American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Private Practice Institute: Tracks and Sessions

Recorded lectures are available on demand while the conference is in session. You may watch and listen to them, and earn CE credit, any time that fits your schedule.

Lectures are organized into four tracks:

Unless otherwise noted, content is at the intermediate instructional level.

Track 1: Growing Your Business

Booming Business: Trends That Create Opportunities
Lynn Steffes, PT, DPT

Health care reform. Changes in the economy. Aging baby boomers. Although the health care landscape is in flux, there are new business opportunities for SLPs and audiologists who plan for this new environment. In this session we'll look at big-picture trends, how they are changing consumer needs and creating opportunities for new services, settings, and collaborations. We'll give special attention to the "silver tsunami" of aging baby boomers as a case study of health care climate change.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • discuss trends in today's economy, health care environment, and demographics that affect your practice
  • identify new settings, collaborations, and opportunities to provide SLP and audiology services
  • design services to meet the needs of the aging boomer generation

Are They Employees or Independent Contractors?
Kelly Hoelzer Lovett, Esq.

You have more business than you can handle and you need help. Do you hire an employee or retain the services of an independent contractor? If you choose the latter, you must ensure that the individual qualifies as independent in the eyes of the law. In this session you'll learn what makes a person an independent contractor or an employee, and why it matters. You'll also review essential requirements for written agreements (including restrictive covenants to avoid future competition with your practice), and learn how to draft separation agreements with departing workers to reduce the risk of litigation.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • draft agreements for services provided by independent contractors and employees
  • determine whether a contractor is independent under the law structure enforceable, restrictive covenants to protect your business interests

Using Financial Information for Better Business Decisions 
Nancy Paul, BS, ICF Certified Coach

Learn to unlock the wealth of information your bookkeeping system holds! Financial data can help you assess the health and vigor of your practice, decide whether and when to expand your business, and set prices for your services. Make the most of financial information for better business decisions.

After completing this session, you will be able to: 

  •  make and track smart financial goals for your business 
  • structure your financial records in a way that facilitates action 
  • use financial information to identify areas for improvement in billing other office practices 
  • analyze your practice’s value and price your services accordingly

Front Desk Strategies to Increase Patient Satisfaction and Profitability
Kevin D. St.Clergy, MS, CCC-A

Your front desk staff are key contributors to the profitability of your practice. Their skill in converting phone calls to appointments, managing clients face to face, scheduling, and handling interruptions and emergencies translates into bottom-line results. In this session, we'll explain five key strategies that practice managers and front desk personnel can use to increase client satisfaction and profits. We'll also describe systems and processes to improve front desk efficiencies, whether the front desk is staffed by an employee or you as a solo practitioner.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe the links between front-desk operations and practice profits
  • help your front desk staff structure their workdays to increase efficiency and patient satisfaction
  • apply five key strategies to maximize results from your front desk staff

Track 2: Marketing

Target Marketing 2.0
Patrick May, MBA

If you had unlimited time and money to market your practice, maybe you could reach all possible markets using all available media—but you don't. This session will show you how to identify your most productive target markets and communicate your value using a carefully selected mix of media. It all starts with your value proposition—the things that distinguish your practice in the eyes of your clients.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • determine which market segments merit targeted marketing
  • itemize the essential steps of conducting market research
  • state what differentiates your practice from the competition
  • list which marketing options will help you communicate your value proposition to your target market
  • select metrics that best measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategies

Grow Your Business With Social Media and Web 2.0
Patrick May, MBA

Gain a clear understanding of social media options and how to use them to grow your business. We'll discuss social media strategies designed to expand the universe of those who know, like, and trust you, while building referral sources that will transform clients and peers into promoters of your business.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify key social media options, how they work, and which ones to pursue
  • describe appropriate social media strategies to promote your business through "pull" marketing
  • create and execute a plan to improve your online reputation and client referrals
  • describe key constraints and risks in the online environment

Ethical Marketing and Advertising
Heather Bupp, Esq.

