I have had a number of “secret” meetings with doctors over the last year where we wait for the practice to clear out, we go behind closed doors, and the doctor leans forward to whisper, “What should I do about my fees?” In turn I respond, “Do you mean should you consider increasing your fees.”
Even though no one is within a hundred yards of the practice, the doctor cringes at the utterance of the forbidden word “increase.” The doctor looks around as if searching for a CIA bugging device—the CIA agent sitting in a van across the street is dialing headquarters, “We’re at DEFCOM 5 here, the doctor is considering a fee increase.”
Fortunately anyone considering a fee increase can now take a step back from the ledge and breathe normally. It is okay to increase your fees. Your staff receives a raise, supplies and materials increase, and other overhead items become more expensive.
Sometimes the doctor feels the staff’s uneasiness about a fee increase. I was once confronted by a team prophesying Armageddon if fees increased. After a review of the doctor’s financials, I informed the staff a fee increase could be avoided if the team bypassed their yearly raise and paid, via payroll deductions, for the twenty percent increase in their health insurance. Rarely has a team rediscovered their allegiance for the doctor quicker than that group.
A number of Fluence clients completed our fee survey back in the fall, which means we have a great database of information to help guide you with your next fee increase. There is no reason to feel bad about doing the right thing for your practice. Keep your practice healthy by making the right adjustments to your fees.
Learn more about Fluence’s practice management services.
Call us at 503-245-0766