This is a common theme amongst graduates in private practice that are not adapting to a business mindset. The financial situation of their patients drives their clinical decisions, and most of the time it is an assumption on the graduate’s behalf based on external factors of a patient e.g. how they are dressed, job.
Worse still a graduate will make clinical decisions for their patients based on their own financial beliefs and current status. This is always going to end badly, as you have been a broke University student for most likely the last couple of years, so your beliefs may be misaligned with your client base.
Real life example:
“But they won’t be able to afford to have that many sessions, because they do not have private health cover”
“What makes you think that, did you ask them?”
“No, the receptionist told me that they don’t have any cover”
This bothers me, because there are a lot of our patients that choose not to pay for private health cover but have created their own savings system to cover costs of healthcare they may require. So this graduate has made an assumption and that assumption has been the driving force of clinical decision making.
This mindset also becomes the main reason why graduates fail to sell any stock to certain patients, because they assume they cannot afford it.
I encourage graduates to get back to being a physio and not a financial advisor to their patients.
Do not become the cheap physio, based on your assumptions of your patient’s financial situation or based on your personal
Offer the best first. If a patient objects based on price, then perhaps an alternative is offered with also a warning for potentially not the same effects. A lesser alternative to treatment may mean lesser results or a longer rehabilitation period. As long as you explain this to your patient and they understand and accept this trade off then you will not have compromised on your reputation.
No patient wants the budget version. I know I would be very offended as a patient if I had been offered a budget alternative because my therapist didn’t think I could afford the very best service, especially when my health is a top priority.
Next time, your patient comes seeking your professional advice, offer the premium version of your services first and follow through with exceptional care and clinical skills. I think most graduates don’t offer the premium service, because they are scared they will not deliver based on their skillset and knowledge. So, they offer the budget care, because they feel that is all they can offer at this stage of their career and learning.
Don’t start your career off in this mindset. You have a great deal of knowledge and skills to offer your patients even in the early days of being a physio, you need to trust in your abilities.
Healthcare is a priority to majority of patients, the words budget, cheap and health do not mix well in the same sentence.