“Concierge physicians should embrace the idea of offering patients affordable luxury. You are offering luxuries to your patients that they cannot easily get elsewhere.” ~David Crooks President, Easy Pay Solutions, Inc.
By David Crooks President, Easy Pay Solutions, Inc., CMT Special Contributor
OCTOBER 30, 2015 – The power of “affordable luxury” is not just a marketing ploy. We all want upscale products and services at a great price. If you’ve ever booked a five-star hotel on Priceline and saved $200.00 a night you know the feeling of “practical posh”. Nordstrom ‘Rack’ and TJ MAXX know the power of luxury branding for budget minded shoppers. They’ve built their brands on this reality. Think of the difference between the premier Athletic Club in town verses the local YMCA or municipal gym. Your practice should be known as the premier club in town while remaining affordable.
Concierge physicians should embrace the idea of offering patients affordable luxury. You are offering luxuries to your patients that they cannot easily get elsewhere. Here’s a short list of the luxuries your patients value in having you as their doctor.
- Experienced Care
- Unhurried Time
- Undivided Attention
- Detailed Communication
- Preferred and Flexible Appointments
- Exclusive Membership
Physicians who offer the above list of amenities do not have to compare themselves with standard medical practices. Is there a patient base that says, “NO, I don’t want any of those things from my doctor!” If there is, you most likely don’t want them in your practice. The truth is that there are enough patients within driving distance of your office that want the luxuries you offer. They just need to know that they can afford them.
BUSINESS and COLLECTIONS: Double your patient base by reaching “The Untapped Market of Concierge Patients” ~David S. Crooks
Affordable doesn’t mean discounted or cheap. It means your practice is financially accessible. Here are three ways to remain financially accessible while promoting an upscale experience for your current and prospective patients.
Preferred Payment Services:
Offer your patients the preferred card-on-file automated payment services to cover both memberships and additional fees for labs or other in house treatments. This is the no-hassle preferred service that enables your patients to by-pass the front desk because their payment information is on file. They can arrive for their appointment and come right in to see you because they have elected this preferred option. The patient will also rest assured that their bill is paid and they won’t have to deal with invoices from you. And they will earn free miles or cash back from their credit card company.
The benefits to you are quick payment and less hassle for your front desk. Billing staff simply brings up the card-on-file and charges the office visit fee (if any) because they already have the consent of your patient. Once the treatment costs are determined they can do the same. Simple has never had it so easy.
Premier Membership Payment Plan:
Give your patients the option of paying their membership off over time with the premier payment plan. Offer premier members three or six months to pay their annual membership fee. Let them know that they will be receiving your five star services on a plan they can manage. Make it hassle free with an automated recurring payment plan on their credit or debit card. Your patients will appreciate getting luxury treatment with manageable payments.
The benefit for your practice is growth. Payment plans are one of the fastest ways to grow your practice. They open the doors for patients that want the exclusivity of concierge medicine but need to manage their budgets. These have worked extremely well for health clubs and fitness centers. Patients who pay for the privilege of membership are also more likely to give positive reviews and referrals for your practice. As your memberships and positive referrals grow, your practice becomes more stable and your cash flow increases.
Exclusive Online Gateway:
Many practices offer payment and information portals for their patients. Not many make them exclusive. American Express taught us that it was important to be a “Member Since”. Membership with your practice is important. It is the doorway to better medical care and long term doctor-patient relationships that benefit your patients and your practice. Give your patients another way to connect that’s special.
Portal options like ”Member Since” designations, special passwords, payment options, advanced appointment setting services, direct link email and text capabilities, can be built into your exclusive online gateway. Be creative and offer your patients an exclusive experience they will tell others about.
The benefit to your practice is enhanced patient communication (probably high on your list of why you got into concierge medicine in the first place), faster payment because you make it convenient, and patient loyalty because they feel like they ‘belong’.
Your approach to medicine is personal and special. You can celebrate that and give your patients a reason to be excited. Your patients should feel they have an advantage because you are their doctor. No one is going to care for them as you do. In return for this exclusivity you should be compensated. Embracing your practice as an affordable luxury gives your patients a sense of privilege while remaining financially accessible.
3-Step Plan to Stress-Free Patient Collections
Three simple steps will eliminate the perceived barrier for many people who can afford to be concierge patients and contribute to the growth of your practice. Patients will continue to renew their contract every year if the service is affordable and you make payment easy.
About David S. Crooks, President,Easy Pay Solutions, Inc.
CONTACT INFO.: David S. Crooks and/or Jim Turner, VP Marketing Easy Pay Solutions www.easypaycollect.com | TEL: 877.715.7166
Mr. Crooks is currently the president of Easy Pay Solutions, Inc., a Chicago-‐based company focused on helping healthcare providers expedite patient payments while reducing bad debts and patient receivables. The company’s Easy Pay cloud-‐based software provides an enhanced way to utilize credit/debit cards, storing the patient’s credit card information for later processing. This puts the provider in control of when he/she gets paid by patients. In addition, Easy Pay provides the traditional single payment feature, as well as the ability to use credit/debit cards for payment plans and phone collections.