Now, let’s talk about when to formally discuss fees and prices with the patient. This will typically happen after the doctor’s component of the exam. So, after their assessment, recommendation, and treatment plans have been discussed.
This presentation can also be formally referred to as financial counseling. It’s not always as glamorous as observing a sale in your optical galleries. However, it does deserve a moment. Take a moment to review with the patient this amazing medical device that allows them the freedom from glasses when it matters most to them. Throughout this process consider what is it that you want the patient to understand and what is it that you want the patient to perceive. Perceive about you, your office, and their level of care. We refer to these as UP objectives. These can be applied to any part of the patient experience.
So, let’s begin with financial counseling, one of the most common flaws when presenting the sale is asking the patient “will you be purchasing contact lenses today?” after we’ve already written a prescription. By doing so, we are creating a barrier simply by asking this question. Think about it like this; in the same way that you expect to purchase shoes when going to a shoe department, almost every patient comes into your office with the intent of purchasing something. It's an expected expense, and is viewed as a convenience to take care of all of their eyewear and eye care needs, all at once, and in one place. You should anticipate that your patients are interest in purchasing contacts lenses as they’ve already had discussions with the doctor and have obtained a prescription. Don’t pass up this opportunity of a sale to potentially go on to a competitor after all of the work you and your team has put in up to this point.
This is your opportunity to reiterate the value of the services you provide at your office. This could be where you present your Contact Lens Success Program, which you're probably already to some degree, maybe just not defining it as a program. I have some best practice recommendations to increase your success and confidence in the presentation.
So, by now, the patient has heard of what services are included during their visit, the three-part exam, and they’ve heard us referencing it in various segments throughout the patient cycle.
But now, it’s your time to shine! Now is where everything is presented collectively as a program! In order to prepare for this, go ahead and be proactive in calculating the patient’s prescribed contact lenses for an annual supply, with and without insurance. You can utilize our Contact Lens Pricing Calculator. I’ll review later in this program exactly how to utilize this tool. You’ll begin with reiterating the doctor’s prescribed lenses, emphasis ondoctor’s recommendation and replacement frequency.
Present the total price that it includes all services and the annual supply of contact lenses without any savings or copays applied. Here’s what that might look like; “Sally, it looks like Dr. Bell has recommended Air Optix with a monthly replacement schedule. Your total for today’s services and an annual supply of contact lenses is $600.”
Ready for the key? Now, present this price with insurance contributions and prompt pay savings. The first price will sound significantly higher and the patient’s perception changes, once you present the savings and benefits. You immediately go on to the next part and tell Sally something like; “However, after your insurance contributions and additional savings I’ve been able to apply for you, your balance is $300. That's a $300 savings!”
It’s important that there aren’t any gaps in the patient’s perception of value. Continue by telling them what’s included in that value and what we refer to as program perks. "This covers the cost of your refraction, eye health examination, contact lens evaluation, and annual supply of contact lenses. Additional benefits of being a patient that is a part of our Contact Lens Success Program you get: free direct shipping to your home, a travel kit, and two free replacement lenses valued at $30, and a $30 savings coupon applied to the purchase of sunglasses! The manufacturer also offers a rebate, that you can submit once you receive your order. We can provide the necessary documents you’ll need from us, and they will probably require you to include two of the UPC’s directly off of your boxes. The rebate currently offered is valued at $50. Most manufacturers will send a gift card that you can easily use anywhere or even towards a pair of sunglasses!” Here is where you’ll introduce any office payment policies and collect payment. “Our office requires that the balance is paid in full before we can process the order. You should expect to have your contacts within 10 business days. How would you like to pay for that?”