Ophthalmology Business is focused on business topics relevant to the entrepreneurial ophthalmologist. It offers editorial, opinion, and practical tips for physicians running an ophthalmic practice. It is a companion publication of EyeWorld.
Issue link: http://digital.ophthalmologybusiness.org/i/784827
Break Out of Your Routine to Overcome Patient Indecision. ADVERTORIAL Many consultations for refractive surgery follow the same routine. A patient calls to schedule an appointment. On the day of their consultation, the doctor performs an exam and discusses the refractive surgery options. The patient pays for their consultation and leaves with information to schedule their surgery at a later date. It's an easy habit to get into. But what happens when the patient doesn't call back? For many patients, concerns about the cost of the procedure and how they will pay for it keeps them from committing. Talking about fi nancing options in the consultation may help you see increased treatment acceptance and more scheduled appointments. Patients spend on average 141.5 days to make a decision to purchase vision surgery. 1 By the time a patient walks into your practice, they have already done extensive research on the procedure and cost. In fact, 79% of patients research payment options or consider fi nances when deciding on refractive surgery, but only about one-third actually ask their provider about fi nancing options. 1 Letting them know you off er fl exible payment solutions could mean the diff erence between a patient accepting the procedure they want, and an alternative. Promotional fi nancing options with the CareCredit credit card * can help remove the cost barrier by making it possible to fi t precise vision into their budget. Still not convinced? 71% of patients said they prefer to know exactly how much they need to pay each month to better budget for it. 1 By showing patients you understand their budget concerns, you can help accelerate their choice and get a commitment during the consultation. If you make fi nancing part of your new routine, you could increase your conversion rate and revenue. Many practices routinely make assumptions about which patients "need" fi nancing that can lead to even lower treatment acceptance. Patients want the fl exibility of paying monthly, even if they have the money available. It may be earmarked for something, so fi nancing options can help them better plan how to pay for their procedure. You may also hesitate to off er fi nancing because of transaction fees, which you perceive as increased overhead or reduced margins. Instead, you may off er options like a cash payment discount, even if it's higher than some transaction fees. 51% of patients said they would consider fi nancing options if it meant they could receive treatment right away. 1 Rather than discounting your services, off er a solution like CareCredit. You receive the value for your expertise and the patient receives the optimal care you've recommended. To ensure every patient gets the information they need to move forward, introduce fi nancing options early and often throughout their search. These are three of the key moments where discussing fi nancing options may have an impact on the patient's decision: • When patients call to make an appointment. • During the consultation when patients learn they are eligible for vision surgery. • At the time of the price conversation prior to scheduling their procedure. The language you use at these touchpoints can lead to "Yes." Asking questions like, "Do you need fi nancing?" or "Do you need fi nancial assistance" can put them on the spot, leading to snap judgements and "No." It's all about creating a dialogue. Instead, try this: "Many of our patients choose to take advantage of our special fi nancing options. Is that something you'd be interested in?" Learning more about fi nancing options during the consultation can empower patients to accept your best recommendation. A small shift in your routine can have a big impact on turning indecision into more appointments and revenue. OPBUS0317RA A small shift in how your practice discusses fi nancing may help lead to increased conversions. This insert was independently produced by CareCredit. Ophthalmology Business had no part in its production. The views expressed here do not necessarily refl ect those of the editor, editorial board, or the publisher, and in no way imply endorsement by Administrative Eyecare or ASOA. 1Path to Purchase Research Vision Surgery Category conducted for CareCredit by Rothstein Tauber, Inc., 2014. *Subject to credit approval. Move past assumptions about patients and fees. Show patients you understand their concerns about cost. Turn routine touchpoints into more procedures.