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Counseling Private Practice tips

Counseling Private Practice tips

I recently received an email from someone starting a private practice in the coming months. They were wondering about all the acronyms in the counseling world. This list can be frustrating! These are just a few of the most common. Every agency and area has their own as well. But here are some essentials to understand.


An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity. http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Employer-ID-Numbers-(EINs)-


National Provider Identifier The Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) mandated the adoption of a standard unique identifier for health care providers. The National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) collects identifying information on health care providers and assigns each a unique National Provider Identifier (NPI).https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPES/StaticForward.do?forward=static.npistart

Tax ID

This is a general term for any ID the IRS usesto ID someone or a business. A SSN or EIN are both tax IDs. http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Taxpayer-Identification-Numbers-(TIN )



CAQH, a nonprofit alliance of health plans and trade associations, allows for industry collaboration and simplifies healthcare administration http://www.caqh.org



Limited Liability Company. Regarding using your SSN vs. becoming a LLC for CAQH or insurances or even just general practice, that would be acceptable, but not recommended. The reason is that you are probably a 1099 at Silver Lake Psychotherapy Associates, since you list yourself on LinkedIn as an Independent Contractor. So you could file as a LLC (Limited Liability Co.) http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Limited-Liability-Company-(LLC ), which in many ways offers more protection than a DBA or 1099 since clients cannot sue you for personal assets, only the “company” assets, basically whatever you keep in the bank account.

If you are planning on starting a practice, I think that my 52-week Private Practice Builder would be a great resource for you! You get an email every week with steps to go from no private practice to a thriving one by the end of 52 weeks. It keeps you on track and saves a ton of time since you don’t have to go find out all these types of things. It does cost $10/m but I personally would have loved to have the info when I started!



counseling private practice advice

Joseph R. Sanok is the owner of Mental Wellness Counseling in Traverse City, MI (www.mentalwellnesscounseling.com). Also, he consults with counselors through in-person and virtual to help them to be more awesome in their counseling private practice.


Counseling Private Practice tips Photos from Creative Commons, thank you to limbte!