Doctors Service Group

Why and how to educate your patients on uninsured services 

Every year, due to increases in healthcare costs, the Ministry delists insured services that they no longer deem medically necessary. The list of uninsured services continues to increase but the changes are not directly communicated to the patients. As a result, many patients are surprised to discover that not all their medical needs are covered under provincial health plans, and the responsibility falls upon the doctors to educate them.

We know that managing uninsured services on your own can be challenging and results in spending a significant amount of time educating patients and setting up billing processes.

Why is Charging for Uninsured Services Important?

There are many reasons why physicians choose not to charge their patients for uninsured services including:

  • Doctors don’t think patients will pay for these services.
  • They feel uncomfortable educating and charging patients.
  • They don’t have the time and resources to create invoices and collect payments.

However, we are now seeing an increasing number of patients who understand the value and are willing to pay for their uninsured services, especially through an annual block fee.


For many patients, it’s easier to pay one annual fee instead of dealing with the hassle of multiple invoices. This is particularly true for patients who know that they will utilize several non-covered administrative services over the course of the fee period. Signing up for an annual block fee can provide substantial savings for patients who frequently request something that is not covered by provincial health plans.

Display of appreciation

Many patients understand that administrative services take up valuable staff time and resources and sign up for their physician’s annual fee out of respect for their doctor’s work.

Furthermore, ensuring that you are getting paid for the care that you provide will allow you to:

  • Provide the best quality of care for your patients through increased revenue.
  • Expand your accessibility through hiring additional staff, purchasing better tools, and optimizing your processes.

How to Educate Your Patients

Educating patients about uninsured services is crucial to help them make informed decisions about their healthcare options. Here are some strategies to effectively educate patients about uninsured services.

1 – Provide Direct Communication

    Physicians must directly communicate with the patient about any fees that will be charged before providing an uninsured service, the reasons for the lack of coverage, and provide information on available payment options.

    If the physician is charging more than the amount recommended in the provincial guides, the physician must also communicate that with the patient.

    2 – Provide Clear and Comprehensive Information

    Supplementary to direct communication, physicians should also create patient education materials and brochures to be shared in the office, as well as online resources. Make sure the information is presented in a clear and accessible manner, using simple language and visual aids when appropriate.

    We also recommend including details about common uninsured services and their costs. Explain why these services may not be covered by the province and what alternatives are available.

    3 – Personalize the Information

    Tailor the educational content to the specific needs and preferences of your patient base. Consider their demographic, health conditions, and previous experiences to make the information relevant and relatable.

    If applicable, use patient stories or testimonials to illustrate the potential benefits or challenges of uninsured services. Real-life examples can help patients understand the practical implications and outcomes.

    4 – Discuss Financial Considerations

    Address the financial aspect of uninsured services openly and transparently. Some patients may benefit more from an annual block fee rather than fee for service and vice versa – explain the potential costs involved and provide resources for patients to explore the options.

    5 – Follow Up and Support

    Offer ongoing support to patients who are reconsidering or have opted for uninsured services.

    Patient education is an ongoing process, and it’s important to regularly update information to reflect any changes in uninsured services and available resources.

    Patient Education Support with Doctors Services Group

    We know that the work involved in setting up your uninsured services program can be overwhelming and can add additional workload to already stretched staff. Doctors Services Group can help in many ways including:

    • Developing comprehensive, customized materials educating patients on what uninsured medical services are and how they are managed for use in the office.
    • Creating clear, customizable fee guides explaining the cost for services not covered under provincial health insurance.
    • Providing high touch, personal contact with your patient to answer all their questions and alleviate any concerns.
    • Sending out personalized patient communications with clear contact and payment details, by both regular mail and email.

    By taking on these tasks, Doctors Services frees up valuable time and resources for your medical practice to focus on more important medical duties.

    If you have any questions on how we can help support you and your patient education or would like a free assessment of the revenue our annual fee program could bring to your practice, don’t hesitate to email us at


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