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The delicate art of raising your fees

September 07, 2023

The original extended version of this article appeared in issue one of Jane’s Front Desk magazine. If you would like to read the long-form copy with even more insights then go here to read the digital version.

In the world of healthcare businesses, the topic of raising fees can be daunting. Alison Taylor, Co-CEO of Jane, has spent 20 years running and owning healthcare clinics — and she believes that embracing discomfort is crucial for practice owners to run a sustainable business.

Running a sustainable business by raising fees

As operational costs soar, increasing fees becomes essential to sustain businesses and provide fair compensation to practitioners. Alison believes that raising prices is not only a pragmatic business decision, but also a form of caring for patients. By doing so, healthcare providers can maintain their staff, cover expenses, and invest in better equipment for patient treatment.

Even if you’re only raising your rates by 5 to 10 percent annually – Ali’s recommendation – it can be the difference between struggling to stay afloat, and having the time, energy, and resources to care for your clients on a deeper level.

Finding the right price point

Choosing the right fee increase involves more than just considering overhead costs. Ali advises practitioners to conduct market research and position themselves on the mid-to-higher end of pricing within their area. Higher fees can signal expertise and quality, attracting clients who value top-level care.

“People think that lower fees will get them more patients, and I don’t think that’s necessarily the case,” Ali says. “You’re signaling something about how good you are by how much you’re charging.”

Confidence is key during this process. Practitioners should feel assured about their value and avoid guilt or apologies when discussing their rates with clients.

Fear of negative feedback can deter practitioners from raising fees. However, Emma Jack, a physiotherapist and business coach, emphasizes that most clients are supportive of the decision.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a clinician [say], ‘I want to raise my rates, but I’m nervous,’” Emma says. “[Yet], so often the feedback is that their clients are actually happy for them,” she adds.

Clients generally fall into three categories: superfans, the silent majority, and difficult clients. Ali encourages practitioners not to focus on the minority of difficult clients but to prioritize the needs of the majority.

If you’re avoiding raising your fees, then there’s a chance you’re fixating on people who make up a small portion of your client base, and in the process, adding a huge disadvantage to your business – which, in turn, impacts all of your clients.

Effective communication: the key to success

Communication is vital when implementing fee increases. Ali recommends planning two months ahead and communicating the changes to the team first. Providing clients with early and transparent communication is essential. Clients should see clear signage explaining the fee increase when they visit the clinic.

While practitioners do not need to provide a detailed explanation for raising fees, they should maintain a confident and matter-of-fact approach during the conversation.

“Sometimes when we’re nervous, we love to over explain,” says Emma.

Ali agrees, adding that she advises people to steer clear of apologizing. “It makes sense that you have to increase your rates, and I think being matter of fact actually makes the conversation a lot easier,” says Ali. “It is not a negotiation.”

Making space for exceptions

Flexibility is crucial in dealing with special circumstances. Practitioners can offer discounts or exceptions on a case-by-case basis when it aligns with their values and capacity to do so.

📣 Jane Team Shoutout: Whether it’s adding a one-time dollar discount to an invoice or an ongoing percentage-based sliding scale discount, Jane’s Adjustment feature allows you to amend your prices on the fly. To learn more read our handy guide on Adjustments here .

Timing and circumstance matter

Choosing the right time to raise fees can be strategic. The start of the year or the beginning of the school year can be practical times for implementing increases. However, changes can occur based on economic factors or specialized training.

“It’s very normal and important to raise your rates based on what’s happening in the economy around you,” says Emma.

Even when communicated well, you still might have an upset customer. Encouragingly, Ali says that in her experience, any pushback has always been brief. “You might experience some of that for two weeks, and it will be way less than you’re expecting,” she says.

Raising fees is an essential aspect of maintaining a sustainable healthcare business. By embracing discomfort and communicating effectively, practitioners can ensure their clinics thrive while providing exceptional care to their clients.


Download a copy of our Checklist on How to raise your fees.

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