Blog Posts

‘How Halo Helps’ series

Group Practices of 5+ clinicians

At Halo, we exist to remove the admin burden from practice owners and clinicians and support them to run the best version of their practice.  We work with practices of all sizes and structures, some have in-house admin AND Halo, some use Halo exclusively. 

Our larger customers are level 4 or 5 practices on the Private Practice Success scale, many have their own admin (often team of admin, practice manager etc) and engage Halo’s services in addition to this. Having an off-site team to manage the busy-work of calls and enquiries allows their in-house team to focus on excellent in-practice service to both clients and clinicians.

Some of our large customers have no in-house admin at all, and Halo is their admin team. Remotely, we can do the busy work AND support clients and clinicians exceptionally! It may surprise you to know the level of rapport we can build with people over phone and email – we’ve mastered the skill!  Of course, happy clients = therapeutic results, reputation, growth, all-round-niceness! In addition, a happy and well supported clinical team = RETENTION and means you can continue to help even more people in the community.

 

Through our Virtual Administration/Reception services, we have three main focus areas:

1. Client Service and Care:

We provide excellent client service through in and outbound calls and via email on behalf of our practice-customers. We pride ourselves on being exceptionally compassionate and responsive to new client enquiries and referrals. We triage, convert enquiries to bookings, complete the full intake process and maintain an excellent standard of service.

2. Dynamic Diary Management:

We keep a close eye on your diary, wait lists and cancellation lists. Bookings are managed in order to generate the most revenue from the available appointments. Under the diary management function, we oversee compliance and accuracy for Medicare and a range of third party funders. 

3. Finance:

We take care of your billing/invoicing, rebates, outstanding accounts and follow up approval/funding through third parties.

There’s so much involved in running an efficient, profitable and highly customer-focussed practice. We take great pride in our contribution to these outcomes and prioritise our competing demands to have the most impact.

Your practice may have an awesome admin team, or no admin at all. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering introducing virtual admin:

  • Is my practice as responsive and helpful to new and current clients as I had envisioned? 
  • Are cancellations being promptly and consistently refilled? 
  • Do I feel confident that I am compliant with Medicare? (codes, valid referrals, tracking of sessions)
  • Am I still having to step in and support with front desk admin? (day to day and/OR just to cover leave)

Is it time to level up? Book your free discovery consult with Ash, here.

 

Lessons to take into 2022


In business, it’s totally normal to be the person doing all the things (the ‘technician’), it’s also really normal to find your biz-brain and your personal feelings clashing. I’m a hardcore people pleaser and this has been one of the biggest challenges for myself – leading people, charging the right fees, saying no – it’s not easy. 

However, in 2021 it was time to admit I couldn’t be in several places/doing several things at the same time (at least, not to the standard I accept!). I had to decide if I was going to crush my goals, or coast along – spoiler alert, no coasting along allowed!

At the end of 2021, we closed Halo for just over a week. This is the first time in almost 3 years of operating that Halo has shut down and sent everyone on leave (except public holidays of course!).

During my time off, I did a whole lot of nothing. Dotted amongst trying to avoid my laptop and reorganising my entire house (still not sure where I ended up deciding the spare light bulbs live…), I enjoyed some journaling time.

I reflected on how 2021 felt – when did I feel the most in-flow, organised and switched on? When did I feel really crap? What might have contributed to each? I did a huge brain dump of all of this and sat there perusing through the scribbly words on my iPad. 

It hit me like a truck, all the things we’d achieved, how it’d felt. I took a moment to thank myself for all the hours I’d put into smashing 2021, and all the times we were all resilient and adaptable. I looked at what I might have liked to do differently if the situation arises again. I let the words simmer, and when I was satisfied that I’d given last year the acknowledgement it deserved, I created a 2022 journal and decided this year I’m levelling up again!

Now, lucky for me, I have two bad-ass, inspirational and straight up super-hero style business partners, Gerda and Chels. We share a sacred, safe space on our quarterly planning weeks, in our weekly meetings and on Voxer; this space is our secret weapon. Having people in your corner is an absolute must in business.

