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Online reviews - Do they matter? If so what should you do about it?

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  • #16
    Adding to my comment above.......best thing I like about my practice is not "practice of medicine"  .....we do not take Credit Cards :P  I am not paying 2.9% + transaction fee to receive a penny, I am not paying for someone's travel rewards. Most patients complain but they do come up with cash or check. If a check bounces, we charge a fee and coupe bounces and we stop providing service. If someone leaves because of this policy, let them.

     

     

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    • #17
      I have always taken credit cards.  I was amazed at the number of patients who "left their checkbook at home."  Yes you lose that 2% but probably equals out with cost of billing them later.

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      • #18
        Reviews can be funny too. I had a bad review once that stated patient wasn’t seen until 15 minutes after appointment time and I only spent 45 minutes with them.  I was actually proud of the review.

        I had a second episode where a 20 something year old was to be seen to establish physician relationship, when an elderly cancer victim in a wheelchair on oxygen who was in respiratory distress was wheeled into office. Ambulance called immediately and started attempts to stabilize him. Ambulance crew arrived and carried out patient to ambulance clearly seen by patient. Patient than left saying it was unfair that the other patient was seen ahead of him since he was there first.

        Complaints/reviews cannot all be taken seriously. Just do your best and treat others as you would want your family to be treated

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        • #19
          I agree with the consensus that it is entirely specialty-driven.  I think its really funny people take the time to review anesthesiologists or ED docs, as if people have much of a choice.

          Myself, I rely on referrals, and I have good online reviews (which I've worked to solicit), and so I pretty frequently get patients in my clinic who say their reason for seeing me was they "found me online and liked my reviews".  I also think its important to have good reviews because, at this point, if some disgruntled person with a bad attitude did leave poor feedback online, it wouldn't do much of anything to budge my overall star rating.  (And as I type "overall star rating" it makes me really depressed about my line of work all the sudden...)

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          • #20
            the biller will take their % regardless.

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            • #21




              The problem with reviews is that the people who are satisfied never leave positive ratings but the dissatisfied ones are the first to post a bad review.

               
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              The other problem, of course, is that if you're actually practicing good medicine you SHOULD be making some patients unhappy (the anti-vaccine crowd, the drug-seekers, the folks who want antibiotics for a cold, etc.).

              The practice of medicine shouldn't be like ordering a Whopper at Burger King.  Patients shouldn't automatically "have it their way."

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              • #22




                we do not take Credit Cards ???? I am not paying 2.9% + transaction fee to receive a penny, I am not paying for someone’s travel rewards. Most patients complain but they do come up with cash or check. If a check bounces, we charge a fee and coupe bounces and we stop providing service. If someone leaves because of this policy, let them.
                Click to expand...






                Yes you lose that 2% but probably equals out with cost of billing them later.
                Click to expand...


                About a couple of years ago all that changed with Visa and MasterCard. As a part of settlement with DOJ they agreed merchants can charge up to 4% above the cost of goods as long as it was clearly posted policy. Previously they had only allowed discounts for cash, not a mark up for credit ( hence the cash price discount in gas stations).

                The catch is that Amex is not part of the settlement and still does not allow added surcharge. Visa and MasterCard state that the policy you apply to their cards hould apply to all credit cards you take. So we have no choice but to decline to take Amex, but we take Visa and MasterCard with a 3% surcharge.

                Our policy is posted on the appointment glass window

                Cash - no surcharge

                Checks - no surcharge but if you bounce you pay $35 fee and no future check acceptance

                Credit cards - Visa and MasterCard accepted with 3.0% surcharge to pay for the credit card processing fees.

                Surprisingly many patients do not mind the surcharge, especially when a $100 bill can add only $3 when their Starbucks "double latte mocha espresso" can cost $6. The stingy ones are the Medicare crowd paying their $15-20 copay with cash or check and worried about the extra $0.45 expense. I guess many of the super savers here, including me, will fall in that group  

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                • #23
                  Good to know re: Surcharge. That helps. But, I have not had many (if any) patients leaving due to this so I don't mind taking cash   . My staff has become good at indicating that we take cash only and charge $10 extra if we have to bill for copay that is not paid at the time of visit. Personally, at times I feel these rules are insane but in reality good patients understand and comply.

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                  • #24




                    Good to know re: Surcharge. That helps. But, I have not had many (if any) patients leaving due to this so I don’t mind taking cash  ???? . My staff has become good at indicating that we take cash only and charge $10 extra if we have to bill for copay that is not paid at the time of visit. Personally, at times I feel these rules are insane but in reality good patients understand and comply.
                    Click to expand...


                    Cash is good for the simple $15-30 copays but now we have patients who have to meet their deductible and owe $150-300 at a time. Rather than let it accumulate we try and collect it before the next visit. For those paying by credit card, it is easier than cash for them and we don't have to turn away a patient and reschedule the visit.

                    Our collections have increased with the arrival of credit card machine. We use Elavon gotten via Costco and our monthly fee is usually $20-25.

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                    • #25




                      One has a right to express him/herself and cannot (should not) be stopped from doing so. Most of my practice is by word of mouth; I don’t have even one online review, I don’t have a website……..and yet no time to breathe. If anyone decides to not see you because of one bad review, you better don’t see him/her.
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                      I was talking about this issue with a colleague today, who is in the military reserves. Apparently, a friend in the military, an OB/GYN, was discharged after an ultrasound tech with whom he worked a single shift accused him of groping her while she was plugging in a machine in front of the patient. They interviewed the patient, who denied seeing the grope, and the OB/GYN nonetheless received a swift dismissal. He had a perfect record up to that point and was stunned by the accusation and shocked his swift termination.

                      We have come to the point in society that there is no due process for such claims, and this social media rating of docs is an example. At least on Yelp or Trip Advisor, the hotel owner or chef can tell his/her side of the story. On WebMD or Health Grades, we get put up like piñatas.

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                      • #26
                        My friend and what I've had to deal with as a pt is a good strategy. Make pts pay before their visit, makes it much more likely to be collected as they havent received the service first. Weird how medicine operates so backwards.

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                        • #27
                          Agree with Vagabond MD. I remember a case of a Plastic surgeon who tried to block a review got sued and lost. One can tell his/her side of the story if possible or just ignore it.

                           

                          @ Zaphod- We put an ATM machine next to the office.....extra revenue from people who forgot to bring cash. Don't gas stations have it?

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                          • #28
                            We try to get copays and especially surgical copays prior to the patient being called back.  Sometimes the patient does not know the amount and we can't figure it out ahead of time.

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