Biases in Healthcare: The Hidden Culprits Preventing Increased Revenue

Increasing revenue in medical practices is often not simple.

Increasing revenue in medical practices is often not simple. You can’t simply raise prices to battle wage inflation and reimbursement challenges. When searching for ways to help your bottom line - there is a hidden culprit that is likely affecting you in all areas. Bias. Everyone battles bias - the business that anticipates the biases that their customers are battling are the ones that come out on top.

Five specific biases can be particularly damaging when it comes to generating increased income.

1. Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is the tendency to favor information that confirms pre-existing beliefs or hypotheses. This can be dangerous in a medical practice, as patients may have a pre-existing belief about things you don’t even realize.

For example:

A patient calls the office - they are immediately placed on hold.

In the patient's mind, they are thinking, “I knew it. They don’t care. I am just a number to them,” and hang up the phone before even getting the chance to see if this is true or not.

Don’t think this happens? See what kind of data is available to you on hang-ups to your practice.

2. Ambiguity Effect

Ambiguity effect is the tendency for us to avoid options that we feel are missing information. If something is unclear, we want to stay away from it. If a physician is describing a procedure in words that make sense to them, but not the patient, the patient is less likely to choose that option despite how great of a decision it is.

3. Availability Bias

This is when people base decisions on information that is readily available in their mind rather than considering all relevant facts or consulting with experts. In your medical practice, you might see this as a patient writing off a treatment or procedure you know will help them simply because they knew someone, who knew someone, who had a cousin that received the procedure, and it did not help.

Without understanding how to overcome this bias, your practice will likely miss out on helping a patient, along with the revenue opportunity the procedure could bring to your practice.

4. Framing Effect

As Humans, our decisions are heavily influenced by how they are presented to us. This is the framing effect. You may see the impact of the farming effect when talking about the risks and outcomes of specific procedures or medications.

Let’s say you have a procedure that has a 95% success rate, pretty great, right?

Instead of presenting it that way to your patient, you say, “The procedure has a 5% failure rate.”

The information is the same, but the action (or inaction) your patient will take from the differing statements would shock you.

5. Status Quo Bias

The status quo bias is when people prefer to maintain the existing situation rather than trying something new or making changes. There is risk in change for patients in pain. They are thinking, “What if I end up in more pain” or “What if my quality of life doesn’t improve.” To the physician, these are not rational because you know you can help them. But without understanding that a patient is going through status quo bias - you can’t overcome it.

Beat your patients to the thoughts you know they are likely having - “You are likely scared that somehow making a change could land you in a worse position than today. I have completed this procedure X number of times and have not had a patient experience that.”


The biases discussed above are just a few of those that may be impacting a medical practice's ability to increase revenue. By understanding how these biases work and being mindful of them when making decisions, medical practitioners can significantly increase their chances of success. With careful consideration and an open mind, a practice can be well on its way to greater financial prosperity just by battling the biases they now understand.

Next Steps

Identifying the areas where bias may be impacting your practice is just the first step. Once you’ve examined your own biases, it’s important to create a plan of action for addressing them.

For example…

- Are you losing callers due to confirmation bias? Perhaps it is time for a better patient experience.

- Are you battling availability bias? Are your patients not open to the treatment options healthy for them and your practice? Perhaps it's time to drive motivated and educated patients to your practice.

Don’t let biases impact your revenue.

Recognizing our patient biases is a critical part of making sure we don’t inadvertently stand in the way of our own practice’s financial success. By being mindful and taking steps to address any potential issues, you can create an environment that is focused on evidence-based decision making. Doing so will help ensure that your practice is not held back by any hidden biases, but instead, is well-positioned for growth and increased revenue.

You don’t have to keep walking the physician tightrope

Join hundreds of other physicians who have transformed their practice.
Connect with Physician Growth Accelerator
Physician Growth Accelerator  Logo

Where we specialize in guiding physicians on a transformative journey for their medical practices.

Privacy Policy
powered by
TrackableMed Logo