Do Your Patients Hear a Diagnosis or Do They Just Hear You Want Their Money?
Now more than ever, our patients are cautious. Cautious about in-person visits, cautious about accepting treatment, and cautious about giving away their hard-earned money. While it may not be the end of the world if one or two decide not to follow your recommended care, if your case acceptance rate drops below the 85 percent benchmark, you may be losing not only money but important patients.
Improving your communication with your patients, helping them understand the Diagnosis, the why they need treatment, will not only improve your case acceptance rate and your bottom line, it can do wonders for your team’s morale and it means you can continue doing what you love—providing patients with the care they need.
Helpful Hints to Improve Case Acceptance:
Listen to hear, understand and provide solutions. Many times, we listen to reply rather than listen to hear. In doing this, we miss opportunities to have great conversations and provide solutions to our patients. From the first call and to each appointment, the patient will tell you what is holding them back. Take your time, give them your attention. It is our job to truly listen to what they are saying and provide solutions that make sense to them and their individual needs.
Utilize the same verbiage as the patient does. If your patient tells you they are in pain, you will want to use that same language when presenting the treatment. For example, “Mrs. Patient, I understand you are experiencing pain with this tooth. Dr has diagnosed recurrent decay and we will restore your tooth this way (treatment) to get you out of pain and to fix your problem. We don’t want you to experience this any longer, therefore it is important we get you scheduled and taken care of this week.” A patient needs to hear the Why. Why am I in pain, discomfort? Why do I need to have this treatment done? It is also imperative that your entire team understands the why, the Diagnosis so they can continue the important conversation you have started.
Provide Options. Everyone wants and needs options. Perhaps you are in-network with the patient’s insurance plan, which is a nice benefit for them, however, the patient may need assistance with what insurance will not cover. And there will be those patients that do not have an insurance plan. This is where an In-House Membership Plan or outside financing is beneficial. And make sure your entire team is aware of the options you offer. Remember we are listening to solve concerns.
Document Conversations. No matter the conversation, it should be documented. All conversations regarding finances or insurance should be in the patient’s account or ledger and make sure you add the date and your full name to each note. These notes will help additional team members if they are working with this same patient later, as well as serve as legal documentation.
Follow Up. This step seems to get lost. Perhaps it is because there is so much data in our reporting and not all of it is current. Perhaps it is because we did not keep great documentation or perhaps you just do not know-how. Not all patients are going to schedule from the chair, but it is imperative we do not lose those patients. Keep your records current and learn the reports you need to run to get the information you need when contacting a patient. Also, have a system in place for how to follow up, be it text messages, emails, phone calls, or our favorite, Videos!
Your patients are the key to the success of your practice. When they understand a diagnosis, it empowers them to accept your treatment recommendations. You help improve their understanding and oral health, and you improve the health of your business.
If you have any questions about these 5 steps and how we can help your practice improve case acceptance, let us know! We’d love to help you find the solutions that are right for your team. Email us today and receive 10% off one of our fun and informative workshops.