Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on May 04, 2012
Robert Kotler, MD, FACS Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon of the Face and Neck Clinical instructor, Division of Head & Neck Surgery, UCLA Medical School.
© 2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Robert Kotler, MD: Fees are negotiable. Now, not every practice buys into that, but I think that the practices that are very customer oriented, consumer oriented, they see value. And let me tell you what this fee negotiation is. It's not like begging for a lower fee.There's a reason that would serve both the patient and the practice to have a lower fee.
Robert Kotler, MD (cont.): Are you flexible on when you could come in and have your nose job or have your eyelids. In other words, you have the kind of job, you have the kind of life that allows that, because occasionally somebody's on the schedule and they call up a week before and they say you know what, I got a cold, or my kid is sick, or I've got to go out of town, or my job says I can't take the time off. So now there's a vacancy created on a schedule that's been set for months ahead. So the answer is, you bet we'll give you a discount if you can slide in and take the space.
Robert Kotler, MD (cont.): Nothing wrong with it. Perfectly legitimate for the patient to have a monetary advantage for being flexible enough to give us efficiency of our operation. I mean accountants and business people think that's just the best way to run it and we agree. So that's one way.
Robert Kotler, MD (cont.): The other is, let's say you want to have something done and your sister's got the nose that she doesn't like and your cousin has one. If all three of the ladies come in together, consult together, and agree to have the procedures, they are eligible for what we call a family and friends discount because we're going to be spending less time teaching on an individual basis. Because if we're all sitting in a room and discussing the same procedures, it's a lot more efficient for us. And so basically, we can pass that savings on. And the post operative care is easy, because frankly, one tells the other what it's all about. And so, it's about being more efficient in our practice. So people are entitled to have some benefit from that.
Robert Kotler, MD (cont.): You can also save money if you plan your operation far enough in advance and use the Christmas lay-away concept, where every month you send the practice a check and by the 11th month you've already paid for the procedure, so the normal 12th month payment would be free. I mean it's just again what department stores have done so successfully, because there again, they are banking your money.
Narrator: Now when you're talking about the three women, you're not talking about putting them and doing all of their noses in the same operation?
Robert Kotler, MD: Same day, they could do it. As a matter of fact, if they do that, again, there will be an even greater savings, because that introduces tremendous efficiencies into the system. Yep. They could all recover at the same recovery facility, share a room. They save money there. So I mean, we know how to save people money without cutting quality.
Robert Kotler, MD (cont.): It's just you have to think like a consumer. The patient needs to think like a consumer. They are buying a service. It's a high quality service delivered by a conscientious professional, but when it comes down to the dollars and cents of it, hey, as long as everybody's happy, nothing wrong with saving a few bucks and we're glad to do it.