Over the past year, COVID-19 has made it painstakingly clear how vital the healthcare industry and medical professionals are to our society. There’s never been any doubt about whether or not doctors and nurses are heroes, but when the pandemic forced them to become superhumans, they went above and beyond the call of duty. For many of those medical professionals, it was their faith that enabled them to answer the call.
Some of the country’s best medical practices are run by churches and other religious groups, so it makes great sense for religious organizations to open their own practices. For one, some people have religious preferences for specific treatments and procedures that a faith-based practice would be more likely to understand. Secondly, some people prefer to be treated by a professional of their same faith. If you’re considering opening a faith-based medical practice, continue reading to get some helpful tips.
Don’t use faith as a gimmick.
Even though some people prefer to entrust their care to medical professionals who practice the same religion, you don’t want to be too religious unless you actually practice your religion strictly. Remember, people are coming to you for their health issues. Still, they expect to see doctor’s coats instead of clergy robes when they enter your offices. In other words, your healthcare hat comes first. If a patient asks you for spiritual guidance or advice, you can step into your role as a minister. Otherwise, keep it about medicine. If your practice is faith-based, then you can incorporate religion into the name of your practice and let your beliefs guide your practice, but be authentic about your beliefs and keep medicine first.
Your customer service should set you apart.
One of the hardest things in life for people to endure is to hear from their doctor that they have a terminal illness. When it gets to the point that medical professionals don’t know what to do, where else can patients turn for hope?
When people receive terminal diagnoses, quite often, the first person they turn to outside of their immediate family is their pastor or someone else in their church. That’s because eternal hope is one of the most significant tenets of faith. Make that sense of hope and faith-based love for humanity the core tenets of your customer service approach.
People don’t often think of customer service when they think of visiting the doctor’s office. Still, the way people are treated in the waiting and examination rooms significantly impacts customer satisfaction. When hiring front office personnel, it’s key to look for people who embody your values and express them through their customer service.
Even though you have faith, you still need insurance.
Speaking of trust, it would be best if you were to get medical malpractice insurance. Even if your offices aren’t open for in-person visits, and you only provide virtual care, you could still be subject to lawsuits if a patient feels they received improper care. Telemedicine malpractice insurance is the best way to protect your office against lawsuits from unhappy patients who you treated with an online telemedicine appointment who might be trying to make a quick buck at your expense.
Even though you’re a religious-based practice and want to help people who couldn’t otherwise afford healthcare, you need to secure your practice against false claims. You won’t be of any help to anyone if a malpractice suit puts you out of business.
Offer a variety of payment options.
Even though patients often choose faith-based medical practices because of the emotional and spiritual support they know they’ll receive, they also expect you to be more understanding of their financial situations. Exorbitant healthcare costs have forced many people into borrowing against an inheritance to pay their medical bills and make ends meet.
One thing Christian medical practices are known for, outside of providing exceptional care, is working with patients in difficult financial situations. You certainly can’t afford to provide healthcare for free, but you should provide options, such as a sliding scale, for uninsured people who can’t afford out-of-pocket healthcare costs on their own.
Unfortunately, even though the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped to cover millions of uninsured people, there are still millions more uninsured, unemployed, and unable to pay for a visit to the doctor. Working with patients to ensure they receive adequate care regardless of their financial situations is one way to put the care in healthcare.
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