Should You Charge Less for Virtual Visits?

I personally believe that you should not charge less for virtual telehealth visits!

As a healthcare provider, I was drawn to my profession because I am a caretaker at heart. I truly enjoy being a catalyst, and in service, to those in need. I was a nurse providing medical bedside care before I became a psychotherapist. I have always tried to go the extra mile and take pride in the services that I have been able to offer others.  However, as a new clinician I often neglected my business financial health because of my altruistic beliefs and my desire to help others in need.

Experience has taught me though that business financial health is as important as our physical and mental well-being. It took me some time to recognize that charging appropriately for my services is part of being a responsible practitioner.  It supports the message to our clients that we are skilled professionals that have a healthy respect regarding our right to be paid.

I am frequently asked if my rates for virtual sessions are lower than for onsite visits. I took some time to consider my position on this issue, especially because I use a fee for service model. I decided that regardless of the delivery system for my services, my clients were receiving the same high-quality care. With this insight, I established equal rates for both virtual and on-site delivery systems. Of course, this is a business and personal decision that you must make for your practice. Just remember that you are a highly skilled professional, and other non-health care skilled professionals do not question their right to be paid appropriately.

- Martha H. Ireland PhD, RN, CS, CEDS