3. Physician Skill and Experience
Dr. Levin says she factors in whether a procedure is unique to her specialty or whether she has specific expertise or experience that adds value to her offering it.
“The price should reflect the skill and expertise of the physician,” according to Dr. Levin who says that she charges a premium for cosmetic eyelid surgery because of her level of expertise in that particular area.
Another consideration, she says, is whether she’s the only one or one of a few in an area offering a procedure or if it’s widely available.
Some physicians prefer to price by area or outcome rather than syringe or unit, but either way patients must be educated that deciding where to have treatment is not like seeing the same dress at two stores and picking the one on sale, Dr. Waldorf adds. “…the patient is not ‘buying’ the product. She is paying for you to help her achieve an outcome with it.”
4. Practice Overhead
A practice’s general overhead includes everything necessary to function in a practice, according to Dr. Waldorf.
Factoring general overhead into pricing is a general business principle, she says.
“You have to make sure that you’re going to cover your overhead to stay open,” Dr. Waldorf says. “It’s not just the cost of the procedure; it’s not just the disposable; it’s everything else going into it, including the staff required and fixed costs.”
Fixed costs include rent or mortgage payments, equipment costs, electricity and more. In essence, the doctor would look globally on what it costs to offer a procedure and determine pricing based on the desired return on investment.
Factoring in overhead can also help doctors determine whether to offer procedures or how to offer them for less. Dr. Leven takes into account her overhead for each procedure and the time it takes to perform it versus what it brings in. Then, she can decide, she says, whether it makes sense to do at all.
5. Geographic Location
Doctors in or close to major metropolitan areas generally have to charge more because their overheads are higher, according to Dr. Waldorf.
Dr. Waldorf, who practices in metropolitan New York, says experienced colleagues in practices elsewhere often charge less for the same procedures. Despite that, they have the same profit margin because it costs less to run their office. Meanwhile, she sees recent graduates who can charge much higher prices because they practice in New York City.
Geographic location can impact many costs associated with practicing, including staff pay, rent, etc., according to Dr. Waldorf.