Setting the price for consultations is a task that requires caution because it is necessary to be aware of several issues that encompass not only the service but also the loyalty of patients and the profitability of the clinic.
When setting the price for any procedure or type of consultation, it is necessary to take into account several factors that we will address below. For this, it is necessary to carry out financial planning, because only then it is possible to analyze issues such as expenses, profit, and market, among others.
Check below what is needed to create efficient planning and how to put it into practice.
Know your target audience
Knowing your target audience is essential to setting the price for a teleconsultation. For this, it is necessary to do market research and study the behavior of these future patients in the face of the options they will have.
Each specialty has its particularities. While some are unable to perform care without physical exams, others can usually attend using telemedicine alone.
It is essential to know what these patients are looking for. What are the expectations regarding the results that can be obtained through the service, and how can you contribute to this?
There may be a question even by health professionals themselves regarding care via teleconsultation: is this modality worth less than a face-to-face consultation? We have already seen in the example above that no, teleconsultation is of no less value than a face-to-face consultation, so it is necessary to know how much your patient is willing to pay for it.
Map the expenses
Profit is certainly our goal, but we must not forget expenses, after all, they are mandatory. When defining the value of a service, it is important to put at the tip of the pencil all the expenses you will have to perform it. This is how it works with consultations, and teleconsultations could not be different. Let's get to the points:
- Will the teleconsultation be held in a home office, or do you need to rent a space to do it? Renting space can be considered one of your expenses, be it home, office, or coworking, among others;
- Do you have a digital certificate/signature? This is a tool that gives legal validity to your medical records and prescriptions, and because it has an additional cost, the idea is to insert it with the expenses;
- Do you use management software? Softwares generally have monthly fees, or in the case of Ninsaúde Apolo, the user can choose the annuity and thus receive a discount. Medical software is a work tool, so you can't miss out on expenses;
- If you have a team working with you, be sure to include salaries as expenses;
- Office or maintenance expenses, such as water, energy, internet, and cleaning, among others, should also be added, but be careful not to mix personal expenses with those of work.
After mapping the fixed costs, you must also take into account the variable costs, that is, those that originate according to the number of services: equipment maintenance, and disposable materials, among others.
Establish the profit margin
After listing all expenses and averaging monthly expenses, it is necessary to establish a final amount for your teleconsultations, or a percentage that is based on your expenses. For this, it is important to consider the following items:
- The specialty in which you operate versus the values practiced by the competition;
- The demand for doctors working in the same area;
- Average expenses with expenses;
- Current situation of patients (for example, if you are going through a pandemic, it is interesting to think about a series of difficulties that patients can go through to pay for an appointment).
- What differentials are your patients attracted to?
Having this information, determine the cost per hour of service, that is, then this calculation will depend on vacations, holidays and hours worked per day, both yours and your team. Therefore, make the following calculation:
- Count the days worked per month and multiply by the number of hours worked per day;
- Divide total spending by hours worked. The result is the cost of each one-hour service.
After analyzing all the points mentioned and finally defining the price of your teleconsultation, here's the tip to manage all this: use management software, if you don't already use it.
The software can be useful not only to assist your patients through telemedicine, but it can also create appointments and even confirm them automatically, which makes your routine much more productive and brings practicality to your activities.
Also, through a system, you can register the services and prices of consultations, enter the receipts in the financial module, and save time when calculating commissions and other expenses.
Don't use the software yet? Get to know Ninsaúde Apolo, contact our sales team, and request a demonstration.