What Chiropractors Should Know About Cost Conversations

Chiropractic treatment is often a more cost-effective method of pain management and treatment of non-acute injuries. But, it can still be expensive for people on a tight budget with little disposable income.

This might make speaking to your patients about the cost of chiropractic care seem tricky. Even for experienced chiropractors, the question of how your patient will pay for treatment costs can often be uncomfortable. But it’s a necessary part of running your practice, and the more up-front and transparent you are about pricing, the more your patients will appreciate it.

Many of us grew up being taught that discussing money isn’t polite. You didn’t talk about how much someone makes, what they paid for their home, car or even their shoes. And you certainly didn’t speak about how much a medical procedure or treatment costs.

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Fortunately, times have changed. Thanks to social media and the influence of a less-stuffy generation of millennials, it is now not only OK, but pretty much expected, to share almost everything — not only with family and close friends, but with anyone who cares to read about it on Facebook, Twitter or a review site like Yelp.

Along with the open nature of social sharing comes the ability to more easily speak with your chiropractic patients about the cost of their treatments.

The ability to have informative, comfortable conversations about cost, and how to pay for treatment is a necessary part of your business. It’s also a much-appreciated service for your patients. Here’s why:

  • Like you (before you read this blog), patients may not know how to comfortably bring up cost. They may feel reluctant to talk about how to afford a recommended treatment plan.
  • Your patients will be relieved and happy that you’re tackling what can sometimes be perceived as the ‘elephant in the room.’
  • It provides patients an easy way to ask questions about now much and when they’ll need to pay, and the recommended treatments themselves.
  • It allows you to sense whether your patient will stick with the treatments you’ve prescribed. If they indicate they just can’t afford the best approach to treatment, you can then discuss the impact of choosing a less effective alternative — or not following through with treatment at all.

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If a patient is not concerned about cost and how to pay, they’ll still appreciate the clear, up-front information. No one likes feeling in the dark about how much something costs.

Use these tips for helpful, easy treatment cost conversations with your patients:

  • Be concise, but don’t rush. Give the information needed for a patient to anticipate necessary future payments, then allow a few minutes for questions.
  • Don’t be in “sales mode.” A cost and payment conversation is not about selling.
  • Offer options like a discount for cash payments or patient financing through LendingUSA. If you sense that treatment cost is a hurdle for your patient, be as flexible and creative as possible.
  • If you don’t already, try bundling a set of treatments at a discounted rate. Educate them as to how the reduced cost per treatment will save them money.
  • If a patient is firm that they cannot pay for the number or type of treatments you are suggesting, give them an alternative while letting them know of the potential for a lesser outcome.
  • Be friendly and confident. If you’re at ease, your patient will be too.

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Bottom line: Your patients come to you to feel good and manage their pain. Discussing treatment costs with a patient doesn’t have to be painful — for them or for you.

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