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Mark Hinton

Getting Patient Buy-In So They Fill That Supplement Recommendation

A script for prescription compliance.

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THIS IS A real conversation that took place recently, and takes place frequently in every practice prescribing nutritional supplementation for macular degeneration patients:

You, the eye doctor, determine that the patient has macular degeneration or they’re at risk, and you “recommend” a nutritional supplement for your patient. Then they look at you and may say: “Oh honey, I’m on medicare, I don’t know if I can afford that right now!” … Your patient did not hear just how important your advice is. But when people understand what they stand to lose, they more often accept your “prescribed” advice and treatment plan.

Revisit a comparison between their current image; what you found in their eye, with an internet image of a blown-retina, contrasting a “blown out” eye side-by-side and have a candid doctor-to-patient dialog so they can understand the true gravity of potential vision loss. Make this important the first time, get patient buy-in, and you just may get your patient to accept your prescribed advice.

Doctor: “Pat, what I’m going to share with you at this moment is especially important for you! See, this spot right here [point to patient early detection image] is threatening your eye health and vision, and this image demonstrates [point to the blown retina] what often happens over time when neglected. I don’t want this for you. I’m going to prescribe this [pick up and show a sample bottle of your choice] specific essential supplement to try and slow or reverse this process in your eyes. If we make a plan today, we could possibly avoid severe vision loss going forward, that may otherwise rob you of your sight in the future. The goal you and I should have together is to do everything possible to keep your eyes from getting to this state right here [point to the blown retina]. Does this comparison help you understand why this is so important for you?”

Patient: “Can I get it at the drug store?”

Doctor: “Not in this formulation Pat, because the professional grade I am prescribing is balanced with the essential nutrients I feel will benefit you the best! I make it easy for you to purchase them today during your visit, so you don’t end up confused in the aisles of the drug store wondering which you should use. Is that helpful?”

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This dialog is not intended to scare; it’s intended to grab their attention and make it important for them, personally, so they will fill your prescription.

At checkout: “Pat, as you know, Dr. Wise prescribed the MacuHealth eye vitamins to improve your retinal health. You’ll see her again for your eye health follow-up in X months and I’ll schedule that for you today. Each bottle is a one-a-day 90-day supply. Patients typically purchase two bottles at $XX to have the complete supply on hand until they see their doctor again; this saves you $XX. Does the two bottle make the most sense for you, too?”

Mark Hinton is a practice owner, as well as CEO and president of eYeFacilitate, a private practice consultancy. A sought-after ABO/COPE approved practice management expert, with eYeFacilitate he helps practices drive optical efficiencies, maximize managed care revenue and profit, improve capture, and increase revenue through simple systems with a focused process. Email him at [email protected]

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