > In-network Referrals
  • Under Open for requests, toggle the referral source(s) On or Off

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    • For ComPsych, you'll be redirected to their provider portal to unenroll from in-network appointment requests

Note: When you turn off in-network appointment requests for a healthcare partner, your new client availability will no longer appear in their member portal.

To turn in-network appointment requests back on, return to the In-network Referrals page.

Tip: If you’d prefer to update your availability for in-network client referrals, see Managing your availability for in-network client referrals.


FAQs


Who are participating healthcare partners?

As of October 2023, SimplePractice has partnered with the following health plans and EAPs to offer in-network client referrals: 

  • Optum/UnitedHealthcare
  • Lucet
  • KGA EAP
  • ComPsych EAP

Who is eligible for in-network client referrals?

You may be eligible for in-network client referrals based on your in-network status with a healthcare partner and recent claim filing history. We’ll notify you of your eligibility by email.

SimplePractice customers who are in-network with Optum/UnitedHealthcare affiliated plans will be enrolled automatically to receive in-network appointment requests. In-network client referrals from Optum/UHC are part of a phased rollout, and may not be available yet in your account.

Other healthcare partners, like ComPsych, require that you connect your SimplePractice account to receive in-network client referrals through their provider portal. If you need further assistance, please reach out to ComPsych directly.

Note: If you’re in network with a participating healthcare partner but don’t file claims electronically through SimplePractice, please submit a help request if you’d like in-network client referrals turned on for your account.


What information is shared with healthcare partners?

When in-network client referrals are turned on for your account, your availability for new clients will be shared with the participating healthcare partner and displayed in their provider directory. The availability information shared with healthcare partners is the same as what's publicly shown to prospective clients on your Client Portal, Professional Website, appointment-request widget, or Monarch profile.

To learn how you can opt out of sharing your availability with a healthcare partner, see Turning off in-network appointment requests.


How can I have referred clients complete documents before their first appointment?

You can share intake documents with referred clients when accepting an appointment, as well as set additional expectations via your initial communication.

For example, if you require that new clients complete intake paperwork before their first appointment, you can share these documents while accepting the in-network appointment request. You can edit the appointment confirmation email to clarify that the appointment is contingent on completion of the shared documents.

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You can edit this email each time you accept an appointment request, or customize the email template for your practice. To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings > Client Portal > Emails
  • Scroll down to the Appointment confirmation with documents email template
  • Click Edit
  • Customize the message as needed
  • Click Save

You can repeat these steps for the Video appointment confirmation with documents email template if you offer Telehealth appointments for in-network appointment requests.

Note: For more information, see When are different email templates sent to clients?

You can also enable document reminders for a referred client after accepting the appointment. This will automatically send the client a reminder to complete pending documents in the Client Portal before their appointment. To learn more, see Setting up reminders for clients to complete their intake forms.


What if I want to hold an initial consultation before accepting an in-network appointment request?

You can change the default service offered for Optum/UHC in-network appointment requests to an initial consultation service. This way, these requests will reflect the duration and rate you typically offer for initial consultations.

Note: There's no way to change the default service for ComPsych or Lucet at this time.

To do this:

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  • Choose the initial consultation service from the dropdown menu

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  • Click Save

Note: If you don’t see an initial consultation service in the dropdown menu, make sure that it’s been made available for appointment requests in Settings > Billing & Services > Services. To learn how you can create this service, see How do I set up a phone screening service for new clients?

Moving forward, any new client appointments requested through Optum/UHC’s member portal will default to this service.

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