I won’t waffle on too much here, but the point of this post is to get us all geared up for another year to be proud of! I want to share a few lessons that really moved the needle for me, and that I’ll be taking with me through 2022 and beyond:

1. EMPOWER YOUR PEOPLE TO BE PROBLEM SOLVERS, not problem-announcers!

The CEO/Biz owner/Management should not be a ‘book-of-all-answers’ – Do you know how much time we spend answering questions (often repetitive ones)?! Additionally, the regular interruptions are a flow-zone killer. 

Create thorough process/policy/procedure; spend the time doing this properly. Show your team where to find the info. [if you need help with this, I’ve got you covered, click here]

Set the expectation with your team that if they haven’t already considered solutions (and looked at the aforementioned policies etc), you will not hear their question. 

If they’ve taken the right steps before bringing a question/issue/problem to you, great. Now, before you answer, ASK. Return their question with another, “what solution do you think would be the most suitable here?”. This facilitates problem solving and instills confidence that they actually don’t need you to solve the problem (and not being needed is a good thing – you’ve got your own shit to do!).

2. SCHEDULE YOUR EMAILS!

If you are working after business hours and you’re firing off emails to your team/clients/other parties, you might be setting yourself up for a weight of expectations you don’t want!

Working after hours is very normal for business owners, however if (like me) you don’t plan to be working this many hours forever, you need to consider scheduling emails to send during business hours. If your clients (etc) know you’ll respond at any hour, this will be what they come to expect from you – this is a self-created problem you can avoid!

If you have a team around you, if they constantly see that you’re working at all hours, they can begin to feel there is an expectation on them that they should be doing the same thing – big cultural and retention problems can develop here!

3. BOUNDARIES ARE ESSENTIAL. “NO.” IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE.

I’m not even going to elaborate. Why? Because, no.

4. AUTOMATE wherever possible.

When considering how your business operates day-to-day, think of when you might use the phrase “Every time I/we…” – can this process be automated? Do some googling, speak with your community – tech can do so much more than you can even imagine! [Join our community here]

5. RUN DIFFICULT DECISIONS PAST AN OBJECTIVE 3RD PARTY (considering privacy/confidentiality of course!)

Whenever I feel my emotions getting in the way of a business decision, I check in with a trusted person. How do they see the situation? If the emotion was removed or reduced, how would I proceed? I especially like to consult with someone who has a take-no-shit approach!

At Halo (and personally) we’ve still got so much to achieve, learn and give. All things considered, my main message here is that YOU get to define what success looks like for yourself, once you’ve done that, YOU get to decide how successful you will be. Then, YOU can go and make it happen.

Halo Practice Management provides a range of services in Virtual Admin, consulting with practice owners and managers, training and more. Get in touch here to find out how we can help you level up!
Alternatively, you can book straight into the calendar for a consult with Ash – click here.

You already have to have so many tabs open…

Do you provide services under the Medicare Better Access scheme? If you’re feeling overwhelmed and or confused with compliance on referrals, codes, claims – you’re not alone! Medicare compliance is challenging and the thought of an audit is an anxiety-provoking prospect! There’s already so much to focus on when running your practice, caring for your clients and, for many of you, also supporting your team!  

You may have admin in place supporting you with compliance, or you might be taking care of this yourself. Even people who have a great understanding of Medicare can get it wrong sometimes – we’re all human, we’re bound to miss something, misunderstand the guidelines or be unaware. 

Since the new calendar year is in full swing, and Medicare stipulates maximum sessions on referrals and calendar year, as well as the order in which we accept referrals – it can get really confusing. It’s important to develop a system to track referrals and sessions to reduce the likelihood of errors, however, when errors occur it’s best to rectify these early to avoid ongoing issues and a much larger, more difficult problem.

To help with all the moving parts of Medicare Compliance, we’re launching Medicare Compliance Health-Checks! The purpose of these Health-Checks is to provide you with an overview of how compliant you are and take action to avoid hefty repayments if you are audited by Medicare. 

Our Health-Checks include an examination of randomly selected client files, ensuring all claims are compliant under Medicare. Any issues we identify will be noted and you’ll receive a summary and steps to rectify. Halo can then action these steps at your instruction.

