By Joe Casper, MBA COE

 

I consider myself a relatively intelligent, savvy professional without bragging or boasting. I’ve parlayed college and MBA degrees into a successful business career. Despite these credentials and experience, I know how it feels to suffer sunk-cost bias. With sunk-cost bias, you invest in a decision monetarily and emotionally that paralyzes you from making informed course corrections.

Sunk-Stock Bias

At a previous company, I purchased many company shares that proven experts ultimately envisioned going from around $225 (at the time) to over $300 and beyond. I bought them in the mid-$100s. The company was fundamentally sound, had good management, and its product/R&D portfolio appeared robust. I was excited (and anxious) to ride the stock to riches.

Unfortunately, several regulatory and compliance issues popped up, and the stock began losing value. I, however, refused to believe what I was hearing and seeing. I had a blind spot for this stock. I just “knew” setbacks were temporary, and the stock would bounce back and blast its way to the numbers the experts predicted. I held on and on and on. Of course, the stock never did bounce back and eventually slipped below my original purchase price. I lost a significant amount of money, both in principle and in expected profit. In this case, my sunk-cost bias was a sunk-stock bias.

Patient Recapture Bias

We hear practice administrators, managers, C-Suite, and physician leaders share that they are already using a recall system that sends out reminders via email & text. They’re already paying for a patient recall software subscription and their practice management system. Many believe all we need to do is set our system in place and forget it. This mindset is where sunk-cost bias affects practice performance. 

Recall and recapture are not the same thing but two different animals. Based on our experience working with successful healthcare practices, even with a recall system sending out reminders, there are typically 1,000 to 2,000 patients per provider that have not been cared for over the past 12 months and beyond. Wow, how could this be? We are already investing money and resources to solve this. Based on the Aloha Study, an ophthalmology practice white paper, a seven-provider practice should be able to recapture over $600,000 in collections if they recaptured a conservative number of these patients over 12 months but sunk cost bias is in the way.

Lesson Learned

I learned a valuable life lesson about sunk-cost bias with my stock mishap. I knew that, regardless of my financial and business background, I should not have made the decision(s) I made all by myself. This negative experience taught me that I was no different than any other confident healthcare leader who “knows how to make decisions and take care of business.” Of course, in this case, the problem was that I lacked the objective, independent information, and expertise I needed to make a sound business decision. I acted in a vacuum. I was blind to my blind spot, and it cost me big time. Don’t let your flawed patient recall perspective have you miss out on a practice performance accelerator.

Brevium Can Help

At Brevium, we use data science and a proven approach to help healthcare leaders overcome lost patient blind spots and recapture patients based on a practice’s unique needs.

Honest. 

Everyone at Brevium embraces transparency. Our approach to successfully meeting the needs of our practices means we make all decisions together as a team, per mutually agreed upon – and realistic – patient recapture goals and objectives. There is never a hidden agenda and no pressure to act. We will never ignore your blind spots, nor will we fall victim to blind spots of our own. We want to help you make the best, most educated decisions possible.

Objective. 

All our practice relationships are open, honest, genuine, and goal oriented. When you join the Brevium as a customer, you enter a blind-spot-free lost patient zone. Your success is our success. Your satisfaction is our satisfaction. While we will give you the best guidance and expertise possible, rest assured that everything you learn from us is based on your current patient information and data.

Independent. 

We help you recapture lost patients based on your unique needs. We will not try to influence you in a way that is not mutually acceptable based on what we know about you and what you know about your practice. We aim to expose your lost patient blind spots and biases and eliminate them.

Respectful. 

We want to know you as a person and healthcare leader. We want to understand what is crucial to your practice’s success and what doesn’t. We want to know what makes your practice tick. The better we understand you, the better we can customize a meaningful, blind-spot-free patient recapture plan and build a respect-based, mutually beneficial relationship that lasts a lifetime.

Bye-Bye Sunk Cost Bias

Eliminating sunk-cost bias from your patient recapture decisions – let’s all say goodbye to blind spots – is a paramount objective embraced by all members of Brevium. Our overarching goal is to maximize your ability to accelerate practice growth without regret or looking back at missed opportunities. Let us show us your blind spots and your biases around lost patient recapture so you can celebrate success.