With the ever-rising costs of healthcare, patients can easily become overwhelmed with the price of certain medical procedures.
Some patients decide to forgo medical care because they feel like they cannot afford it. According to a 2020 Bankrate survey, about 32% of families in the U.S. decided to not get medical care because of the costs.
Unfortunately, many of these skipped procedures are critical to improving a patient’s overall health, especially for services like bariatric surgery.
Therefore, physicians and other patient care experts must convey the surgery services value to their patients.
- Value in healthcare is delivering high-quality care at the lowest possible cost.
- Discuss the positive outcomes of surgery with patients including improving overall health and potentially eliminating other diagnoses.
- Share valuable patient success stories and emphasize the expertise of your surgical staff.
How Is Value Defined?
Value is traditionally seen as the highest quality care at the lowest possible cost. You can view it as an equation where you divide the quality and service by the cost.
In the United States, promoting value can be difficult because of the traditional business models most healthcare organizations use. It is also challenging because the United States spends more on healthcare than any other country yet does not have the highest quality. According to World Population Review, the United States ranks 1st in healthcare spending, but 37th in healthcare quality.
When working with your patients, it is important to stress the value of the services you offer. Explain how your patients can view these procedures as an investment in their future that will improve their health.
This video further emphasizes the importance of value-based healthcare and how to transfer that value onto the patient.
5 Strategies to Prove the Value of Surgery
With the modern diagnostic techniques used in healthcare today, most patients can get an accurate picture of their health and any diagnoses they might have. It then becomes the job of doctors and other healthcare professionals to convince patients to do what they need to do to improve their health. This is particularly true for surgeries and other elective procedures.
To convince patients of the value of your surgery services, you can use some of these strategies.
- Discuss Long-Term Health Benefits
The goal of any surgical procedure should be to improve a patient’s life, whether it is medically necessary or elective. Most surgical procedures will offer cascading health benefits.
For example, bariatric surgery can help a patient lose weight. When they lose weight, a patient often sees other health conditions improve, such as diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. When their health improves, they may be able to stop taking some of their prescription medications and avoid any potential side effects from those.
Talk to your patients about the potential life-changing improvements they might see if they choose to have surgery. How much would they save if they didn’t have numerous prescriptions to buy? What would they pay to have a higher quality of life?
Encourage your patients to visualize themselves in a happier, healthier state. Research has long shown that mental visualization can improve outcomes, even in physical health.
- Share Previous Success Stories
Preparing for surgery can make patients feel anxious and overwhelmed. When a patient learns about the experiences of other people who went through the same procedure, it can help them feel more comfortable and confident in their decision to have surgery. They can see the positive outcomes others experienced and may imagine themselves in the same situation.
To maximize the positive impact of patient success stories, you can share these stories online or in other marketing materials, if you get the full consent of your patients. For surgeries that cause a visual change in patients, before and after pictures can also be helpful.
To find compelling stories, try some of these approaches:
- Talk to your staff: Talk to staff in your facilities. See if they remember any particularly remarkable cases or patients. You can find good stories from both the patients and the healthcare professionals who care for them.
- Check social media: Many people routinely share their experiences online, especially if it was life-changing. Monitor social media channels for hashtags and other mentions of your facility.
- Choose the right sources: Once you have found a persuasive story, make sure you use it in the right place. Is this story going to attract new patients? Increase the diversity of your patients? The answers to questions like this will guide you to the appropriate use of the story. You also want to avoid overusing any single story.
- Emphasize Surgeon’s Expertise
Similar to sharing patient success stories, your practice should emphasize the expertise of your surgical team. Promote how many successful surgeries a surgeon has performed and what the outcomes of their patients were.
Consider adding online profiles where potential parents can get to know your healthcare team. These profiles should include pictures and information about degrees, specialties, and other valuable information.
- Show How Surgery Can Maximize Patients’ Potential
A surgery should improve a patient’s quality of life. It also has the potential to make them feel better about themselves. For some surgeries, there may not be a direct medical need, but a patient still feels uncomfortable about their bodies. For example, a person might get a rhinoplasty not because they are having trouble breathing, but to help themselves feel more confident. That improved confidence may help boost their overall health.
When a patient wants to pursue an elective surgery, talk to them about how they are investing in their future and well-being.
- Talk About Consequences of Not Having Surgery
While you should never try to scare your patients, sometimes talking about the consequences of not having surgery can trigger a response.
If a patient imagines themselves experiencing worsened health, they may feel more inclined to choose a health-improving surgery. A 2020 study showed that waiting to get an elective procedure can lead to increased anxiety, problems with quality of life, and a decline in general health.
Wellbe Can Help Your Organization Deliver More Value
If your healthcare organization has struggled to reach new patients, Wellbe is here to help. We specialize in helping surgical groups improve their messaging and increase their overall value. We work hard to promote improved relationships between patients and healthcare teams.
If you are ready to increase the value of your medical team, contact us today to get started.