Today’s patients have become health care consumers more than ever before, and the dollars and cents of chiropractic care matter to them. Both patients and the federal government are demanding price transparency in healthcare. Price transparency enables patients to identify, compare and choose providers that offer the desired level of care value by utilizing price information in conjunction with quality, safety, and patient experience information. We are already seeing this with Medicare’s Quality Payment Program for 2017.
With higher deductibles and co-pays, it is not surprising that patients would like to shop around for the most cost-effective provider. We know, as chiropractors, that we receive calls from patients wanting to know, “How much does it cost to see the doctor?” Yet, we have taught our staffs not to answer this question, and we lose potential new patients, who hang up and call the next chiropractor in the area. Today’s patients are health care “consumers,” and they insist on knowing at least an estimate of what their out-of-pocket expenses will be, often even before they come in.
More and more chiropractors are being more transparent with the costs of their services by performing a financial report of findings with their patients. By reviewing the recommended care and the actual out-of-pocket costs with our patients, we avoid surprising them with unexpected bills for non-covered services. Patients feel burned by notices for a balance due in their mailboxes, and these unexpected revelations can unravel patients’ great experiences with chiropractic care by burdening them with perceived unexpected costs.
Taking the time to review your recommendation for care will help establish the value of the services you provide. Scheduling an appointment to review the finances for the care you recommended is a great way to make sure that your patient knows exactly what to expect financially. Be prepared by having a wide variety of payment options to meet the needs of your patients.
Healthcare transparency is going to be a topic of discussion in the US throughout the year and is included in our President’s Healthcare Reform plan. Although it is too early to know what that will mean for the future of our practices, we can already take what we know about our patients’ needs and desires to show them their out-of-pocket expenses when it comes to healthcare, and give them what they are asking for. As a ChiroHealthUSA provider, you have the tools necessary to answer the age-old question, “How much does it cost to see the doctor?” Utilize ChiroHealthUSA as an option for affordable chiropractic care in your practice. If you are not sure how ChiroHealthUSA can benefit all of your patients (Medicare, Insured, High Deductible, etc.), watch our series of two-minute “GROW” videos or call our office to schedule a refresher training with a member of our team.