Welcome to Carriage House Birth! Thank you for joining our community as an independently contracted Doula. We are thrilled to have you! Please us know if we can be of further assistance as you transition into our village of world class care and education. Our intention in creating this packet is to guide you seamlessly through the referral and payment processes from start to finish. Appendix C will show you our tier and pricing structure and the correct team members to contact if you need it.
1. THE BASICS
1. Before you take clients through CHB, please visit, review, and bookmark all the paperwork relevant to your work with CHB.
These documents are for Carriage House Birth Clients ONLY.
a. For birth clients, please see the Doula/Client contract relevant to your tier. Please read through each relevant document to you and have a working knowledge of these documents before you visit a client. We also make a client questionnaire, provider questionnaire and a stellar packing and postpartum preparedness list for you to use all in the same location.
b. For Postpartum clients, please see the Postpartum contract and read through the material so you have a working understanding of the information and what you are offering to your client before you meet with them.
c. Only Carriage House paperwork should be used for Carriage House Birth clients. Please do not present any of your own marketing materials when engaging a Carriage House Birth client.
d. Please be sure you have attended the online “Nailing Your Meet and Greet” workshop before taking your first referral. Participation in a live online class is strongly encouraged but the recorded version is great, too.
1. Getting Referrals from CHB:
a. We will email, text, use a social platform, or call you with relevant information about the client (EDD, neighborhood, where they are delivering, etc.) Please respond in a timely manner.
b. If you are available, we will email you a complete inquiry form if the client filled one out.
2. Emailing an introduction of yourself to a prospective client:
a. Once you have received the prospective client’s information, please reach out in a timely manner. We say, the sooner the better. Ideally, no later than 12 hours.
b. Please keep your introductions short and sweet. You do not need to give a full rundown of your skills and why you are a doula in the email. Please reserve that for your meet and greet.
c. Please BCC Rachelbliss@carriagehousebirth.com on all initial correspondence with your prospective client.
d. Please refer to Appendix A for guidance regarding what to say in this initial email to prospective clients.
3. CLIENT PAYMENTS
a. Please send your client a copy of the contract paperwork, signed by you, and instruct your client to fill out the appropriate fields and return it to you via email.
b. There is a field on the contract for them to indicate how they intend to pay. Choices are credit card (3% service fee will be applied in NY
(this does not apply to clients who live/work in LA), ACH/bank transfer (free), or gift certificate if they have one. They can do a combination of payments as well. PERSONAL CHECKS ARE DISCOURAGED AS THEY CAUSE DELAYS, GET LOST IN THE MAIL, ETC. AND MAY RESULT IN A CHECK PROCESSING FEE. Reassure your client that an ACH transfer is safe, encrypted, and totally secure -- like paying their electricity bill online. Training Tier and Tier 1 contracts are due in full at contract signing. All other tiers can split the invoice 50% at contract signing and 50% due at 37 weeks. Please let your client know that when opening their invoice, they will be able to edit the “amount due” field to make their deposit payment/partial payment.
c. Once you receive a fully executed contract (signed by both you and your client) you must fill out an invoice form supplied by CHB and attach the contract to the invoice (there is a place in the invoice form to do so). The invoice is a Google form that CHB created so that we can have uniform information from each doula regarding each client. This means you do not need to send us your own invoice and that the client does not have to send their contract back to CHB.
d. The link to the invoice form can be found here: https://forms.gle/Xetsq4uMSiEK2pJb8
Please bookmark this -- you’ll need it to get paid! If you’re new to the collective, please fill out and attach a copy of your W9, located here. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf
e. Once your invoice form is received and processed by CHB, your client will receive an invoice from CHB within three business days unless their due date or postpartum work is immediate. The invoice to the client will be for the full amount due (50% due at contract signing, 50% due at 37 weeks) unless, again, you are Training Tier or Tier 1 which are due in full at contract signing. All other tiers can split the invoice 50% at contract signing and 50% due at 37 weeks.
f. If you need guidance regarding what to say in this “next steps” email to prospective clients, please refer to Appendix B.
