What Should We Charge For a New Patient

Dr. Tory Robson

Dr. Tory Robson

Chiropractic Practice Success Consultant

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What you charge for new patients on their first day is something you must figure out.

This topic can cause quite a stir among DCs. It also causes many headaches.

I have a solution that I think is a winner. I have used it for 18 years.

The process I use is for many reasons. Notice, we have five different types of patients that come in. Personal injury, Worker’s Comp., Medicare, cash, and patients who have insurance as well as people who think they have insurance.

What are you going to charge each of these people on their first day?

How do you know how much of any deductibles are met?

How do you know if the person has a legitimate claim and that their personal injury care will be paid for?

Do you know if a person’s Medicare deductible has been paid?

Do you know if a person’s medicare secondary insurance will have any coverage?

You may have a patient that’s a good friend, it may be a mom and she’s asking you to look at her 12 year old daughter as a new patient.

So, what I have done is to make things simple and save a huge amount of time. I simply have it where my first day is free for everybody. It is a courtesy and a way to gift back to my community.

“Because of who we are I do something special for the community, everybody can come in and I’ll be happy to check their spine and tell you how Chiropractic can help you and we have no charge for this.”

By doing this I eliminate all conversations about deductibles, insurance, how much the fee is, if we can check on their insurance first.  Shortsighted doctors will think they’re losing money, because they’re not thinking very far ahead.

Whereas I realize that this opens the flood gates for new ones because I have absolutely no barrier between the community and myself. Because my office has the correct layout and my procedures are tight, I can see new patients all day long very easily ,most of whom will start.

Even if a person comes in and they don’t know our Day 1 procedure, and they think they’re going to pay, I grab one of my new patient generator gift certificates and I give it to them to use for that day.

This psychologically puts them in a state of reciprocation where they feel that they owe me because I’ve done something nice for them first.

I want every day to be graceful in practice. The key word is graceful. Smooth, easy flowing, fun so I can stay focused on the more difficult adjustments and situations of the day.

Now you with your state and your state board guidelines have to make a decision on what you want to do. Some may have an offer of $39. Some doctors can even charge full fee.

As I was beginning to do more consulting and didn’t have time for new patients as much, I had to go to a $230 new patient fee. This is perfectly acceptable if you have tremendous demand.

Tremendous demand means 150 visits a day and 50+ referrals per month with 75 new ones every month.

When in practice growth mode we do not want any barriers between ourselves and society.

So you must engineer a new patient fee that you feel is ideal and makes sense.

One word of caution: You must be consistent everywhere.

Whatever your new patient offer is on your website should match any of your marketing that people might see. Consistency is the key and is the thing that people can count on so they can send you more wonderful referrals!

Also, if you have a $39 Facebook Ad New Patient Special, but think you are going to bill a PI patient full fee. you will get crucified. It is only a matter of time.

You are trying to play a game, and game players get crucified. How? Because an insurance adjuster will see your ad then see your claim come across their desk. Next thing you know you have a woman with a hidden camera in her purse and they are doing surveillance on your office to build a file against you. Then about 2 years later you get the letter or worse yet – the police follow you to work, make a huge scene that makes the paper and evening news, then confiscate all your computers and shut you down. ALL get the same deal. This is how the big men and women in practice do it. Right down the rails. No game playing.

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