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Invest in Your Practice: How an EHR Can Help

June 9, 2022
7:00-9:00 p.m. ET
Presented and Sponsored by SimplePractice

Join this live chat sponsored by SimplePractice to achieve your financial goals and private practice dreams. SLPs Piera Willner, Erin Unruhe Romero, and Sydney Bassard will answer your questions about how using an EHR can help you maximize your time with clients, streamline your workflow, and simplify your private practice.

After this chat, participants will:

  • Understand why SLPs in private practice can benefit from using an EHR
  • Hear first hand experience from private practice owners
  • Learn about unique features on the SimplePractice platform
  • Have access to free private practice resources


  • Sydney Bassard, MSP, CCC-SLP, owner of The Listening SLP, LLC.
  • Erin Unruhe Romero, MS, CCC-SLP, Product Specialist, SimplePractice
  • Piera Willner, MS, CCC-SLP, Partnership Campaign Manager, SimplePractice

This free event is open to all ASHA members and non-members. It is not offered for PDHs, CMHs, or ASHA CEUs.

Following is the transcript from this text-based event (no audio or video).

Jennifer Fatemi, ASHA Moderator

Welcome everyone! We will be getting started shortly.

Before we begin taking questions, I would like to make a few administrative comments.

  • Please keep in mind that this is a web chat and, therefore, there is no audio or video ( Not a zoom meeting)
  • Questions are typically posted one at a time, in the order they are received.
  • Upon formulating a response, panelists will post answers to your questions.
  • Should you wish to ask a follow-up question to a previously posted question, please submit it as a new question rather than adding it to the comments box.
  • To ensure we get to as many questions as possible, we ask that you please begin typing them in now.

Please give a big Thank You to sponsor Simplepractice ASHA - SimplePractice

Ok, it's officially time to start. Our panelists tonight are:

Sydney Bassard, MSP, CCC-SLP is an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist. She received both her B.S. in Public Health and her Master of Speech Pathology from the University of South Carolina. Sydney is licensed in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. She spent years working closely with doctors, nurses, and audiologists as a member of a cochlear implant team. Her private practice primarily serves working with children and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing and those with dyslexia and other reading disorders. With a passion for access to high quality service and care for all, Sydney addresses the individual needs of each client and family.

Erin Unruhe Romero, M.S., CCC-SLP, Product Specialist at SimplePractice Erin received her M.S. in Clinical Speech-Language Pathology from Northern Arizona University. Her areas of interest include working with individuals with aphasia, and other neurogenic communication disorders. Currently, she works as an SLP in an inpatient rehabilitation unit while also providing her expertise as a Product Specialist at SimplePractice.

Piera Willner, MS, CCC-SLP is an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist and the Partnership Campaign Manager at SimplePractice. Piera received her Master’s in communication disorders and sciences from the University of Oregon. Throughout her career she has worked in private practice serving children and their families. She has experience in group practices, multidisciplinary clinical settings, and most recently, owned her own solo practice.

I will now begin posting the questions.

Question 1: Submitted by Guest

I started a private practice last year, but I’m spending a lot of time sending email reminders to my clients’ families because I can’t afford no-shows. Do you have any tips for reducing no-shows?

Sydney Bassard

Having an electronic health record system with a built-in system makes life a lot easier. As a practice owner, you want to create systems in order to reduce your day-to-day workload. I like how SimplePractice has reminders integrated into the system for both text and email depending on the client's preference.

Piera Willner, MS, CCC-SLP

You can click on this link to learn more about using the SimplePractice schedule do reduce cancellations and no-shows: 

Question 2: Submitted by Guest

I’ve started seeing clients on the side but I’m having trouble growing my practice and marketing to get referrals. What does an EHR help with when it comes to marketing?


Hi this is a great question! An EHR can help to manage and grow your practice. SimplePractice offers the ability to set up Online Appointment requests for new and existing clients. You can customize your settings to allow prospective clients to view your availability and request an appointment. You can also create a Professional Website that fully integrates with your SimplePractice account.

Sydney Bassard

I use my EHR to keep track of referral sources. At the end of each month, I pull up a report to see where the majority of my referrals are coming from. This helps me to know where to put my marketing efforts.

Question 3: Submitted by Carrie Beller

What should I think about first when it comes to billing for my private practice?

Sydney Bassard

Great question! When starting your practice, you'll want to make sure that you consult with a healthcare lawyer. Each state has different requirements and you want to make sure that you are in compliance. For billing, that depends on you and what you want. Some people tend to take insurance right away and others are private pay only. If taking insurance, you will want to know the overall process for yourself.


Hi Carrie! Many SLPs use SimplePractice for private pay, insurance billing, or a combination of both. You can submit claims electronically directly to many insurance payers with the click of a button. I have included a helpful resource to learn more:

Question 4: Submitted by Angela F.

