Harry Beckwith in his book Selling the Invisible tells about a carpenter who was called in for a house call. The house owner could not figure out where the creaking sound on his floor was coming from. The carpenter walked around the room . Then he started to hammer at a certain area.
Suddenly the creaking noise was gone! So how much do I owe you for this? the house owner asked.
What? Such price for just hammering my floor! That’s outrageous! The carpenter calmly responded,
I am not charging you for hammering the floor. I am charging you for knowing where to hammer.
The issue of charging patients for our services is a very difficult and delicate matter to discuss.
Most often because there are really no written guidelines.
Another reason is the numerous factors to consider in setting it.
So how much is just right?
Dr. Guia Tan, a consultant in our hospital gave us a very insightful way of approaching this delicate issue of professional fees. Here are some excerpts from her talk .
First the facts.
Most of us are on a fee for service structure (we are paid for every service we render or patient we see).
We earn a living through the fees we receive.
We have an obligation to ourselves and those who depend on us.
But we also have an obligation to society.
We have an obligation to preserve the standing of the profession but we are expected to regulate ourselves.
This issue about fees requires perspective, sometimes differing perspectives.
For some patients, high fees may mean that they are esteemed and are actually proud to be paying much.
Others do not mind the fees at all as long as they feel it is worth it.
It is also important to consider who actually “provide” the resources. For the uninsured, others may provide the resources. Or the state takes care of it.
Decision on how much to charge is also a matter of asking ourselves who will be affected by such decision and what its effect will be.