All enquiries for this service will receive 3 free file reviews (no obligation to continue with paid health check services); together we can then identify the expected workload/audit volume required.

To chat to us further about this service, and organise your 3 FREE file reviews, please book a 15-minute meeting with our lovely Operational Coordinator Monique Wells: https://calendly.com/brightside-halo/15min

Ready for Freedom!?

Is your new year’s resolution to have your business work for you, and create more freedom?

Many business owners we work with cite freedom (financial, time-wise, impact) as the reasons why they started their businesses in the first place.

It’s normal to be doing all the things in your business at the beginning, however it’s important to recognise when this might be holding you back. 

If you’re ready for more freedom, time and brain space/energy to focus on what’s most important for you and your business, it’s time to outsource!

Halo Practice Management provides a range of services, and we find our virtual admin service to have a huge impact for business owners. We work with Allied Health Professionals, and have a special interest in working with mental health practices – this is our zone of genuis! 

Tick one of your new years resolutions off the list now – contact us!

Our Virtual Admin Service

Halo’s Virtual Admin & Reception Services: WE’VE CLOSED OUR BOOKS FOR HALF OF 2021?!

We’ve been receiving a large number of enquiries for our Virtual Admin services and I wanted to share some information with our community as to what’s been happening here at Halo. 

When myself, Gerda and Chels founded Halo, our vision was to be structured and steady with client onboarding, and we never wanted to sacrifice our quality for growth. Even though we’re receiving an increased number of enquiries (and it’s been booming throughout this pandemic), we wanted to remind ourselves that we are still in our infancy as a business. It’s our 2-year birthday month, and we’re taking the time to reflect, refocus and realign to our values, vision and mission. 

To this end, last year we decided that for the first half of 2021, our Virtual Admin & Reception service will be closed to new clients. When many business owners would be shouting “EXPAND! EXPAND!” from the rooftops when they see a large influx in enquiries, Halo recognises that in order to provide a stable and reliable service, we must be systematic. We truly understand the impact admin has on a business, and we have a responsibility to be mindful and deliberate about our standards of service delivery.

We are taking time during our shutdown to work on quality, improving systems and reviewing processes to ensure we have the foundations for a robust, reliable and industry-leading service. Our current clients are our focus and we’re excited to continue sharing each improvement with them and seek feedback. We very much value the feedback provided by our clients over the last two years, you’ve inspired us to make the necessary changes to best support you and helped us to identify what works well!

After this shut-down, we’ll be rolling out new and improved onboarding processes and offer services to our ideal practice-clients. As always, we’ll continue to build strong working relationships based on trust, respect and integrity. 


Thank you to anyone who has enquired with us, and those who patiently await their onboarding – we can’t wait to support you.

Be there for bedtime stories…

Our friends over at The Psych Professionals have recently been running a Bedtime Stories series and it got us thinking… how many of our customers have the parent guilt? That drive to succeed in their own career, provide for their family and create the life they dream of, while sacrificing that priceless family time to get there?

Halo Practice Management Virtual Admin & reception Australia Wide. Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Melbourne, Hobart, Perth, Darwin and more!

This is your reminder that you are a hardworking, committed and multiple-hat-wearing superstar and YOU 👏👏 DESERVE 👏 YOUR 👏TIME. If weekends and evenings working/doing admin jobs is becoming the norm for you, it doesn’t have to be this way!

Streamline your week, delegate your admin work to our reliable, hard-working Halo Practice Support Team and reclaim YOUR TIME!

Email ash@halopracticemanagement.com.au

Hiring is a huge task…

Halo Practice Management - Assessment, Consulting, Virtual Admin & Reception – Australia Wide

Hiring is a huge job, finding the right person for your practice, your team and your clients is essential…and a lot of pressure! 

We often hear of the constant struggle to find suitable applicants for clinical roles, and often hear of the absolute overwhelm when looking for a reception/admin person because there are just SO👏MANY 👏 RESUMES! 

It sounds like a great problem to have, but it’s a massive time-guzzler, and how much can you really know about a person’s character from their resume? Then comes the hours of interviewing & reflecting, not to mention the short-listing required to even get to this point. I could go on… 

What if you didn’t have to worry about any of this? SPOILER ALERT: You don’t!!!