Why did you decide to start a Private Practice? What supports worked best for you in the beginning to start?

Piera Willner, MS, CCC-SLP

Thank you for this question! I decided to start a private private practice because I wanted to work more closely with occupational therapists I had met. The OTs each owned their own practice and rented a large space together. In order to work with them daily and be able to co-treat, I needed to leave my employer and start my own practice. Each of the OTs were instrumental in helping me build the confidence and competence to move forward into my own entrepreneurship. They showed me how they managed the financial pieces of their practices and helped me market to their clients and their networks.

Sydney Bassard

Love this question. I started my private practice because I wanted to be able to provide the level of care that I knew my clients deserved. Before full-fledged jumping into business, I consulted with other private practice owners and others in the business (not just SLPs) to learn more about running a business. It is important to learn from other fields about business ownership as well. Every day presents a new learning opportunity, but I would not change it.

Question 5: Submitted by Angela F.

Can you tell me if I need an EHR to bill insurance?


Hi Angela! Having an EHR can make it easier to bill insurance, as many of the client specific details populate directly into the claim. Having integration helps to streamline the billing process, and reduces the amount of time spent billing. Many insurance payers often have portals in which clinicians can submit claims to as well. I would highly recommend reaching out to payers directly to confirm the payer specific requirements.

Question 6: Submitted by Tyler W.

What are some tips and best practices you can share to help with scheduling clients?

Sydney Bassard

Scheduling clients can be tough. I make it a habit to never commit on the spot and always check my calendar in two places before emailing/ texting potential dates and times. This helps me to visually see what availability I have before offering it to families.

Piera Willner, MS, CCC-SLP

It took me awhile to feel comfortable using the Online Appointment Request feature available with SimplePractice because I worried about opening up my schedule to clients and their families. Like Sydney, I didn't want to commit before I double and triple checked my schedule. However, once I added my availability and made it visible to my current clients through the client portal, it made rescheduling appointments effortless. And as a business owner, finding ways to reduce my workload has made a huge positive impact on my well being and made it possible for me to grow my practice. When a session needs to be rescheduled, clients can see my open availability and request an appointment. On my end, I get to decide whether to accept the appointment or decline it. So a session will never appear on my schedule without my permission. Online Appointment Requests has greatly reduced the back and forth communication I used to do when rescheduling client appointments. Here's a link to a class to learn more about Appointment Requests: 

Question 7: Submitted by Ian P.

How does simplepractice support a private practice clinician when starting out with this software?

Sydney Bassard

SimplePractice offers an onboarding call to customers. They are super helpful to make sure that you have a basic understanding of the software and the interface. I frequently use the help button when I cannot find something that I need. The staff are always supportive and walk me through step by step.


SimplePractice is available to support clinicians through navigating the platform as you start your practice. In addition, we offer a number of resources for clinicians to learn more about managing and growing their private practice. Here is a great guide with links catered for SLPs:

Question 8: Submitted by Kimberly G.

How does and EHR system increase efficiency? I struggle with my workflow cycle at times .

Sydney Bassard

We have all been there! Yes, an EHR can definitely help with efficiency. The major one for me is it sends me reminders about notes and billing. If I forget to add a note to a visit or bill for the session, I will get a reminder. The daily summary of appointments helps me to stay on top of my schedule as well. Before my caseload got full, I blocked off time in my EHR for administrative tasks. I permanently keep those times unavailable for scheduling in order to handle the business side of my practice.


An EHR can integrate your billing, documentation, and scheduling all in one place. You can save time by automating generation of your billing documents. You also have access to numerous reports to get an overview of your practice finances at a glance.

Question 9: Submitted by Ian P.

Can you share some of the ways an EHR helps private practitioners manage their practice?

Piera Willner, MS, CCC-SLP

My favorite features of SimplePractice for managing my practice are the schedule, integrated telehealth, session note documentation, online appointment requests, credit card billing, secure messaging, and the client portal. Before using SimplePractice, I was using pen and paper and had to invest in a physical filing cabinet to keep all of my client paperwork. Now everything is digital and available at the click of a button, while also being fully HIPAA compliant and secure. Here's a link to learn more about the Client Portal: 

Sydney Bassard

I agree with what Piera said. I scan all client documentation into my EHR. It helps keep everything organized and protected instead of a lot of paper.

Question 10: Submitted by Guest

I'm private pay but a lot of my clients want superbills. I’m not familiar with these or what is required on my end to send to insurance if I’m not in network with them. What are the tips you have to get set up so I can offer these to parents?

Sydney Bassard

Before providing a client with a superbill, have them check their out-of-network benefits (i.e. do they need a doctor's order, prior authorization, etc). This will help the client know prior to submission of the superbill if services would be covered by the company. Additionally, some insurances do not cover certain diagnosis codes. Make sure that you know which modifiers you may need to add to the superbill.


