Cost - WHY?

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Cost - WHY?

Postby OPKevin » Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:23 pm

I just had the procedure on Thursday and I am thrilled by it. I have a question on the price. The docor I went to is one of the majore providers here in western NY. His prices range from a low to a maximum, which is what I was charged because of all the correction that I needed. I am just wondering what additional time effort or expenses it costs for a procedure involving a patient who needs a minor operation versuses a major correction. I went in at a standard time, used a standard amount of time, and as far as I can tell am getting the same amount of post operative care as does one who had better vision going in. Anyone ?

Thanks.
Kevin
Orchard Park, NY
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Postby LasikExpert » Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:54 am

The short answer is that Lasik can cost more because the market will allow it.

Lasik is a demand driven elective (arguably cosmetic) surgery provided with the intent of making a profit. I don't know of a nonprofit Lasik doctor, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Would you really want to go to a doctor who isn't smart enough to know how to make money from something as highly profitable as Lasik?

There are some things that cost the surgeon more. That cost is passed on to you the consumer. There are more detailed tests that can be performed, which require an investment of time, training, and money for equipment and an appropriate facility. All but one laser manufacturer charges a royalty fee every time the doctor presses the button. The lasers cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars, plus the facility to house them. All lasers have relatively high maintenance fees. A femtosecond laser for All-Laser Lasik is yet another investment. Good staff rarely comes cheap.

After a somewhat narrow range that constitutes the bottom line, what you are paying for is the surgeon's expertise and profit margin. Or, at least the appearance of the surgeon's expertise.
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cost - why

Postby OPKevin » Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:36 am

Thank you for taking the time to respond, but I was not clear with what I was asking. I am just interested in understanding why the same doctor will charge say $750 for some and then if you have worse site $1500. I do not challenge the profit basis, just trying to learn if it is anything more than "because I can". Let me say it another way, does it cost a doctor any more to "fix" a person with worse vision than it does with better vision? I did not see it in my procedure. Again, I was in for the same length of time as others and have taken up no greater amount of time than have others pre and post op. So I am asking, why does it cost more for me than it would if my vision was "better"
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Postby LasikExpert » Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:16 am

If you required more advanced technology, the cost to the doctor could have been greater.

The doctor may have elected to use an excimer laser that has a royalty fee due to a more complex correction. The royalty is a cost of between $250-350 per eye.

A thin Lasik flap may have been necessary because of a large amount of tissue removal required for full correction. The doctor may have determined that the greater accuracy of a Lasik flap created with a femtosecond laser microkeratome (instead of a mechanical microkeratome that uses a steel blade) was necessary. The femtosecond laser also has a royalty and would be more expensive than a mechanical microkeratome.
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Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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Thanks

Postby OPKevin » Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:29 pm

Now it makes sense, I will ask at my weekly follow up. Before your explanation, it seemed like an arbitrary decision, similar to charging more for somebody who wore black shoes than a person with brown shoes
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