Historically therapists have been unnecessarily shy about raising rates, but the public expects inflation and increased cost of services and goods. Additionally, the public pays premiums to access experts! Every clinician has an expertise; ask yourself how you are marketing yours to your referral sources.
Clinicians are often intimidated by the thought of raising their rates. Remember not to “rate-fix” but rather to set your rate based on your experience, expertise, and demand.
Altering your rate and increasing revenue can be simple, but it must be well articulated and consistent across your entire client base. Keep in mind there is no need to discuss your full rate in your rate-change letter. Selecting a set amount to increase your fee is more palatable and helps to ensure that clients are not faced with a major rate hike. In this model each patient slides up slightly and ultimately creates room for additional patients to receive help.
If you think it may be time to raise your rate, consider raising it for new patients and for current clients by sending a letter indicating their rate will increase by $10 to $15 per clinical hour. Use straightforward language, and either mail or hand deliver your letter to your patients at their next appointment.
“We are writing to announce a change to our clinical practice. Your questions, thoughts, or concerns about this item are welcome in your upcoming sessions. Beginning [Month, Date, Year], the therapeutic rate for all clinical services (Individual, Family, Couples, and Consultation) will increase by $10/$15 per clinical hour. [*If you are currently receiving a rate reduction through our practice scholarship fund, please note that this fee increase may be discussed in your upcoming therapeutic session.] As always, we are deeply committed to the therapeutic climate and the quality clinical care we provide. We deeply value our clients’ commitment to the therapeutic process and look forward to our continued work together.”
If you’re thinking about developing a scholarship fund for your practice instead of a sliding scale arrangement, consider attending one of our educational webinars or following along with our podcast series. Scholarship funds stop the constant rate negotiation and allow you to streamline your practice, control the volume of service you donate, and allow you to earn more all while ensuring those most in need receive discounts.