You have known the patient or client in front of you for a long time and are aware of his financial status. A procedure needs to be done that has a hefty fee and you are concerned about presenting it to him and so decide to do a lesser procedure which is not the ideal option.
Or perhaps a gentleman presents at your practice for the first time and looks a little worn down at the heels (scruffy or poor) and so you scale down what you will do for him to try and be within his reality financially.
This is known as “judging a book by its cover.” While pre-judging is always “well meant” on your part, it is taking away from the person his own right to decide what is right for him and to choose his own option. So what should you do?
Present the Ideal Treatment
Rather than pre-determining what a person will “go for” and presenting that, you should instead assume that the person wants the most optimum solution to their problem and present from this perspective. It is guaranteed that they won’t go ahead with the best treatment option if you haven’t presented it to them, right?
People place value on things that they perceive that they NEED. For instance, dead broke but “gotta have” that new iPhone 6S. Who drinks beer, takes taxis, plays bingo, buy lottery tickets, owns a cell phone, sports some interesting gold jewellery, and buys Nike Air athletic shoes for their kids and doesn’t work? Many welfare patients fall into the above description. So why can’t they also pay for the best treatment you can give them too? The things they spend money on are what seemed important to them. For you as the healthcare professional, your job is to get them to WANT to go ahead with their ideal care and you will be surprised that more will go ahead than you initially thought.
Be Comfortable with Your Fees
You are a highly trained professional and your expertise is very valuable. Your fee guides have been carefully researched to establish fair dollar values for your services which will allow you to earn a comfortable income if you stick to them.
The questions to confirm with yourself are: Do I really care about my patients? Do I use high quality materials and equipment? Do I provide excellent care? Are my services worth my fee? If the answers are ”yes,” then be comfortable with your fee. (If the answers are “no” then work out how to bring things up to a better level of care and service.)
So don’t prejudge what the person should choose to do treatment-wise but rather, bring their knowledge, understanding and desire for the treatment up to the point where they see why the option you are presenting is the most ideal you can deliver. If at that point they reveal that there is absolutely no way they can finance it, then you can offer a second, lesser option or offer a payment plan (if you want to). There is usually a fall-back position when you have offered them the best first.
It’s not always easy to be caring with every person in the face of all the resistance you are met with in doing presentations, but always keep in the front of your mind that your patients trust you (sometimes deep down) to do what is the best for them. And offer that first!
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