We talk a lot about value added propositions. Here, here and here for example. As you probably already know, we’re referring to the value you bring to your patients. Your value comes in many shapes and sizes – your flexible schedule and extended appointment times, your ability to open your doors at almost any time, your willingness to answer the phone, email, text, or video call at all hours, not to mention your steadfast devotion to saving your patients money at every turn.
But there’s one piece of value you offer your patients that, whether they say it out loud or not, is actually invaluable to them.
You put the power back in their hands.
It starts at the top. The freedom to opt out of a convoluted healthcare system held together by red tape is liberating in itself, but the benefits just keep coming. Nobody’s telling them what to do. No insurance or third party regulations of which the fine print must be scoured. Your patients do their research, and weigh what Direct Care offers against the alternative. The choice is theirs. They make the decision, and they can feel good about the consequence.
Because after they sign up, they see that the power stays in their hands.
They have complete visibility to their monthly payments. If they have a question about any of it, they don’t call the billing department – they call you. You and your trusted staff walk them through every step. Any anxiety they have about the unknown can be alleviated simply because your practice is built to communicate effectively. They have control over their finances = power.
They start to develop a real relationship with you; the first time they’re not rushed out the exam room door they realize they can do something they’ve never really felt comfortable doing before. They’re free to ask questions. They have control over their understanding of the situation = power.
You can truly help them. More importantly, you help them help themselves. Do we have time to tell you a quick story about this one?
Recently, a patient called her family’s Direct Care practice. It was after hours (because that’s when all emergent issues happen, right?!). She reported her toddler wouldn’t move her left arm and screamed bloody murder when someone else even looked at it sideways.
Now, this would send a lot of moms into a troubled frenzy for a slew of reasons. This mom in particular was shaken because this had never happened before. She was nervous she’d do more harm than good if she attempted to move her daughter’s arm. A Google search of the symptoms brought up a long list of possible diagnoses, ranging from partial dislocation all the way to ligament and nerve damage, and possibly even arm cancer (okay, we made that last part up, but don’t all Google health searches end that way?). She wasn’t sure which direction to take and neither was her gut.
Her doc listened carefully as she explained things. He asked a few questions, and promptly put the power back in her hands. He told her what he thought the problem was. Then he told her about a simple procedure she could do to try and fix it.
Once she got over the incredulous idea that she’d be twisting her kid’s arm into something other than eating green beans, she embraced the truth: she had the tools she needed to help her daughter. So she held her breath, did the thing, and waited.
The woman reported that after a few minutes her daughter’s painful expression untwisted itself, and the crying stopped. Then without even realizing it, the happy toddler began using her arm again.
No painful ride to the ER. No painful fees as a souvenir. Just a YouTube video that demonstrated the steps, and a competent, reassuring voice on the other end of the phone.
So you see, by giving your patients the power to control their own health and the health of their families, you’re providing value that goes far beyond anything clinical. And that’s invaluable.