Getting to “Yes, I understand…” by
the patient is a multistep process
that actually starts
on the first encounter with your office.
This is typically by phone, and honestly
this is also where too many offices just blow it.
If the patient does not feel they are calling
the right place, the rest of your job
becomes much harder. Be careful what
you ask for, and how you present the
questions here too.
The next place where an encounter can
likely stumble is at the front desk. Of course
your staff person on the first phone call
got the patient to be there in plenty
of time to handle the first visit intake
Your intake forms should be crisp, precise
and fully compliant. I insist upon black ink
only (it copies much better in legal cases).
And I ask the staff to highlight the forms for
the patient, so they know exactly where to sign.
There should be a very clear statement
regarding your financial policies too. Think
this one out well in advance.
I am a firm advocate of
“all the cards on the table” in every encounter
and written policy. This is the only way
that lasting relationships with your office
I start with a 2 part NCR office policy, that the
patient reads, signs, aggrees to follow (in writing)
and then is given the copy bearing
a signature for their own files.
Next, any waivers, such as the Medicare ABN
needs to be handled, competently, before
you ever see the patient. Any and all non-covered
services as you understand need to be fully
addressed as well.
Lastly, the patient should be made to feel
comfortable, that they are in the right
office and the very first thing on
your mind is starting them on the
path back to good health.