We’ve reached a tipping point of dissatisfaction. I see it online almost every day.
Reimbursement from third party payers is dwindling to the point that once we calculate how much it costs to make sure our i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, we’re working for peanuts.
Some are venturing into cash models and having success. Although this is the case, there is grumbling that we haven’t branded ourselves; citizens have no clue when to choose a physical therapist.
Although some would like to break away from traditional services, they are shackled by the lack of true direct access in their state.
Dissatisfaction is generally portrayed at a level of we, me or I. We, me, I…
What if we changed our thoughts from being predominately self-centered to benevolent? If Larry is correct in his thoughts about caring and empathy being the secret sauce to include in our interactions with patients, what would happen if we flipped our self-centered dissatisfaction and put it into a patient first perspective?
For example, let’s take the reimbursement issue. What if I were to use a Medicare Advantage example? What if I were to tell you that for Medicare B services, an allowable amount for a 30 minute treatment session totaled about $60? For a Medicare B beneficiary, their out of pocket costs = $12. For quite a few Medicare Advantage subscribers, their out of pocket costs for the exact service is $25. How do you think this would make older adults feel – especially if they knew this kind of stuff?
Truth be told, I kind of laugh at “branding.” I think of cattle and a hot iron. But since it’s cool to talk about branding, let’s take the branding issue to heart. In many of the online discussions I’ve been privy to, it is quite apparent that our business model has a very strong foundation in word of mouth marketing. Are we having the right conversations with each of our patients to build trust, view us as experts, demand our expertise AND seek us out for their future needs for efficient and effective care? Have we performed our role locally by putting patients first via education on when we can help them in their times of need? This isn’t a “branding” issue, in my opinion… this is an educational issue.
Ah… and direct access. This is a political game… a game of wanting the biggest piece of the pie. I wonder how consumers would feel if the cat got out of the bag that the majority of the procedures done in the musculoskeletal world really aren’t *that* helpful for them? The majority of people go to physicians to reduce their worry. Apparently our society has grown accustomed to having diagnostic test after diagnostic test performed to quiet fear and anxiety with a nice side effect of increasing fear and anxiety over the results. Craziness! Without direct access, patients lose their freedom to choose and are stuck in a cycle of ineffective, costly care.
How might we reframe our thoughts from self-centered to benevolently patient-centered?
Until next time,