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You Get What You Pay For

Have you ever heard the expression “you get what you pay for”?  For most people seeking medical care, the most important consideration is the quality of the care that is being provided to you.  Sure, cost is always a consideration for most of us as well, but when it comes to our bodies and our health, do we really want to risk going to the bargain basement?

For most medical procedures that are necessary, insurance usually covers the cost so that the patient has only their contractual co-pay or deductible.  Essentially those prices are ‘fixed’ by the insurance companies.  However, when it comes to cosmetic procedures, like cosmetic treatment of spider veins, surgeons set their own fees, as these are not typically paid for by third party insurance.  So how do you compare prices between various different physicians?

First, while it is good to have a range of prices from different offices, it is important to know who it is who will be treating you.  Is it the physician or one of his/her ‘assistants’?  Is it someone who has experience with vascular disease or someone who has a few minutes of instruction because ‘anyone can do these treatments’?  And does the person who treats you really understand the problem you are having and your concerns?  Some offices also have undisclosed agreements with other doctors who don’t actually have an office, but rather travel between many different locations just to do procedures.  Usually the patient never meets the actual physician who is treating them until the procedure begins.  This can result in the illegal practice of ‘fee splitting’ where the office takes some of the fee and the traveling doctor gets the rest of the payment.

Next, have your vein treatments been fully explained to you before starting?  Were you told what to expect during and after treatment?  Did you get promises that you would have a perfect result, and then were you disappointed when excuses were given as to why you didn’t achieve the treatment goals you wanted?  Sometimes this is due to quotas that some offices impose on their staff, and this results in doing as many procedures as possible, regardless of the appropriateness or outcome results.  For cosmetic procedures, often the ‘assistant’ who is assigned to do your injections gets a commission of the payment, so the inclination is to do as much as possible, whether needed or not.

Was the office clean and were the staff courteous and professional?  Excellent care is not found in an island of disarray.  If an office is poorly maintained, it is likely that they also skimp on other things that may directly affect your results.  A poor presentation at the front desk or from someone who answers the phone is often reflective of how the office values its patients.  If the staff isn’t treated well and the office isn’t kept up, chances are that your care will not be the best quality, either.

Finally, it is important to understand that some products that are used in the treatment can vary between different offices.  We use only FDA approved medications that are specifically indicated for the treatment of vein problems, while many other offices use very inexpensive liquids that are less effective and potentially carry additional risks.  This results in a change in pricing, making it appear to the patient that one office is much cheaper than another for what they think is the same service.

With over 30 years as a practicing cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, my training and experience is very extensive.  I am much more aware of the need for sterile techniques and appropriate surgical care in every procedure that is done.  In addition, my vein practice is my full time work, not a part-time job that that I do to offset my overhead.  And while I have a highly trained and experienced staff, I personally see every patient and do the procedures myself.

So, in summary, why are our prices a little higher than some other offices?  Experience, Quality and Personalized knowledgeable care that we provide at The Kimmel Institute to every one of our patients gives you the peace of mind and assurance that you are getting what you pay for.

If you’re not sure about your vein care, we happily provide second opinion consultations. Call us at 561-948-5560 and experience the difference at The Kimmel Institute!