Units: What does '15 min' Really Mean?

When we talk about one unit, we mean 15 minutes. So, what do you do if a session is 35 or 50 minutes long? How many units do you bill for in this situation?

If you've billed insurance companies before, then you're familiar with units. Units are one way for providers to decide their fees for sessions that may not be exactly 60 minutes long. For example, you may charge $50/unit so you can easily calculate how much a 3-unit session would cost vs a 5-minute session. Today, we'll briefly discuss the general guidelines for a certain number of units, and then dive deeper into the more precise time-frame.

General Guidelines: 

1 Unit= 15 minutes
2 Units= 30 minutes
3 Units= 45 minutes
4 Units= 60 minutes

Unit Time Frames: 

  • A 1 unit session ranges around 9 minutes to 22 minutes.
  • A 2 unit session ranges from 23 minutes to 37 minutes.
  • A 3 unit session ranges from 38 minutes to 53 minutes.
  • A 4 unit session ranges from 53 minutes to 68 minutes. 

So, say you have a 35-minute session, you'd still bill for 2 units.