Fees and Billing
The Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists has a recommended rate of $190 per hour. However, we have been able to reduce some of our costs in order to keep our fees to $140 per hour ($120 per 45 minutes, when appropriate). Billable services include: assessment, treatment, caregiver training, team meetings, phone/email consultations (over 10 minutes), preparation & analysis (over 10 minutes), report writing, and travel time. We reserve the right to change fees at any time, however, existing clients will be given approximately two months’ notice of any rate changes.
People often ask why we charge for travel time. In order to cover salaries and other clinic costs, each therapist needs to maintain a minimum number of billed hours each month. Every hour therapists spend driving is an hour they can’t spend doing important client work, or knowledge and skill development. So, our hourly rate applies for travel time, but we encourage clients who would prefer not to pay for this time to schedule their sessions at one of our 3 clinic locations.
Gift certificates are available – call 877-388-3819 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
CANCELLATIONS & NO-SHOWS
The full session fee will be billed for no-shows and for sessions cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.
An administration fee of $25 will be charged for any cheque returned by your bank for any reason, in addition to any interest charges on overdue amounts.
INVOICES & PAYMENTS
Our invoices are sent on a monthly basis (by mail or email) and payment is due to Lear Communication within 3 weeks of the invoice date via cash, cheques, money orders or Interac E-Mail Money Transfer. Alternatively, we can set up pre-authorized monthly credit card billing.
Interest is charged at a rate of 2% per month on all outstanding balances. Accounts that are more than 90 days overdue are referred to collections or small claims court. Payment plans may be available.
Lear Communication’s billing relationship is with you. If you wish to use health insurance to cover some of our fees, we can provide some general information (e.g., see Insurance page on our website), but it is your responsibility to determine and monitor your coverage and to seek reimbursement from your insurer.
INCOME TAX DEDUCTIONS
You may be eligible for a Disability Tax Credit. If so, we can provide you with the information and tax form and sign it for you. It is then up to the Canada Revenue Agency to determine your eligibility. Fees for speech-language pathology services may be claimed as a Medical Expense on your taxes. For a complete list of eligible medical expenses, go to http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/lns300-350/330/llwbl-eng.html. There are quite a few deductions you may not be aware of.
Why do we charge what we charge?
Speech-language pathology services are actually priced well below that of many other professionals with comparable education (e.g., psychologists, optometrists, lawyers, accountants, management consultants, etc.). In fact, speech-language pathology hourly rates are not much higher than what is charged by electricians, plumbers, mechanics and hairdressers.
Just like any business, we have to cover our costs:
- Therapist salaries and payroll taxes
- Management and administrative staff salaries and payroll taxes
- Equipment (e.g., computers and software, printers, fax machine, photocopier, telephones, etc.)
- Furniture (e.g., desks, chairs, conference table, filing cabinets, reception area, etc.)
- Tests and therapy materials (e.g., one test costs $500 and each test form costs $5)
- Rent / property taxes / utilities (e.g., for our 3 clinics)
- Phone / fax / internet / email
- Office supplies (e.g., paper, toner cartridges, binders, scissors, post-it notes, etc.)
- Accounting / legal
- Mandatory licensing and association fees ($12,000 per year)
- Insurance (e.g., liability, office contents)
- Federal and provincial corporate income taxes
- Advertising / promotion (e.g., pamphlets, signs, website, etc.)
- Professional development (e.g., conferences, workshops, books, etc.)
- Maintenance and repairs (e.g., office cleaning, fixing computers, replacing lights, etc.)
Also, we don’t bill 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Obviously we don’t bill anything on sick days, statutory holidays and vacation days. But even on work days, we usually only bill about half of the day, because there are many other things that need to be done:
- Materials development
- Quality standards development, maintenance and evaluation
- Workload statistics / accounting
- Professional development / continuing education
- Student supervision
- Participation in association and college activities
So we set our fees to ensure all our costs are covered and that we can pay our therapists close to what they’d make in government-funded jobs.