Deciding how to structure payment at your functional medicine practice is one of the main hurdles practitioners face when opening a clinic. Knowing whether should you do packages, require a minimum commitment fee to work with you, and you accept insurance can be a huge burden.
This article will help you navigate these choices and learn what other people are doing.
Are you a functional medicine practitioner & unsure of how to price your visits? You’re not alone.
At Rupa Health we’re passionate about empowering practitioners to bring this kind of care to more people. After helping hundreds of practitioners grow their practices and running a virtual clinic of our own at Rupa Health, here's what we've learned about pricing.
Unsurprisingly, one of top questions we get from providers is “How much should I charge my patients?”. Pricing is a tricky art in any industry and functional medicine is no exception.
Demand for functional medicine has skyrocketed in the last 5 years. There were 1.6 million searches for practitioners through Institute of Functional Medicine’s website just last year!
There are more patients than ever out there looking for your services. Here's how to get in front of them & price your services fairly.
How does pricing work for functional medicine?
Most functional medicine doctors sell their services in bundles or packages, which include a long initial 1:1 appointment (usually 60-90 minutes), and sometimes also include the in-depth labwork and follow-up appointments. From the data we collected, only a very small percentage of the doctors had a-la-carte options. The majority of providers opted for bundles, packages, or a minimum number of visits in order to establish a relationship with a patient.
What is the minimum price for working with a functional medicine doctor (MD or DO)?
We ran the numbers for 25 Functional Medicine doctors (only including MD’s and DO’s) in the U.S. We decided to show the “minimum price of working with them”, meaning either the price of just the initial consult if they do a-la-carte, or the price of their cheapest package if their pricing is structured that way.
Average Price: $1,277
Lowest Price: $280
Highest Price: $4,700
What’s the average price per hour of a functional medicine doctor’s time?
Average Price: $ 460
Lowest Hourly Price: $125
Highest Hourly Price: $1,250
The data was fairly skewed from one doctor who charged $1,250 per hour. Taking that outlier out, the average price per hour is $460.
Average doctor time in a package: 146 mins
A note on insurance - most providers do not accept insurance.
Most functional medicine providers do not accept insurance and require cash pay at time of service, but if they are an MD, DO, or ND, they will usually provide a superbill for patients to send to their insurance companies.
You can't go wrong - it's different for everyone. Stay true to what you believe is a fair price for your market - and one that allows you to support yourself.
Your pricing depends on many factors - your location, training, and quite frankly - demand for your services. We've seen it takes, on average, 3-5 years of committed work to really develop an established and bustling practice. At this point, many providers decide to raise their prices, take on fewer clients, or be more selective in clients they bring on. The main factor in pricing is by far location. San Francisco, LA, and New York are the most expensive markets with the highest demand for functional medicine. If you are in these areas, you are likely to be able to charge more than other areas. However, telemedicine is changing the game. It can bring down the cost of running your business and enable you to see patients in areas where the ability to pay might be higher than your normal rates.
One final note - please don't forget, the work and services you are providing are invaluable. Regaining health - for many patients - is priceless. Don't undervalue yourself or your work. 🙏 Good luck!