5 Tips To Negotiating Your Clinician Freelance Rate

If you’re new to the whole self-employed world, then learning the importance of negotiating your freelance rate is a big deal. If you set your fees too low, you might not make enough money to pay your rent in full or keep your cell phone activated.   

That’s huge.  

For the most part, nurses and therapists right out of college won’t bring in the amount of cash that they wish they could see deposited in their accounts. And that’s okay. We all have to start somewhere.   

To pick up extra work, many clinicians work freelance for staffing agencies either in the in-home health industry or PRN at a local clinic. Regardless of where you choose to spend your time freelancing, you may have endless questions of how much extra money you can earn.  

Some staffing agencies might take the time to pitch you “why them” and give you a payment quote. But if you continue to read this post, we’ll teach you how to negotiate when a recruiter asks you the question we placed under the next photo.    

"So, how much are you expecting to make per visit or shift?" 

1. Do Your Salary Research

With all the several types of medical disciplines currently serving in our healthcare communities, salary ranges depend on clinician type and experience. According to salary.com, the base pay for a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in California starts around $29,500 compared to the median of $35,600.    

Although you shouldn’t expect massive amounts of cash to fall from the sky, knowing the average salary will help while negotiating your freelance rates as a clinician.    

In contrast, if you’re a physical therapist in California, you can expect to work your way up to a median salary of 97,000 per year.  

With that information, you can start negotiating your freelance rate around $80 for a patient evaluation. Complete a few of these beauties in one day, and you can expect those direct deposits into your account soon. 

2. Talk To An Experienced Clinician

Currently, there are thousands and thousands of clinicians that work freelance in the in-home health industry. As a new clinician getting their first job at a hospital or clinic, you’re bound to run into an experienced medical professional that has picked up extra work freelancing.  

With that in mind, if you’re interested in pursuing a side hustle working in home health, it’s important to ask them questions about their experiences and the pay scale they’ve received.    

Use their knowledge of the industry when you start negotiating your freelance rate. 

Clinician rates based in California.
What Clinicians Can Earn In Five Years

3. Understand Your Individual Worth

In-home health staffing agencies are a business trying to make money, so with that, they might give you a low-ball monetary offer. As a medical professional, do your due diligence when negotiating your freelance rates.   

It’s important not to get locked into a rate that doesn’t fit your experience and education.    

4. Understanding Your Financial Situation

When negotiating your freelance rates, it’s vital to establish your bottom-line fee — just not out loud to a recruiter. Since some clinicians aren’t in the best financial position, many will take a lower amount per visit/shift than others.    

If you negotiate a lower rate, the chances of getting staffed more often vastly increase. Don’t think you can’t renegotiate the terms of your rates if you don’t sign a contract locking you into a specific price. 

5. Educated Yourself

Nearly every industry has its legal regulations that companies must abide by or risk punishment. The in-home health industry is no different. With Medicare and Medicaid rules and regulations lurking around every corner, you must keep up with the specific laws like Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM).   

PDGM uses 30-day periods as a basis for payment systems regarding their patients. This model affects nearly every single in-home health agency in the US. Knowing how much they get paid per visit or shift can help establish your freelance rate in a shorter amount of time. 

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