I want you to think about the worst patient problem in your practice. When you peel back the layers, it’s almost certainly about money.
If you think I’m wrong, let’s do a thought exercise. Think of the patient problem that’s been occupying your mind the most lately. It may be lack of case acceptance (the obvious one) or patient dissatisfaction (bad Yelp review anyone?). Hold that problem in your mind. Concentrate on it. Feel it.
Now…how does that problem become different if the treatment proposed to the patient was free? How might that problem resolve? What could you do in your practice to take away that objection?
I’m not offering any specific solutions here. Obviously there are a million ways to skin the financial arrangements cat. But it’s worth remembering that patients may love us, our office and our team. But no one is sitting at home hoping that they’ll be able to cut us a check using money that they’d rather spend on the new iPhone.
I know what you’re thinking. What about anxiety? That’s a big patient objection, too. I agree. But I’d say we’re talking 10% or less of patient objections are primarily due to anxiety. Also, how many anxious patients are in your office letting you know that they’re really freaked out about dental care, but clearly are happy to pay you whatever? If anxiety is their biggest hang up, money can (and probably will) still be an issue.
We’re not great at getting past this objection in my practice. The practices who can really identify and move past money as an objection definitely do better financially and probably are more satisfying to the dentist.
So next time you struggle with treatment acceptance it might be worth asking the patient, “is there anything besides the cost that would keep you from doing this treatment?” You’ll probably learn a lot.