4. PAYMENT DETAILS
a. Upon processing your completed invoice form, you will receive an ACH/bank transfer request from CHB which will generate payment for your payment. ACH payments are free. Be sure to check your spam folder as the invite will come from Bill.com.
b. Once you have filled out the ACH payment information, you will not have to fill it out again as you will now be in our new system. PLEASE BE SURE TO CAREFULLY ENTER YOUR BANK ROUTING AND CHECKING ACCOUNT NUMBER. Failure to do so will result in a delay of your payment.
c. NEVER CREATE AN E-BILL AND SEND IT TO CHB. In fact, logging into bill.com will result in confusion as the service doesn’t accurately sync, so whatever you’re seeing as unpaid or paid will not be correct. If you have questions about something specific regarding billing or payments, email email@example.com for clarification.
d. Training and Tier 1 will be paid in full once the client pays their invoice in full. Tiers 2 and up will receive a payment of 50% of the total fee minus 50% of the referral fee retained by Carriage House Birth that is appropriate for your tier. For Tiers 2 and up, upon payment of their 37 week balance, we will pay you within one week (7 days net) of receipt (but you probably won’t have to wait that long).
e. We are obligated to issue doula payments from CHB on the first and third Tuesday of every month but do our best to pay doulas every week in good faith. Your deposit will be paid regardless of when your client pays that initial deposit payment and the balance will be issued to you within one week of the client paying their 37 week remainder. For Training and Tier 1 doulas you will be paid in full once the client pays in full.
f. Special circumstances like signing a contract mere days before a client is due can and will be handled accordingly should the appropriate staff member be absent and temporarily unable to process the invoice using our in-house accounting software. In these cases, your client will be asked to pay via “friends and family” in PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org to avoid PayPal fees for CHB. This is rare, however, and we do our best to maintain our payment protocol and practices.
g. IF YOU ARE TAKING A DIFFERENT TIER BIRTH, please make a note of it in the invoice and be sure to apply the correct percentage.
5. REFUNDS, COMPLAINTS & CANCELLATIONS
a. The reason we do not issue payment in full before 37 weeks for Tiers 2 - 6, even if your client pays in full, is because in the event of a demise or contract cancellation, CHB doesn’t want to put the burden of refunding the full amount to agency on the Doula. It’s a protective measure for you. Exceptions can and will be made upon request and approval.
b. In the event of a complaint from a client, before responding to them you must contact email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org before replying to them and forward their correspondence to CHB. Complaints will be handled on a case-by-case basis by our HR team. We are here to support you!
c. In the event of a contract cancellation before 37 weeks, any monies paid by the client will be refunded by CHB and an invoice will be sent to you for what you owe the agency. Cancellations after 37 weeks will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
D. In the event of a demise, you must contact email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. Do not discuss refunds with a client who has miscarried, we will handle next steps on our end.
APPENDIX A: FIRST STEPS FOR YOU
You should never text an introduction. You might not get them on the phone but it gives you a chance to leave a friendly message and let them know that you’ll be following up with an email. You may copy and paste the following language into an email to provide a proper introduction of yourself and your services. Please edit it to make it appropriate for your tier. Adding some of your personality and other skills also helps! Personal touches like including their partner’s name, knowing their care provider if you have any experience with them, and making a connection can also help set you above the other responses they might be receiving. It shows that you looked at the referral and are interested. Also triple check for typos -- especially their names!
Emailing an introduction of yourself to a prospective client:
Thank you for contacting Carriage House Birth. I’m excited to support families birthing at hospitals, birthing centers, and at home. I'm a certified Carriage House Birth and Postpartum Doula. I have availability in March 2018 for your estimated due date and would love to chat with you.
We can schedule a consultation via video chat or in person to discuss my services and more about how a Doula will be helpful at your birth. There’s a great little cafe called XXX in your neighborhood and I could be available to meet you (provide options).
Looking forward to chatting with you soon.
APPENDIX B: NEXT STEPS FOR YOUR CLIENT
You may copy and paste the following language into an email to provide “next step” instructions for the hiring process. Please edit it to personalize it and make it appropriate for your tier and service.
I am so happy that we have made a connection and that I will be supporting you and your family during this transition! To get the paperwork out of the way, I have attached a contract and intake form for you to fill out and sign. Please open, review, sign, and return it to me at your earliest convenience.
Once I receive your signed paperwork, an invoice will be sent to you via email from Carriage House Birth. Your invoice will reflect the full amount due and how you indicated you would like to pay. Since I am a Training Tier/Tier 1 Doula, payment is due in full. Since I am a Tier 2/Tier 3/Tier 4/Tier 5/Master Doula, you may make partial payments (50% at contract signing and 50% at 37 weeks) by opening the attached invoice from Intuit and editing the “amount due” field.
You will be able to pay via ACH/bank transfer, gift card or Credit Card within the invoice itself. If you’re interested in having friends and family support your birth journey, gift certificates are a great way for them to feel included and can be used for birth and postpartum Doula services as well as childbirth education and infant care classes with Carriage House Birth. They can be found here.
I will be in touch with you to schedule our visits!
APPENDIX C TIERS AND RATES
APPENDIX D STAFF
For matters involving doula clients and the agency, contact the Director of Doula Services at email@example.com
For matters involving payment questions or concerns, contact the Director of Operations at firstname.lastname@example.org