Do you struggle with what to charge for oncology massage therapy and hospice work?
Setting Fees and Discounts for Oncology Massage Therapy and Hospice Care
with Tracy Walton
4.0 CE hrs, NCBTMB approval pending.
Skilled massage therapy can provide enormous benefit to people experiencing cancer, cancer treatment, and end of life care. Yet these circumstances may come with financial barriers to receiving massage therapy when it is needed most.
Access to care is important, but so is a sustainable massage therapy practice.
Oncology massage therapists (OMTs) often face the difficult decision of how much to charge for their services, taking into consideration flexibility with their fees and discounts.
At a heightened time of client need, it can be challenging for practitioners to balance their own financial needs with the needs of clients who are in financial stress.
These are some of the questions that OMTs face:
• Should I offer a discount to clients in cancer treatment, or at end of life?
• Who receives a discount, and why? How do I assess the need for a discount?
• How do I manage awkward conversations with clients about fees and discounts?
• Should I charge more for oncology massage, as a specialty area?
• How do I tell the hospice coordinator that I need to be paid, not volunteer for the “exposure?”
• Do I charge a travel fee for a home visit if it is a client in hospice? How much?
And here are some of our deep fears:
• What if I charge too little, so that my work is unsustainable or undervalued?
• What if I charge too much, and it seems like I have an inflated sense of my value?
• What if I feel guilty either way?
These are tough decisions, with a lot at play. We might rush through them because they’re uncomfortable, or avoid them entirely. It can be painful to see our own limits in the face of someone’s need for our services.
We often navigate these decisions alone, or an employer determines them without our input.
And the stakes are high. What if we decide against our own interests? If we do, it’s a formula for burnout, resentment, and an unsustainable practice.
Join Tracy Walton for a short-but-substantial exploration of fees and discounts.
Course Description People experiencing cancer, cancer treatment, and end of life can benefit from massage therapy. Yet these times may present financial stress, and barriers to receiving massage therapy when it is most needed. Working in hospice or cancer care, massage therapists are faced with decisions about their fees and discounts, and how much to be flexible with them in order to provide access to care. In our experience, it helps to consider all angles of these problems as you set fees or discounts, and to get as much support and perspective as possible. It helps to know in advance, before dealing with clients, how much to be flexible. In this course, we dive deeply into fees, discounts, and special pricing for oncology massage therapy and MT in hospice care. We look at the pros, cons, and guidelines for each. We lay out the real value of massage therapy, then look at some of the concerns and fears that arise for massage therapists when setting fees and flexible pricing. We use interactive exercises to practice actual client conversations. We review concrete cases and stories from OMT practitioners. Massage therapists gain ideas and guidelines for setting their own fees. For those working as employees or ICs, these ideas and guidelines can be used to provide input to employers about pricing. Massage therapists leave the course with a clearer sense of whom they can accommodate, by how much, and how to take care of themselves in the process. Learning Objectives At the end of this course, students will:
- List three factors to consider in pricing for oncology massage therapy and hospice care services.
- When deciding on pricing, describe four possible consequences of special pricing for oncology clients.
- When faced with a client who is challenging their fee, communicate compassionately while also setting limits on discounts or sliding scales.
How can this course help?
When setting fees and discounts, or negotiating with an employer doing the same, it helps to know in advance where you can give and where you cannot. It helps to know what to say to a client during an awkward conversation.
First, we lay out the strong case for OMT and massage therapy in hospice care. This might seem basic, but knowing the value of a service helps to price it appropriately.
Along the way, we disentangle some of the factors and fears that go into setting fees. We consider the context in which we work: income equality, unequal access to health care, and clients who are in the middle of a health crisis. These are highly charged conditions that can strongly influence our decision-making.
After acknowledging the forces at play, and the value of our work, we explore pricing options. We look at base pricing for OMT in private practice and for home visits. We line up the pros and cons of special pricing. We look at discounts, sliding scales, and packages. We take on memberships and pay-it-forward programs.
We move from there to actual client scenarios. We brainstorm what to say for challenging situations, then have practice conversations. We discuss what to say, and when to say nothing.
I bring my own perspective, from years of experience and stories from my own practice. I bring advice from the many OMTs I have mentored.
We also draw on the wisdom of the group, gathered in our classroom setting. We look at all the angles. Each practitioner has a unique style, so we do not search for a one-size-fits all approach. Instead, we search for the right solution for each therapist.
You will leave the course with:
• Factors to consider in pricing for oncology massage therapy and massage at end of life
• Reasons to discount
• Reasons not to discount
• Scripts for dealing with awkward conversations
• A list of problems that OMT solves, to use in setting fees and promoting OMT
When all is said and done, we hope you feel stronger about your fees or discounts, and how you can accommodate your clients. If you work in a facility where fees are already set, you might have new perspectives to share with an employer.
Decisions about fees and discounts are important for the health of a massage therapy practice. The best decisions help us feel aligned and at peace.
2018 Dates and Tuition
To register and see more payment information, check our Training Schedule.
Boston area (Medford), Massachusetts
October 18, 2018, 9 am – 1 pm
Sponsored by Tracy Walton & Associates, LLC
Tuition = $117
New York City (Manhattan), NY
November 17, 2018, 9 am – 1 pm
Sponsored by Center for the Advancement of the Therapeutic Arts (CATA-NYC).
Tuition = $110 if paid to CATA-NYC by October 19, 2018; $140 thereafter
Massage therapy professional or advanced student. Already practicing (or hoping to practice) oncology massage therapy or massage therapy in hospice care.
The Boston (Medford) course will be held in a classroom at the Elizabeth Grady School of Esthetics and Massage Therapy, 222 Boston Avenue, Medford, MA. Plenty of free parking, a short walk from Whole Foods and Starbucks.
For the Boston (Medford Course), all registration and correspondence is done through our office at Tracy Walton & Associates, LLC, NOT Elizabeth Grady School.
The New York (Manhattan) course:
Will be held in a classroom at the Center for the Advancement of the Therapeutic Arts, 122 W. 26th Street (between 6th and 7th), 7th Fl0or, New York, NY 10001. Close to the Manhattan GO Bus stop and Whole Foods.
For the New York (Manhattan) course: all registration and correspondence is done through the Center for the Advancement of the Therapeutic Arts (CATA-NYC).
What to bring?
Pen and Paper.
All your questions about setting fees and discounts.
All your experiences, challenges, and successes.
Snacks for you. Snacks to share if you want.
NO massage tables are needed. There is no hands-on work.
To receive the certificate of completion, you need to be present for the entire program. We count on you being there for the full length of the course. Please schedule your travel plans accordingly.
Please see this course listing on our Training Schedule for the withdrawal policy in Medford, MA. Please see the CATA-NYC website for their withdrawal policy in New York City.
Please direct questions to our office at Tracy Walton & Associates, not the Elizabeth Grady School.
Do you have more questions about this course? Curious about whether it’s a good fit for you? Send us your questions and thoughts.
Note: This course is pending approval with NCBTMB and in Florida, and Georgia. It is not eligible for approval in NY. It has not been submitted for CE approvals in any other states or provinces.