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

can develop.

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.

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