Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

February 19, 2019




Hi Jennifer,

My patients don't understand how insurance works and why they need to pay a co-pay or deductible. We have this in our financial forms and our receptionist tells them this, but it seems as though it goes through one ear and out the other.  I have patients who are very happy with the treatment they received but once they receive the bill, they turn into a completely different person and post false information. Any tips with online reviews? It really hurts doctors who try to provide good care.  I am not the type of person who asks patients to post reviews so of course all of the disgruntled patients with billing issues will lie so they won't have to pay their bills.

Dr. P



I hear this issue on a weekly basis now - managing your online
reputation and imprint.  You are on the mark that many of your colleagues are facing monetary complaints as opposed to treatment, professionalism, knowledge or results.  Of course payment obligation is between patient and payor, for the most, part with your office caught in the cross fire.  HIPAA is my major concern when combating a particular patient online.  You are very exposed targeting a patient with a specific fact based response.  You are also not likely going to be successful challenging or requesting the posting medium remove or bump down the negative review.   The best answer I can give has three options, not mutually exclusive, as follows:

1. You can request all patients who have had a positive experience to please write a review, with the hope to bury bad reviews (usually effective);

2. You can pay to play with the reviewing companies for better treatment (less palatable); and/or

3.  You can call or discuss with the patient directly (confront) and ask they remove the negative review, perhaps even going so far as offering a refund in exchange for a release (unpalatable but very effective). 

Should you elect the third option, let me know if you need our help as intermediary or for a release agreement. Do not refund any money without obtaining a release with written assurances of the review removal (and after confirmation of same).  

Hope this helps!