Acuity Scheduling: The Best Private Practice Scheduling System for Dietitians
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Are you a dietitian new to private practice? Are you overwhelmed by all the teeny tiny details of getting your nutrition practice up and running? Looking for something to make your life AND practice run easier? Please allow me me to introduce you to my ninja-like side-kick: Acuity Scheduling system. Acuity is hands down the best private practice scheduling system out there.
If I were to identify the ONE thing I could NOT live without in my practice, that one thing would be Acuity Scheduling. I love.love.love Acuity. It is super-duper user friendly. Plus, it does everything a good scheduling system should do.
Below are my top 5 reasons why I think Acuity is the best private practice scheduling system on the market:
Saves me time
Acuity Scheduling saves me time because it takes ME out of the mix. I have the link embedded on all of my websites so my patients can go online and schedule their visit on their own. Patients can log into the account via your website or a personalized hyperlink and create an account using their email and password. Once, they have created an account they can schedule, cancel and reschedule their appointment on their own. This means no more back and forth with you regarding dates and times. Can you say game changer?
When I first started my practice, I had an old school planner and just jotted down the names, phone numbers and emails of my patients. I would then craft an email 48 hours before their visit and gently remind them of their visit. This was time consuming but I felt a necessary evil to prevent no-shows.
Fast forward to using Acuity. Acuity sends out both text and email reminders at intervals of your choice. I usually have them sent 48 hours before the patient’s visit – but you can schedule them at any time frame you want. You can also customize what you would like the email to say.
Here is an example of the exact copy I use for the reminders my patients receive for their follow-up visits:
This is a reminder that your appointment, [%type%, with %calendar% is on %time%] here the information is displayed about the time, date and dietitian who the patient will be seeing for their follow-up visit
To view your appointment details please visit [%viewlink%] link that takes the patient directly into my schedule
Please do your best to arrive on time for you scheduled visit. Failure to do so will result in an abbreviated appointment. Failure to cancel appointment within 24-hours of your visit will result in a $80.00 no call/no show fee for a 30 minute FOLLOW UP appointment and $150.00 for a 60 minute initial visit.
Office location: The Plano Program, 500 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT 06477
Initial Visits – All initial visits allow for 60 minutes of the dietitian’s time. Please be advised that it is your responsibility to confirm your nutrition health insurance benefits PRIOR to your visit. If you have any questions please email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow up visits – Follow up visits allow for 30 minutes. This is a great time to address any questions that may have arisen between visits.
Metabolism Testing Assessment – There is an additional charge for metabolism testing. The cost of the test is $150. Please email in advance so she knows to prepare for this test. Metabolism testing requires that you be fasted (no food – but water is okay!), no caffeine or exercise at least 4 hours prior to your visit.
These reminders have significantly cut down on my practice’s ‘no-call/no-show rates’. The patient can actually cancel or reschedule their appointment directly from the link sent in the reminder. Therefore, unless an emergency or something unexpected happens, there is really no reason why your patient’s should not show up for their scheduled appointments. Which leads quite nicely into the next benefit.
Customized forms and fields
Acuity Scheduling allows you to create your own personalized intake forms and fields that patients fill out when they schedule their visit. One of the required ‘forms’ for my practice is a field for the patient’s credit card information. Without providing this information, they can’t schedule their visit. I also include a disclaimer telling the patient the exact situations in which their card will be charged.
He is the exact language used on my initial intake forms:
A credit card is required to be kept on file for all of your nutrition visit (s). There are ONLY three scenarios your credit card will be charged:
- You failed to verify your health insurance PRIOR to your visit and you do not have nutrition coverage. Therefore, your health insurance carrier rejected the claim Amy submitted. Your are therefore liable for the full amount of the visit which is $175.00.
- You cancelled your visit without providing at least a 24-hour notice. Your card will be charged $175.00 if it was an initial visit or $80.00 if it was a scheduled follow-up visit
- You did not show up for your scheduled nutrition visit. You will be charged $175.00 if it was an initial visit and $80.00 if it was a follow-up.
Note: Amy’s scheduling system will allow YOU to electronically cancel and/or reschedule your visit on your own up to 24 hours prior to your visit using the link you received via email.You can do this by clicking on the “View Appointment Details.
So — if you verify your health insurance and show up for your nutrition visit on time – there is ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY no charge for your nutrition visit providing you have nutrition coverage. The above scenarios are the ONLY instances which the card you provide will be charged.
I think it is super important to be transparent with your patients. As you can see (in my practice) the responsibility is on the patient for verifying their nutritional benefits. Check out the language on my actual website on how I direct patients to verify their health insurance benefits. I am very clear with what is expected of them prior to their visit. This, in combination with the reminders, has kept my practice’s ‘no-show’ rates extremely low.
I run a group practice with two other fabulous dietitians. Acuity allows the option to have up to 36 different calendars with various locations. Therefore, we all have our own calendar (housed within a singular platform) and the ability to customize the calendar to suit our individual needs. We are all tied into the main calendar so we see each other’s schedules. This is super helpful so we know who and where each dietitian is each day.
Pricing is reasonable
Acuity has a product and price point to suit pretty much everyone’s needs. They offer a range of services from a free version (without most of the bells and whistles) all the way up to a product that allows you have up to 36 different calendars and locations.
Here is the current 2019 pricing structure.
In my personal experience, they ‘grandfather’ you into your payment plan. Meaning, if they increase their pricing – they actually lock you in with your current services at your current rate.
Tons of additional features
In addition, here are other advanced features available on all paid plans:
- Syncing with Outlook.com, Exchange, and Office 365, iCloud and Google Calendar
- GoToMeeting, Join.me, and Zoom integrations for online meetings
- QuickBooks, Freshbooks, and Xero integrations for invoicing and accounting
- MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, and MadMimi integration for bulk emailing
- Pipedrive integration for sales/CRM
- Integrate with 500+ other apps through Zapier
- Accept payments and deposits through PayPal, Square, or Stripe
- Vault credit cards for charging clients later
- Offer coupons and vouchers for discounts
- Offer classes, workshops, or group events
- Easy up-sell clients with check-out add-ons
- Advanced reporting about appointments, no shows, & performance
In my opinion, Acuity Scheduling system is the best nutrition private practice scheduling system out there. Acuity saves me time, money and it really simplifies my practice.
What scheduling system are you using for your nutrition private practice? Give us the 411 in the comments below.