What To Say to a Patient With a $2k Deductible
I got a lot of FAQ’s posed at the recent “Cash Client Revolution” (CCRev) conference in Las Vegas.
(Which by the way was sold-out and explosive!)
The attendees loved the answers so much they tried it out immediately upon returning to their practice Monday morning.
Here’s what one attendee had to say,
“I was able to implement ONE thing, and the best thing is that IT WORKS! I didn’t realize that patients are willing to pay the total cost of their care when you tell them the reason why…Thanks James!”
-Jennifer Angeles, PT (MD)
Many questions were presented from over 50 PT/OT/Peds practice owners and their staff who attended this revolutionary conference.
But let’s jump into solving this one question.
It’s a popular question and I get it a lot these days,…
“What do I say to a patient with a $2,000 deductible? How do I get them to onboard when they have to pay the entire cost-of-care out of pocket?”
(I don’t look at it as a “dilemma” however since it really helps set us up for higher and faster pay).
Converting patients is essential to your future.
The real solution to this question starts with you adopting some very important truths. They are,
- A one sentence answer won’t always do the trick.
- Patients truly want a solution to their problem and if it’s made affordable they’ll buy in (“Affordable” doesn’t mean cheap or discounted).
- You must determine the Cost-of-Care (COC) at eval.
Here are the steps* to converting over 80% of all these type of patient prospects:
- Don’t talk too much about finances over the phone.
- If they ask, “How much will it cost?” then merely reply with, “Depending on the complexity of your condition it can range between $40-$90 per treatment. Most feel better their very first session and many are done within __ sessions.” (6-12 is best). This is enough for them to come in.
- When they arrive, instruct them to call their insurance company and get 3 pieces of information, (1) deductible, (2) co-pay, (3) and any maximums (even if you already got it online beforehand). Put them on the phone right in your lobby. It’s important they hear the bad-news from their insurance rep instead of your receptionist. The phone number for members has a much shorter wait-time than the number for providers.
- If they say they can’t afford it reply with, “I hate insurance companies…Don’t worry, if you really want to solve your problem, we can make it very affordable. Just go see the therapist and after the exam we will determine the total cost-of-care and make it very affordable, don’t worry.” (Most will proceed with the exam).
- Now the therapist completes the exam and at the end of it, he/she goes over the “Cost-of-Care” instead of the usual educating, body-mechanic and home-ex training (which you don’t get paid for most on eval days anyways). During the exam, don’t aggravate the pain and make sure to relieve their pain during the exam (important).
- The cost of care is determined by the therapist saying, “Your condition will require an X amount of visits.” Using six, twelve, or 30 is best (most of the time). Figure out the TOTAL cost based on their deductible, co-pay, per session rate, etc. Tell the patient the cost and ask them, “Do you have any concerns with that?” (this is important).
- If they say “No.”, great. “Go to the front and receptionist will take care of you.”
- If they say “Yeah, I’m not working now and can’t afford that.” Then you reply, “What if we were to break it into 3 payments of $__, do you have any concerns with that?” Most will like it and onboard immediately.
- This only works if you DON’T aggravate their pain and make them feel better during the exam. Very important.
- People get anxiety NOT from the cost but the unknown. Once you PROVE you can relieve their pain/problem and clearly define the total cost (and make it affordable if need be) most are relieved and onboard immediately.
- There are other factors but this is the essence of how to convert most all hi-deduct, HSA, and cash pay patient prospects.
*This is an abbreviated version of just one strategy. The full training addresses all the other variables and factors and all strategies based on the situation. (Any deviation from my steps can result in failure.)
This attendee applied the COC strategy and had this to say,
“Hey all just had a major break through for myself with cost of care – mom paid 1/2 the COC on the day of eval up front ($800) and dad will pay the other half in a week… Also yesterday I had a dad that I could see was trying to figure out COC for remaining visits… I quickly saw what he was trying to do and said “Oh I can help you with that” then quickly figured it out. He was relieved to see it would ONLY be about $1000 left. James you are just so wise and amazing – I love EVERYTHING you teach us!”
-Mary Kostka, OT (WA)
My solutions are NOT based on speculation, reason or theoretical “should work” answers but proven time-and-time-again in real life.
I’ve been seeing cash patients for over 12 years (before most were even thinking about cash clients) and have tried it all. During my trial and error phase, I lost a lot of prospective patients. And my mistakes cost me. You can avoid that.
The best way to success is…
…to simply copy someone already doing what you want to do.
If you missed the CCRev Conference but want to jump on the waiting list for the next one (and be offered a kick-ass discount when early-registration opens), click here.
Wise practice owners, who pursue learning and adapting, are going to rule this industry (mark my words).
James Ko, PT
P.s. If you want to skyrocket toward making an extra $100k (or more) with your practice this year (no BS) and get the step-by-step training from the comfort of your home, keep your eyes peeled for the invitation to register for my “Advanced Power Coaching (APC11) With James Ko”, an 11-week online group training class for PT/OT/Peds. It’s coming soon 🙂