In this session we'll discuss how to advertise and market professional services fairly, accurately, and ethically. We'll address issues including professional credentials, online and print advertising and marketing, contracts, and referrals. We'll also review important kickback laws and regulations. You'll come away better able to craft clear, accurate, ethical, and effective messages promoting your services and the professions.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • discuss your ethical responsibilities when marketing and making public announcements
  • identify the limits of marketing professional services and the sale of products
  • use titles, degrees, and credentials appropriately in advertising

Track 3: The Changing Reimbursement Landscape

Changes to Medicaid: What's the Impact?
Laurie Alban Havens, MA, CCC-SLP

No private practitioner is unaffected by Medicaid, the largest health care payer in the U.S. Even if you don't have Medicaid clients, the program's influence on the health care marketplace is enormous. This session gives you a Medicaid primer with emphasis on how to analyze the effects of changes to Medicaid on your practice.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • distinguish Medicaid from Medicare and describe the basic roles of federal and state governments
  • define key Medicaid terminology, including "under the direction of"
  • describe basic Medicaid coverage for adults and children, and elements that differ from state to state
  • discuss the possible expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and what it may mean for coverage of SLP and audiology services
  • locate and use Medicaid resources for your state, including information about Medicaid expansion

Getting Paid by Medicare: 2013 Policy Changes
Lisa Satterfield, MS, CCC-A

Learn about significant changes to Medicare documentation and billing requirements in 2013, and what they signal about larger policy trends in health care. SLPs will need to adjust how they document progress and enter information on claim forms. Both professions will need to respond over time to increased emphasis on patient outcomes. Position your practice to adapt!

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • compare Congressional mandates for therapy services with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) regulations
  • define the outcome measure reporting requirements for therapy services and audiology Physician Quality Reporting System participation
  • discuss the therapy cap and the process for exceptions
  • discuss future trends in payment for speech-language and audiology services

Private Health Plans: Understand the Changes and Optimize Payment
Janet P. McCarty, MEd

With payment reform initiatives and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), clinicians will increasingly be paid for patient outcomes (value-based purchasing) rather than the number of visits, sessions, or tests provided. In this session, you'll learn about these changes and identify adjustments you may need to make to your practice (including new payment models for hearing aid sales). You'll also learn how to advocate effectively for payment and coverage of your services.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • analyze the impact of the ACA on your practice and make necessary changes
  • participate in quality and outcomes measurement efforts
  • define your services as "rehabilitation/habilitation," and advocate for inclusion in state health insurance exchanges and other health plans
  • identify coordinated care models in your community and become a provider

Track 4: Technology

Apps for Better Business: Organize, Store, and Retrieve Data Easily
Julie Irwin, MS, CCC-SLP
Phyllis Watson, MS, CCC-SLP

With the evolving world of technology, you have access to tools designed to make record keeping, data management, and resource organization easier. In this session, we'll sort through the many options, and identify apps to help you save time and run a better practice.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify two apps to organize and access client files
  • identify two apps to assist with time and information management
  • describe three ways that social media can impact your business

Make Your Practice Shine Online
Tom Jelen, BS

It's easier and less expensive than ever to establish a professional website. Learn to make the most of this powerful tool! This session will give you a one-hour approach to planning your practice website, teach you to avoid the seven deadly sins of website design and strategy, and give you nine low-cost ways to drive traffic to your site. Whether you want your site to recruit new clients, encourage referrals from existing clients, or provide online appointment scheduling, you'll be better able to reach your goals.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • articulate your goals for your practice website
  • identify key audiences and what you want them to do
  • avoid common mistakes in developing an online presence
  • identify low-cost methods to drive traffic to your website

Telepractice in Private Practice
Diana Christiana, MAT, CCC-SLP

Are you considering extending the reach of your practice through telepractice? This session gives you an overview of the factors that contribute to your ability to delivery remote services competently, ethically, and securely. We'll review technologies, costs, billing, state licensure issues, and ethical considerations. You'll come away with an outline of a business plan to add telepractice to your service delivery.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • discuss current telepractice models and platforms
  • describe how state licensure regulations and reimbursement challenges affect telepractice service delivery models
  • discuss the benefits and limitations of telepractice

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