FREE TRAINING: How to Start a Speech Therapy Private Practice

My Private Practice: An Interview with SLP Pamela Hass

Interview with Pamela Hass, MA CCC-SLP of Interactive Therapy, Inc

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your area(s) of expertise.
I have been a Speech Language Pathologist since 1979.  

I have worked in acute care hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, client’s homes, preschools, daycare facilities, elementary, junior high and high schools throughout my career.  

I have worked with various populations between the ages of nine months to the elderly.  

The populations that I have worked with the most, since I started working in private practice, are with kids who have problems with articulation and/or phonological disorders, receptive and/or expressive language disorders, stuttering and cleft-palate from ages 9 months to 19 years of age.  I have worked extensively with kids with neurological disorders and developmental delays.

How do you describe your practice?
At Interactive Therapy Inc our mission is to help people develop or regain the communication skills they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives.  We provide a range of services for both children and adults suffering from speech and language disorders.

These include:

  1. Individual assessment and treatment of speech and language disorders,reading and spelling disabilities, cognitive disorders, and swallowing disorders
  2. Individual and group consultation, including screenings at schools, clinics, and health/educational events in the community
  3. Workshops and seminars to educate health care professionals, educators, and community members about speech and language disorders, and how they can help people suffering from them.

Interactive Therapy Inc provides speech, language, and swallowing evaluations and therapy to both children and adults with developmental delays, neurological disorders and oral facial anomalies.  Individuals are diagnosed and treated, who exhibit articulation/phonological disorders, stuttering, hearing impairment, cleft-palate, and language disorders resulting in the reduced ability to understand or express language including listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Individuals with neurological disorders such as autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, learning disabilities, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, Down Syndrome and brain injury are also assessed and treated.

Interactive Therapy Inc is committed to providing the best quality of care at a reasonable cost to its clients.  We are committed to excellence with a spirit of cooperation and flexibility.  We provide services to schools, homes and daycare in the greater St. Louis Metropolitan area.  Hours vary and every attempt is made to accommodate the client’s, family’s, or school’s schedules.  Interactive Therapy Inc is currently a First Steps provider and is generally an out-of-network insurance provider.  We assist the family in getting reimbursed by their insurance company by providing diagnostic and treatment codes and we will give any other assistance as needed.

How did you “take the leap” into treating privately?
I took about a month and a half to think about the direction I wanted to go after I resigned from a job as a language resource room teacher at an elementary school.  I was married at the time and could afford to take some time to regroup.  I went to a SCORE workshop in St. Louis which helped me organize myself, i.e. write a business plan and a marketing plan. 

In that month and a half I did my own market survey by checking the yellow pages to see how many SLPs in the area were doing private work and discovered there was a market for an SLP to go to the client’s home, daycare, or school rather than rent an office somewhere. 

I also used a mentor from SCORE to help me research private schools in the area and market to them through brochures and a packet of informational materials and also to get my start up release in the business section of the newspaper. 

FYI: My brochures and informational packets are still sitting in boxes because I have not used most of them.  This was at the cusp of marketing through the Internet.  A friend of my husband’s did a super job of printing up the brochures, the cover of the information packet/folder and my business cards.  I had a company design my website and host it. 

Most of my clients have made contact with me through my website and word of mouth.  My accountant helped me get my company registered with the state after I decided on a name for it.  It has been a wonderful experience and I’m glad I “took the leap”.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone who is just getting started with private patients?
I would tell someone who is just getting started with private patients is to “keep the end in mind” as Stephen Covey, who wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People put it.  Know where you want to go and how to get there.  If you are unsure of the “how”, enlist help from those who have done it and from SCORE.


Connect with Pamela Hass, MA CCC-SLP today!  

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