One of the more frustrating aspects of running a medical practice is the constant calls and emails asking about the cost of procedures. This annoys doctors because it makes them feel that their training and expertise accounts for nothing. As though, all that really matters is “how much is this gonna cost me?!” But doctors also need to recognize that just because someone asks about price doesn’t necessarily make them a price shopper.
Two types of price shoppers
When people ask about price, there are those simply calling each office trying to find the cheapest doctor with no regard to quality or certification. Those are the patients doctors supposedly don’t want.
The other type is the person who has a genuine curiosity about price. Just like they wouldn’t go to an open house without knowing the cost of the home, or wouldn’t go to the dealership without knowing the cost of a car, they don’t want to waste their time on a consult if they can’t afford it. This of course, is very reasonable.
But sometimes doctors send mixed messages.
But do doctors really dislike price shoppers?
On the one hand, doctors say they don’t want price shoppers for the reasons stated above. This is also why they don’t list pricing on their website because then it looks like they’re trying to compete on price or indulge the patient by saying, “here’s the cost, that’s all that matters!”