Stand Out with a Get Acquainted Visit
It's so important to watch your patient panel list every month.
That's how you identify patients new to your panel so you can invite them to come in and get to know you.
But sometimes they just won't come in.
They don't want to get sick, they don't want to spend the money, or they simply don't want to.
It can be a tough problem.
I should know.
I never was able to get more than 97% of new patients in during any given year.
That's pretty high, but I know those three percent cost me big money when they became ill and it took 18 months for their capitation to catch up and reflect their care costs
What to do?
Consider inviting recalcitrant new patients in for a "get acquainted visit" at a time convenient for them and at no charge.
Make it clear that the visit is simply to introduce them to the office, the staff, the workflows---to be able to take the time to thoroughly review and enter their medical history and other information into the electronic health record.
To give them a chance to just get to know you.
Make the time at their convenience, but also at a time, early or later, when you know there won't be many ill patients in your waiting room.
And make it clear that because of Medicare rules you won't be able to deliver any medical care, change or refill medications, they have to pay a co-pay for that---you just want to get to know them.
I found many of my resistant patients would jump at the chance to see the doctor for "free." At the very least they were be taken aback by this highly unusual offer.
But be careful.
To keep from getting in compliance trouble there are a few big "can nots"
- You cannot offer anything of value to get them in. No money, no gifts, nothing.
- You also can't pay their co-pays for them---that's a big no-no.
- Don't prescribe or change any meds either. That's for a formal visit. Again make this clear up front to set appropriate expectations.
- And you can't submit any diagnostic codes for the encounter either. This is a social visit, document what you did but bill nothing.
But what you have done is build rapport. You've let your new patient know that you and your staff are different. And you have a much better idea of their overall health status and what steps are needed to improve it.
Remember, it's your relationship with your patient that generates the true value in healthcare.
Invest in that, and you'll never go wrong.