Patient care plans are vital for the success of your chiropractic office. However, sometimes patients need to cancel their care plans and you may not be able to prevent them from doing so. If this happens, it can be frustrating for you as well as your patient. It’s important to remember that cancellations happen and that some situations are beyond your control. In this article we’ll discuss how you can deal with patient cancellations in the most professional way possible while maintaining the quality of care your patients need.
Don’t take it personally.
Patients have the right to cancel their appointments and while it’s understandable that you might take it personally when someone cancels, remember that it’s rarely about you or your clinic. So don’t take it to heart.
There may be patients who are now unable to afford treatment. Many patients can’t afford out-of-pocket costs for visits and procedures, which means they’ll have to cancel if their financial situation changes.
Patients may not have enough time available. Whether due to work commitments or family responsibilities like childcare needs during regular business hours, most people don’t have much flexibility when scheduling doctor appointments.If something comes up, some will just have to cancel their care plan as a result.
Offer solutions and alternatives.
If a patient cancels on you, be flexible and offer alternatives. If they cannot make it to the appointment, offer them another time that works for both of you. If they have trouble paying for treatment, consider offering payment plans or other financial options such as insurance coverage or government assistance programs. If they cancel and would be working with another doctor, let them go but also let them know that they are welcome to come back if they ever need anything.
Be empathetic and understanding with your patients.
When a patient cancels an appointment and/or their care plan, be empathetic and understanding. Patients have busy lives and sometimes things come up that prevent them from being able to make it in for their appointment or complete their treatment. You don’t want to make your patients feel bad about canceling an appointment, but it’s also important to try to save it. Like mentioned previously, try to offer solutions and alternatives. However, if the patient still insists then, by all means, let them go and tell them that the doors will always be open if they decide to come back and resume care.
What happens if the patient asks for a refund? The answer here is very simple. Just charge them for their latest visit and refund the rest. You don’t want to burn that bridge.
Cancellations are a part of life, and you can’t control them. What you can do is be understanding and empathetic with your patients when they have to cancel an appointment or discontinue their treatment. If you’re able to offer solutions or alternatives for their needs, then that will help them feel more comfortable about rescheduling/resuming at another time. At the very least, make sure that you tell them that they are welcome to come back.
Interested to know more about how to design patient care plans for your office? Get on a 30-minute free consultation with me and let’s talk about business.