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You Are What You Charge For

Earlier this year, I had the chance to visit a refractive surgeon with a remarkable reputation for price integrity.  No discounts. Ever. For anyone.  Including staff and family members. The practice is extremely well run and highly productive.  

In my 20+ years of working with elective practices, I have rarely come across one that had a clear sense of the value their services provide and how that translates to the fees they charge patients. Their fee schedule has items from $2,000 to over $8,000 per eye. From the MD owner to every employee, there is a deep understanding of how to communicate the value of their offerings to the paying customer (note: they do not take insurance).  

For a long time, I’ve been preaching the need to reduce and eliminate discounting, as it conveys the wrong message to patients and is demoralizing for counselors. Pricing is an important topic and one of the value drivers for a great practice. It’s covered in depth in my book.  But what I realized on that field trip is that it’s time for the opposite message to be conveyed, at least for those who perform LASIK, which remains the most widely performed elective surgical procedure in the US and worldwide.  

That message is this: you’re likely not charging enough relative to the value provided as well as the costs to perform the procedure.  There are six reasons why this is true, summarized in the just-published cover story for the current issue of Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today.  

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