Terms and conditions

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Private practice terms and conditions

When a client books an appointment with you, they are entering into an agreement with your business.

It’s vital that you send them your terms and conditions from the very first enquiry, so that they are totally clear about important issues - such as your fees and payment terms. You could also put these on your website if you choose.

Practice management software will enable a personalised terms and conditions letter to be generated automatically.

Your terms and conditions don’t have to contain pages and pages of information, written in small print. They can be quite simple. Here’s what they need to include:

What you should cover in your terms and conditions

1. Your fees. This section can be modified depending on whether or not you have decided to offer a discount to a particular client. You should also explain whether or not the initial assessment is free of charge, and state that fees are subject to regular review.

2. How long the appointment will last and what will happen if the client is late (i.e. you cannot overrun due to the next client, so will have to cut a session short).

3. The location of an appointment, and whether or not you can make home visits.

4. The method of payment that you accept, and when payment will be required (e.g. in advance, at the end of each session, or after receipt of invoice).

5. Your cancellation policy, for example: Cancellations may be made up to 1 working day before the appointment. Appointments cancelled after this time will be charged in full. You may decide to say ’24 hours’ instead, which is quite different.

6. When, and how, clients should let you know if they wish to end their therapy.

Different terms and conditions for different types of clients

As well as terms and conditions for individual client, you may need separate terms and conditions for:

  • referrers such as rehabilitation companies
  • companies for whom you provide medico-legal reports

However, these types of organisations will often want you to agree to their own terms and conditions. Make sure you read them carefully. You can always query an issue before you start treatment.

The therapy contract

Terms and conditions cover the nitty-gritty - essentially the fees and payment terms. However, there are many other rights and responsibilities that need to be agreed when you enter into therapy with a client. These are covered in our article about the therapy contract.

Examples of terms and conditions

Members of the Private Practice Hub can download a range of terms and conditions by logging in here, and can modify them for use in their own practice. You can become a member here (it’s free).