Why We “Protect Our Profits.”
For many providers, there is a constant tension around money that exists within each of our patient interactions. One provider described it as, “a collision between my favorite and least favorite parts of life… caring for others and worrying about money.”
It’s Not a problem to solve. It’s a tension to manage.
Before we venture any further, it’s important to realize that this not a problem to solve—it’s a tension to manage. Said differently, if all we think about as providers is patient care, our entire practice will be on a path to financial ruin. And if all we think about is profit, we will be on a path to not having any patients to care for.
Medicine + Capitalism
Dr. Atul Gawande has written about some of the most difficult aspects of being a care provider in a capitalistic economy. In his best-seller, Better, he writes…
“Medicine in a capitalistic economy can be quite difficult. We often know the most intricate solutions, but we allow the question of ‘Can this patient afford this?’ to pollute our patient-provider relationship.
In these situations, if we are being honest with ourselves, the only thing polluting the relationship is the presumption that patients only want access to a small portion of our training and care. That’s downright offensive—perhaps, even unethical.”
At Skin Raleigh and Davis & Pyle Plastic Surgery, we refuse to allow our baggage about “feeling salesy” and “up-selling” to get in the way of serving patients at the highest level they desire to be served.
Are we sensitive to different financial commitment levels? Of course. We take extensive measures to help ensure a patient fully understands their treatment options and related outcomes. But we leave the question of “How much can I afford?” to the patient.