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The Power of Patient FOMO (Fear of Missed Opportunity)


Price is only an issue in the absence of value.

We all make choices every day. Sometimes there are small things we choose between – for example, deciding between a sandwich or a salad for lunch. Other times, there are much larger decisions: do you buy the car of your dreams or get something more practical, take the new job offer or stay in your current job, build your savings or splurge on a vacation.

Regardless of what options you are weighing, we always consider the risk and potential benefits. However, with every decision comes the opportunity costs, or what you will miss out on if you pick one alternative over the other.

Just like many experience the growing phenomenon of FOMO (fear of missing out) on experiences, there is essentially what we like to call another type of FOMO – a fear of missed opportunity, which occurs when prospective patients are considering a medical procedure or sometimes after the fact, when it’s too late.

When it comes to choosing between you and another practice, they too are assessing the benefit and opportunity costs. The prospective patient who is looking to minimize their cost, may be initially attracted to a low offer, but they may be overlooking key benefits of paying more to get better results, care, and an overall experience.

When it comes to medical procedures, we all know cost is not the same as price. In fact, selecting a practice based on price alone is probably the worst decision they could make.

In the words of Ben Franklin, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” That’s why it’s so important to point out the opportunity costs to consider that can impact time, health, and quality of life:

  • the cost of having a poorly performed procedure and results that aren’t what they expected
  • the cost of the potential extra downtime
  • the cost of not getting the care and attention they need
  • the cost of having to re-do the procedure if the results don’t last as long as they should

Then of course, there are the costs of not moving forward with the procedure at all. For LASIK candidates, it could mean more years of dealing with glasses or contacts, which is not only expensive but can impair quality of life. For the plastic surgery patient, it may mean continuing to live life burdened by a physical issue.

The idea is never to scare the patient or instill fear, but to educate them on all the risks and benefits associated with their decision and their alternatives.


Communicating Your Value

The reality is, a patient has one chance to pick the right practice and physician to perform a procedure. It’s usually a significant expense, so cost tends to be a key focus. But when a prospect is fixated on a low price, it’s a sign they are more worried about over-paying and less aware of the important benefits they would get by choosing you.

When it comes to that, be fully transparent with your pricing rather than trying to avoid the discussion. It’s not something you should hide, but rather it opens up the discussion of why it’s worth paying more for quality, trust, experience, and technology.

“Simply looking at price is not an “apples to apples” approach. When a caller mentions a very low price, I typically will indicate some of the reasons why there may be a variation in cost. For example, there may be a significant difference in technology. A practice that has a low price probably does not use the latest technology and it’s important to know that when you are doing your research.”

Angela Grewe, OptiCall Director of Remote Operations & Practice Liaison

Hear more from Angela on this topic

Ultimately, when it comes to a decision about health, a patient doesn’t want the cheapest provider, they want the best value. The goal is to help them move forward confidently and FOMO-free, with no regrets.