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Private fee setting

This advice provides an overview of those aspects you should consider when identifying your hourly rate and producing a fee scale.

Overview

It is difficult to guarantee the success of your business, as so much is out of your control. But setting your fees at a level that covers all your costs and provides you with a target income can go a long way to mitigate uncertainty.

The fee setting process requires a disciplined approach to identifying all your costs and realistically setting an income that covers your general and day-to-day expenses. Building in a buffer allows you to compensate for the unexpected – but keep a check on your final hourly rate. Your fees must remain acceptable to your patients and give a sense of being value for money – if they are too high, your patient loyalty could be challenged.

Key learning points

This advice provides an overview of those aspects you should consider when identifying your hourly rate and producing a fee scale:

  • Understanding your existing and potential patients and where to source useful demographic information
  • Developing a cash flow analysis to identify your income to the practice and outgoings, monitor it and help you manage high and low points
  • How to calculate an hourly rate by averaging total costs and applying them to all patients (simple to calculate) or weighting the costs of various treatments
  • Developing a fee scale to ensure your fees are transparent and to help communication with patients
  • Deciding what treatments might not be charged for and how to manage the lost income.