Hi! As Sydney mentioned, it would definitely be a good idea to have the clients check their out-of-network benefits. Within SimplePractice, you can enable superbills to automatically generate on a monthly basis, and have them available for clients and/or parents in the Client Portal to access at anytime!

Most commonly, insurance payers will require the diagnosis, CPT code, and date of service.

Question 11: Submitted by Stephanie Lane

Is this chat only via messaging and no video? Sorry I may have misunderstood

Jennifer Fatemi, ASHA Moderator

Yes, this is just a text based chat please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Question 12: Submitted by Jacki

Did you purchase an EHR prior to starting your private practice or once you had several clients?

Sydney Bassard

I set up my EHR prior to seeing clients. I was able to create my practice policies, have my intake forms with all the information I wanted, and navigate the EHR before having many clients. It only helped to keep me organized once my practice started to grow.


Hi Jackie! An EHR will also keep sensitive data safe and secure. SimplePractice is HITRUST certified, and meets HIPAA security requirements.

Question 13: Submitted by Stephanie Lane

If we work with a private practice that excepts medicare and medicaid and we work there is the medicaid and medicare numbers assigned to us as individual practitioners or their practice? Do we need to somehow get our own connection with medicare and medicaid? And then can we bill and connect with them through this EHR platform?


Hi Stephanie, while I am unable to confirm the number that has been assigned to you, I would be happy to provide some clarity where I can here. Within SimplePractice, we recommend group practices set up enrollments with insurance payers such as Medicare with their group information, and each clinician will enter their individual NPI. If you are unsure, I would highly recommend reaching out directly to these payers to verify their billing requirements with regards to tax ID and NPI information.

Question 14: Submitted by Guest

I’m off from the schools in the summer and want to start seeing some clients on the side. How does SimplePractice work with helping me onboard my clients?

Sydney Bassard

That is so amazing about seeing clients in the summer! SimplePractice allows you to select the documents that you want to send to your clients via email. They have templates that you can use and modify based on what information you want. You'll receive an email notification once they are completed.

Piera Willner, MS, CCC-SLP


We have a resource called How to Start a Private Practice on the Side that I think you will find very helpful: 

Sydney Bassard

These questions are so great! Please feel free to ask any questions about private practice and EHRs!

Question 15: Submitted by Macy Grathwol

I’m an SLP with a private pay private practice. Are there any speech therapy specific resources simple practice provides for understanding how to get credentialed with and/or bill to insurance as well as to problem solve denials?


We do have a number of resources for navigating insurance billing. Specifically for SLPs, SimplePractice has put together a resource here: In addition, you can also download this guide:

Sydney Bassard
I love the SimplePractice blog! It is called Pollen and offers great resources.

Piera Willner, MS, CCC-SLP
Sydney wrote a wonderful article for Pollen about her work with Deaf and hard of hearing clients that you can read here: 

Question 16: Submitted by Ashley

Do you let your patients schedule their times through simple practice or just offer them a couple spots?

Sydney Bassard
We answered this a little further down. I tend to only offer a couple of spots so I can maintain control of my schedule.

Question 17: Submitted by Guest

Im super nervous about taking credit cards because I don’t want the liability and responsibility of protecting credit card information. Could an EHR provide a secure method of collecting money?


Hi, utilizing an EHR is a great way to safely and securely process credit card transactions. SimplePractice has an integrated credit card processor that is fully PCI-compliant. Additionally, if the Client Portal is enabled, clients can log in to make payments directly from their Client Portal.

Sydney Bassard

I felt the same way! SimplePractice has the ability for clients to input their card information to have it on file. If they need to update or change the card, they have the ability to do that as well.

Question 18: Submitted by Guest

Is private practice really a way to support yourself? Or is it too good to be true? Do I need to hire employees to make a living?

Sydney Bassard

Thank you for asking this! You can absolutely support yourself in private practice. It will take work and require a lot of patience as you are building and learning. Be kind to yourself during this period. You will see ebbs and flows. That is typical. I would highly encourage any SLP to consider having more than one stream of income to their practice besides just direct clinical hours. The beauty of private practice is you can make it what you want.

Jennifer Fatemi, ASHA Moderator

I am afraid we are out of time. Perhaps the panelists have something they would like to say in closing?

Piera Willner, MS, CCC-SLP

Thank you for all the great questions!

Sydney Bassard

Thank you all so much for joining! I appreciate you for coming and asking great questions. Please do not hesitate to reach out.


Thank you everyone for your questions!

Jennifer Fatemi, ASHA Moderator

Thank you all so much for your great questions and comments and thank you, panelists, for your time and great information!
This chat will be available immediately after it has ended from this page.

Thank you again to sponsor Simplepractice.

Goodnight everyone!

ASHA Corporate Partners