With Halo Practice Management’s Virtual Admin & Reception Service, we take care of the hiring, performance management, payroll, compliance, holidays and sick-pay. This is all happening in the background, while we take care of all of your admin and reception work, support you and your clients and assist you with those niggling tasks that keep getting pushed down your to-do list.

To find out more about our comprehensive package, email ash@halopracticemanagement.com.au and we’ll organise a tailored Service Proposal.

Busy is good! But busy is… a lot sometimes.

Assessment, Consulting, Virtual Admin & Reception – Australia Wide
Halo Practice Management

With more than just a handful of people depending on you and trying to run a successful, profitable practice that can provide support to as many people as possible, there’s always something to be done.

If you’re already managing seventeen competing demands on any given day (if we’re being generous), it’s very difficult to be across the latest systems and processes that could save your admin team time and stress.

There are several functions within the admin and reception role that have a significant impact on client experience in AND your bottom line! 

Saving time can save your business a lot of money, so systemisation is of utmost importance. Plus, if admin have some spare time, what else can you delegate so you can focus on what’s meaningful for you/your business?!

You may have heard of the Assessment and Audit packages we offer to support front desk optimisation.. to learn more about how Halo Practice Management can support you and your practice, email ash@halopracticemanagement.com.au

Top tips on cancellation policies…

Assessment, Consulting, Virtual Admin & Reception – Australia Wide

Halo Practice Management

1. Ensure reception are well versed! Do they know when they’re allowed to waive a fee and when they’re not? (e.g. emergency, illness etc)
2. Get your ENTIRE team are onboard – that’s clinicians and reception. Explain why the cancellation policy is necessary.
3. Talk about it openly and clearly. Are the entire team upholding the policy and sending a consistent message to all clients in relation to this policy? Reception should remind clients every now and then, and so should clinicians.
4. Be fair. Don’t bend the rules for this client, and be super strict to the next. Enough said.
5. Have your reception take a hard line. If you’re concerned about therapeutic relationships, push it back on reception (sorry folks!). Try “it’s out of my hands, so please ensure you give us plenty of notice”, it’s a perfectly acceptable phrase to put forth in the first session to set the expectation.

If you need help to review or adjust your current policies, or how these are implemented, chat with us about our assessment services – email Ash: ash@halopracticemanagement.com.au 

If you’re not quite ready for an assessment, we invite you to book a one-on-one consult with Ash Davison (Managing director of Halo Practice Management) here: https://brightside.as.me

#BrightSide

At Halo PM, we care…

Why we moved away from using call time as a KPI for our team. 

Our concerns were that by providing a time limit on calls, our team would be focused on the number of calls they were taking/making and not on the QUALITY of the call or the CONSISTENCY OF SERVICE they were providing for our customers and their clients. So we decided to change the way we looked at productivity:

1. Each call should be individualised and personalised to both the practice and the client. Our Practice Support Team are able to ask people about their day, to check in with a client about their child who was sick for their last appointment, to have a quick chat about their recent holiday. We want them to feel valued and that the phone call they have with their practice is a phone call they feel comfortable making.

2. Each call is a COMPLETE service, not just to complete the reason for the call. By focusing on call times, team members often get caught up in completion of the call, rather than completion of the service. They forget to check in with the client about future appointments, to ensure the client is feeling comfortable and receiving outstanding service.

3. Our goal is to not only provide a reception and administration services for the practices we support, but to validate client’s questions and concerns, demonstrate care and compassion for callers and provide next level support. 

4. Our customers and their clients vary; there is not one-size-fits-all. Our service reflects this. Our customers may have clients who are high functioning, have intellectual disabilities, are highly anxious, are accessing treatment for the first time and those who are resistant to engaging. Our team have the time and space to treat these clients with the individuality they deserve, to best engage and support them through their treatment journey with our customers.

5. In turn, we have a happier, less stressed team. This equals better, more friendly service!

If you’re ready to join the #BrightSide – get in touch via our contact page or by emailing ash@halopracticemanagement.com.au