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Working with Difficult Patients- Final

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Start here first: Working with Patients You Want to Punch in the Face.

Difficult Patient Final:  The Rejecter

Problem:  New patient arrives and is handed the stack of in-office forms they refused to complete online.  When the paperwork is returned, all that is completed is name and rank.  They decide which x-rays are necessary and reject the rest.  You manage to make it through the initial exam and present necessary treatment.  They reject your offer and counter, willing to pay less, in cash, and you don’t notify their insurance.

Reality:  Rejecters have high fear and low trust.  They control and dictate to reduce the amount of anxiety and harm they think is about to be thrust upon them.  Their goal is to get the care they know they need while feeling safe and comfortable.  Your processes, systems, and policies often go against what they have predetermined unreasonable because they don’t understand the purpose behind it.  Fear of the unknown is the Rejecters Achilles heel.

Solution: Working with Rejecters requires patience.  Patience because building trust isn’t something that happens quickly.  It takes effort and commitment from you and the team first.  The Rejecter will want to see a demonstration of your efforts before they are willing to let go of their control.  Creating win-win-win situations, in place of compromise, is another must for winning over the Rejector.  When you compromise, someone comes out on top (win) and someone on the bottom (loses).  Never a good situation.  Win-win-win situations only happen when you feel as if you got what you want, the patient got what they wanted, and there is positive revenue for the office attached to it.  Bottom line, don’t give up anything you will walk away regretting and don’t regret anything that is easy to walk away from.

Final Step:  As a reminder of how to work with difficult patients, print this blog series and post in your office and break room or place in a learning binder.  They can be an important reminder of the importance of working with all types of patients.

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