What? You Mean I Have to “Pay”??

by Dr. Ron Arndt

New Dental Practice Patient
Here’s an e-mail I just received from a client: “We have had our first ‘casualty’ of our new financial agreement. This was with a new patient in for an emergency. We did a resin & she scheduled back for a new patient cleaning. She was diagnosed with a small resin and a Cerec #14. When I reviewed the financial arrangements with her, she was put off by having to provide a credit card, mumbling that her old dentist did not require that. She was not happy, but scheduled a treatment for herself and son, anyway. She called back a week later and cancelled all appointments.”

My suggestion to this client was to revisit, in detail, the conversation that he had with this patient. I coached him to evaluate what he could have done differently. If there was nothing, I asked him to celebrate the fact that he handled it just the way he intended!

Dental patients have been trained to behave certain ways – it doesn’t happen in just your office!

It is our job as Dental CEOs to re-train patients.

You never leave the grocery store without paying for your food; you never get on an airplane without paying for your flight; you never drive away from the transmission shop until you paid for the repair… It is no different for the delivery of our dental care.

When a patient balks at paying for treatment or your financial arrangements, deliver the communication with clarity. Each time you deliver the message, you become more proficient and more comfortable. Each patient is practice. It will happen again – someone will always complain!

And a final note, please don’t let a handful of patients destroy a positive and appropriate approach to minimizing treatment plan discussions, reducing short-notice cancel and failed appointments, and patient upsets.

This works successfully in other offices. It will in yours, too!

I invite you to share what you might suggest differently than the above.

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