Would you hand over your credit card to buy a new smart screen TV without knowing its cost? Would you instruct your dentist to simply auto-deduct his or her bill from your checking account without knowing the charge for that day’s service? Would you undergo LASIK surgery without having checked out payment options?
You already know where we’re going with this, and many of you may be shaking your heads and saying, “Yeah, but chiropractic is different.” And that’s where you’re wrong. After years of studying and being in practice, you know how invaluable chiropractic care is for achieving and maintaining optimal wellness. But for some patients, chiropractic care may be considered desirable, but some optional. Flawed thinking for sure as we all know. But, if they can’t figure out a way to pay for it, some will simply go without, especially in today’s managed healthcare environment with its insanely high deductibles and co-pays. I’ve been dumbfounded in the past when I’ve had patients say they would opt for surgery because insurance will pay for it. Frankly, when I heard that, I thought they needed surgery, not on their back, but on their brain!
Like it or not, patients think like patients and may often let dollars and cents drive their decisions. And that’s where many DCs are unintentionally letting their patients, and their practices, down. Most DCs deliver a solid clinical Report of Findings (ROF). They’re clear with patients on what they’ve discovered during the initial exam, the diagnosis, and provide their best recommendation for treatment. The best also include their honest opinion of what might happen without treatment. Chiropractors know their patients need chiropractic care.
And patients want that chiropractic care, or they wouldn’t have come to the office in the first place. They are, nonetheless, very worried about how they’re going to pay for that care or if they can pay for it at all. That’s where a good, solid and simple Financial Report of Findings comes in. But far too many doctors shy away from presenting the very FROF that would help patients understand office financial policies, the limits of insurance, and payment options. Worse, doctors may pass this essential task off onto untrained CAs who are likely just as uncomfortable talking about money as the patients themselves.
Patients aren’t just patients, they’re healthcare consumers. The dollars and cents not only matter to them, those dollars and cents are also likely to determine whether or not patients undergo your recommended treatment, follow home exercises, keep their appointments, and even the degree to which they improve under your care.
As the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism points out, “Consumerism in the healthcare industry is an inescapable growing trend. Patients are increasingly taking an active role in their care experience and are evermore empowered to choose their own care alternatives. With the current state of the economy, the cost of care and, most importantly, the quality and ease of service are crucial factors in determining patient satisfaction.” Read the full report here.
When you present a clinical ROF without following up with a clear, understandable FROF that includes affordable payment options, you’re truly only doing half your job. And you’re likely losing patients over it.
ChiroHealthUSA is not only a great way to offer your patients simple, affordable, and compliant payment options, we also make delivering the FROF a snap. ChiroHealthUSA is a network that works in conjunction with a Discount Medical Plan. Membership entitles patients to discounts YOU chose and the cost is only $49.00 a year for the patient and their family. Most patients save the membership fee on the very first visit. There’s no cost to you to become a provider. ChiroHealthUSA also offers you a compliant way to offer any and all of your patients a capped, discounted fee based on your actual fee schedule. You can keep every one of your patient’s care affordable, whether they have insurance or not.
We offer a free simple one-page financial policy that can lay the groundwork for growing your practice without risking dual fee schedules, illegal time of service discounts or inducement violations. Click here to learn how easy it is to keep your financial policies and FROFs easy, compliant and profitable.