For me, this was the one that really gave me that innate fight or flight response back at Life University. I remember sitting through a lecture all about money and I had the worst pit in my stomach. I felt sweaty and queazy just thinking about getting financial commitments from patients.
All I really wanted to do was serve my community and get people healthier – this part scared me. But I sat and I listened, because I knew I had to. Here’s is what I’ve learned over the years.
When most doctors get to what we refer to as the “4th Agreement” in Module 17 – The Plan – The Financials, they feel they need to make it a bargain.
However, this is backwards and I will tell you why. The 4 Agreements are 1. The Problem, 2. The Goals, 3. The Path and now 4. The Plan, the Financials.
If done properly, you have created enormous VALUE for your care by now and they WANT it. People will pay for what they WANT. Money follows value.
Here is a critical truth to own. It is NEVER about the money. I repeat: It is NEVER about the money. It is only a VALUE question.
“People CANNOT afford EVERYTHING that they want, but they CAN afford ANYTHING that they want.”
Doctors fall prey to the powerfully limiting belief that people cannot “afford” the care that they need. This line of thinking will derail your conversion process and prevent 1000’s of families from getting the care that they need from you.
Think about what we see every day outside our office. When people are faced with a situation that is considered dire or tragic, think about what people are they capable of almost anything!
It’s actually inspiring. People will rally and do whatever it takes to find the money when they believe in something or want it bad enough. Think fund-raising, walking for a cure, shaving their heads, not shaving for a month, wearing pink cleats, running marathons or crowd-sourcing.
This list GOES ON. People will do it. They will find the money, BUT ONLY IF it is important enough to them.
What does that mean? Only if they see the VALUE.
If they want care in your office, they will find a way to make it happen. This is a much more powerful belief system and a far more accurate one when you’re approaching the financial commitment part of the conversion process.
First, I strongly urge you to offer payment methods and plans that are both affordable and profitable.
Financial plans are always a reflection of Recommendations. Patients should NOT be making financial decisions independent of clinical discussions and commitments to protocols.
Additionally, we give our patients recommendations for care in time blocks. New Patients start with a “First Four Recommendations Plan” [Again Module 17 of DC Academy]. This brings them to their first Major Clinical Milestone: the Re-Examination, Re-Report and Recommitment. Then all subsequent care plans are 12 months at a time.
Our practice is a Cash-Like Practice. In other words, we do not “accept insurance”. Our patients pay us for the care that we provide but, we do offer “Super Bills” to those patients that have some “out of network benefits”. This is an option for you that we’ve found works well for us.
You can find more detailed Financial Plan discussion in the CA Academy.
Let’s focus on making sure that our community and our patients fully UNDERSTAND the VALUE that we deliver to them and their families. Only then can we get back to saving the planet knowing that Money Follows Value.
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