We want entire families under care. Poster I made years ago: “We are a lifetime family practice. We take care of you and your entire family from your first break to your last or for as long as you want to be well.”
We love when our patients bring in their kids and other family members, friends and coworkers. This is one reason I love my new patient policy where the new patient visit is of no charge.
Many times I’m going to check a patient’s child for no charge, so then why would I have a fee for a guy who walks in off the street an hour later? You want to be as fair as you can be at all times.
In dealing with patient’s children, there are many different scenarios. Sometimes the kids may come in with a parent and the parent wants you to check their kids. Sometimes the kids are there and the parents say, “My kids are fine and don’t need to be checked.”
Sometimes a patient’s child may be old enough to drive and they’re not being brought in on each and every visit.
Sometimes you have married couples that come in together, sometimes they come in separately. There are many different situations that we must master.
By making my first day free, I eliminate any barriers and it allows me to garner many more referrals in the moment.
If a female patient brings her boyfriend in, I can get him to become a patient right then because it’s no charge for me to check him, so of course he will agree to it.
If I have a dad with his two sons in there, naturally he’ll agree for me to check the boys for subluxations, because there’s no fee to do it and it only takes a few minutes.
So my policy is : Anybody that comes in with a patient gets a free evaluation offer right then.
We also have a procedure where we take one new patient that starts to parlay it into others during our plan portion of our report. But that is a topic for another day. We call it how to take one person and turn them into two or three.
I have a video on how to handle the array of kid situations in the office. Like: The parent brings the kid in and parent is not already a patient. The parent brings a child in and the parent is a patient. The parent brings a child in and tells you to bill their dad in another state. The parent brings a child in and tells you not to tell their dad that they brought them in. The parent does not want you to check the child despite the child really needing it.
The parent who brings their kids in but does not want to incur any cost by having them also get care. They don’t think it is worth it for the kids.
There are many verbiage techniques here for these situations. One example is: If a mom has two kids, I may include 6 free visits for each of them when she signs up for care. Now I can help the kids, and set them up to benefit now and also want care in the future.
Another technique is: On a regular office visit I will say for the kids to jump on the table so I can do a quick free check. To get mom and the child used to it and to enjoy it.
It is also important to never let a child think they have a “problem.” They must think they are in there for getting the power on and never to “treat ear infections.” The less medical the place is the better. And we NEVER label patients.
How many patients have you had come in who were told they had the “S” word scoliosis. You take X-rays and there is a minimal curvature that would never be called the S word. Many a child’s athletic activities, fun and future were harmed because they were labeled incorrectly at a young age.