A few years ago, a primary care physician-client of mine was faced
with an opportunity. Her patients started contacting her practice after
receiving their insurance EOBs, wanting to discuss their charges with
her. Not an uncommon occurrence, but their reasoning was extraordinary.
Turns out they were so thrilled with their experience at her
practice, from their welcome to her exam, to the post-appointment
follow-up, that they felt the payers’ reimbursements were too low.
Repeatedly, her patients told her things like “we saw our EOBs and we
were shocked at how little you were paid.” She decided to go without
insurance contracts and has never looked back. Her patients are happy
and she has found sustainable success in her medical practice.
Then the other day, we interviewed someone for a new position with
the V2V team. She’s just earned her degree in healthcare leadership.
During our interview, we discussed her work experience as a restaurant
server over the past several years. She paid for a good portion of her
tuition by the tips she earned from happy customers.
She seemed apologetic for her lack of health care experience.
However, given the transformation of our industry, her work on the front
lines of customer service is exactly what this industry needs right
now. So, I asked her, “How many patients do you think would leave a 20%
tip at the front desk at the end of their appointment?” That one earned a
chuckle and we had a great interview.
Let’s consider the patient experience at the practice I mentioned,
earlier. Well before the appointment, patients receive reminders, based
on their preferences. They’ve also received the documents they need to
complete, whether for patient records or insurance verification. They
understand the appointment purpose and duration, whether before or at
the outset of the physician encounter. Their appointment exceeds
expectations and instructions are understood. If other questions arise,
patients know where to get help. They receive a follow-up, later that
same day, asking about their experience.
What would it be like as a patient working his or her way through
your practice? Do you welcome patients? What do they expect during
appointments? Does your practice exceed those expectations? With the
work many clinics, hospitals, and medical groups are doing nowadays
toward profitability gap closure and diagnose codes for billing capture
or to increase physician productivity, patient care can be a foregone
conclusion. We’re in the patient care business, of course.
As patient satisfaction and outcomes are aligning with compensation,
it’s more important than ever. Consider for a moment or two, is my care
so valuable to my patients that they would eagerly pay extra in gratuity
for their care? To answer this question, you must see things from the
frame of reference of your patients. Remember, most do not have the
level of experience or even the lexicon of your specialty. So how does
your practice acquire patient mindset? It requires specific intention
On the front lines of customer service, the #1 reason people are
loyal to a brand is perceived high quality, value-for-price-paid, and
great customer service. Translated into health care terms, patient
loyalty includes ease-of-access, perceived quality of facilities, their
first impression of the practice, the patient encounter, itself, their
perception of your compassion, and your post-appointment follow-up.
These factors greatly influence your patients’ experience with your
practice and your care:
So, what aspects of their experience would motivate a patient to leave a tip for your practice? Our goal is to ensure you become ADEPTSM at your healthcare business for years to come. Instituting patient care and communication programs with specific intent can effectively stem patient load erosion and outmigration, offering a Distinct AdvantageSM in business growth and development. What sets you apart? And, what’s holding you back from realizing sustainable success? We can help.