Costly Complaints: Explaining Pricing to Patients

Sat, Jan 03, 2015 at 8:15PM

It’s a situation we sometimes find ourselves running into: a patient’s worried that they’re being charged too much for treatment, and you need to find a way to ease their concern. If this happens, there’s a calm and tactful way to handle it. 

First, ask your patient about their concerns. You know why you charge what you do; to your patient, however, the process that goes into fee decisions can be too complex or out-of-reach to imagine. Asking your patient what they think would be more reasonable, or what they have particular issue with, shows that you care about their input.

Sometimes, a patient’s concern can point out legitimate mistakes in their billing. Be sure to listen for these to fix any possible office errors!

Once you’ve double-checked, and if there is no mistake, explain to the patient that what they think are high fees are actually what allow for the excellent quality of care you offer… and you can use local or national fee comparisons to help prove your point. If your fees are higher, let the patient know that it’s your office’s extra commitment to quality care that makes up for (and necessitates!) seemingly high fees. You can use your office’s awards, certifications and distinctions to show that your prices are fair for the exceptional service you guarantee.

While you know what goes into fees, your patients do not. Be welcome to an open exchange of ideas before letting them know why your fees are what they are in an open, understanding manner.

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