Tested-Not-Treated Patients — What Is Your Follow-Up Plan?

Mar 29, 2022 | Marketing, Professional Development

You diagnose your patient with a hearing loss, but they don’t move forward with your recommended treatment plan. Is it a missed opportunity — or just a delayed one?


The Tested-Not-Treated Patient

Every provider, no matter how effective, has patients who decide not to treat their hearing loss. The reasons range from the simple (they need their family physician’s approval) to the complex (they can’t see beyond the cost to the value of treatment).

But there are only three possible outcomes:

  • They remain untreated
  • They seek treatment with a competitor
  • They return to you for treatment

So how do you ensure that when they’re ready to treat their hearing loss, your practice is top of mind?


The Power of Outreach

We guarantee your competitors bombard your patients with messaging and offers on a weekly, if not daily, basis. That doesn’t mean you should bombard them to keep up. It means you have a chance to stand out — by being authentic.

Be intentional with your communication efforts. Make sure you’re adding value, not clutter, to their lives. It can be simple, such as scribbling a handwritten note on a form letter or calling them personally to follow up on their hearing health.

Authentic outreach:

  • Maintains your relationship with your current patients
  • Educates prospects so they make informed decisions
  • Sets your practice apart from your competitors
  • Generates a consistent source of opportunities
  • Protects your investment in your database

Block Scheduling

Make it a priority to follow up with your tested-not-treated patients. If you use a block schedule already, include these follow-ups in the blocks each week. Devote at least an hour each to preparing letters and making calls.

If you’re not already using a block schedule, consider implementing one.


A Clean Patient Database

Making sure your patient database is clean means removing inaccurate information and replacing it with accurate and up-to-date information.

How often you need to clean your database depends on how big your practice is, how much information you collect, and how careful your team is when entering data.

Why do this? Clean data provides massive benefits at every level, such as:

  • Reduction in costs
  • Streamlining of internal processes
  • Reduction of patient attrition
  • Anticipation of trends
  • More effective patient care
  • More positive outcomes


The Tested-Not-Treated Process

The process begins at the same appointment where you diagnose the hearing loss and they opt out of treatment. Through step four, the provider should be the point of contact — they established the connection and have the emotional tie-in with the patient.

Before each step of the process, review the patient’s pain points and objections.


1. Provide points for reflection

Send the patient home with one of these worksheets tailored to their objections. This will help them understand this stage in their journey as well as keep you top of mind.


Hearing awareness homework

Develop a worksheet with writing prompts about their hearing lifestyle pain points. They’ll develop an awareness of how hearing loss affects their daily life. Plus, they’ll come to their own conclusions about next steps.


Important considerations checklist

Develop a checklist of what sets your practice apart from other independent practices and the corporate chains. These should be aspects that truly define your value and that you feel any hearing-care experience should include. It will be a good reference if they visit your competitors.


2. Send a handwritten note

Twenty-four hours later, mail a handwritten thank-you card to stand out from the competition.


3. Mail a tested-not-treated letter

One week after the appointment, send a short, simple letter. Show that you understand their objections, and be sure to review their options. Include a handwritten note for that personal touch.


4. Call to follow up personally

The letter is setting the stage for this follow-up call. It’s the most important part of the process — you get to provide an even more personal touch, and you can directly address any objections. Call three business days after the letter is mailed.

This is not a sales call; it is a conversation. That’s the key to this step. This is a time to reconnect with the patient and learn their thoughts, mindset, and plans for their hearing. A rapport goes much further than a sales pitch.


5. Mail a private-sale letter

Four weeks after the appointment, mail a letter that discusses one technology option or offers savings.


6. Include them in regular patient communications

Keep them in your database so they receive things like newsletters, e-newsletters, and annual exam reminders.


7. Touch base every six months

At this point, outreach is handled by the front-office staff or the person tasked with this duty. Send a tested-not-treated letter every six months, then follow up by phone after three days. This will keep you top of mind if they decide to pursue treatment.

It’s important enough to repeat: It is not a sales call; it is a conversation. This is a time to reconnect with the patient and learn their thoughts, mindset, and plans for their hearing.

This is just an overview of how to position your practice as your tested-not-treated patients’ first thought when they’re ready to treat their hearing loss. Reach out to one of our team members today to learn more!