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  #31   Top  
Old 07-25-2012, 07:36 PM
Carlos K. Wesley, M.D.'s Avatar
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Firstly, I've received consent from the patient who initiated this thread to post his pre-operative images...

Now, regarding the posts by Formertrackstar: I can understand your frustration from the consultation charge that you described years ago and I will try and help you straighten things out as best I can. I can assure you that, whatever amount you may have been charged for your consultation that was scheduled with Dr. Unger, I did not receive a penny of the consultation fee.

During that time period that you described having your consultation I would often provide general information to patients who were waiting to see Dr. Walter Unger rather than having them wait in the lobby. It was simply to streamline their consultation experience, give them more information, and prevent them from being either bored or unnecessarily exposed in a common waiting area. I did this without any payment in return. Checks would be made out to Dr. Unger.

In trying to think of reasons why any patient would ever be charged more than the standard $250 consultation fee that Dr. Unger has charged for at least six years now I can only think of a few possibilities: Did you have any additional procedure performed (e.g. cortisone injections, a diagnostic biopsy)? Did you, by chance, make two separate $250 payments (perhaps a $250 prepayment that was overlooked)?

I received word that you called our office last week and that our secretary was unable to locate your chart. That is very unusual and makes rectifying everything more challenging. Fortunately, you mentioned in your public blog that you had paid Dr. Unger by check. It would help if you can track down a signed copy of that check so that we can best address this frustrating event.

Sincerely,
Carlos K. Wesley, M.D.
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  #32   Top  
Old 07-25-2012, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCWest View Post
I believe very few approved surgeons on this site charge for consults. The only one I know of for sure is Dr. Bernstein, who charges $285. $500 would be way out of line!
With respect, a surgeon can charge whatever they please for a consultation or procedure. This procedure is elective AND cosmetic.

Most of us expect to be compensated for our time. We also realize that if we ask for excessive compensation that we won't have any work. Plastic & cosmetic surgeons with exorbitant fees just won't get patients unless their work and marketing is superb.

Maybe formertrackstar did pay $500 for a consultation, or maybe he did not. But why all the fuss about this being "out of line". Remember this procedure is not only elective its also cosmetic.

If this was a charge for a life or limb saving surgery it would be a different matter.

The recommendation is for quality and results, NOT finding a bargain.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:13 PM
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you win some you lose some.....before i knew anything and i was younger i paid an arm and leg for a damn laser comb that i never use
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:30 PM
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His office is on 70th & Park upper east side Manhattan, right by DKNY, Prada, and Michael Kors. Everything is really expensive in Manhattan. I lived on 69th and riverside for 10 years and my 1 bedroom apartment was $3300 a month. The cost of doing business is extremely high in NYC. I currently am in Phoenix and all real estate is about 25% of its Manhattan price.

A simpler way to look at is that surgeons like Dr. Wesley, don't require major travel for about 3+ million people. (its $2 for a subway ride if memory serves me correctly) By paying exorbitant lease/rent fees he is essentially "travelling to the patient" and covering the cost of travel.

Taking the train out to see Dr. Feller or a flight to see Dr. Rahal for a face to face consult costs money, the patients money. More importantly it takes time and energy so if you are a lawyer billing $200 an hour and miss a day of work for a flight to Ottawa, you basically spent ~2k plus all travel expenses.

The problem is that when people go into price comparison mode they don't factor in travel and time away into the equation. Also I am sure he has a lot of "window shoppers" who come in to see him, get an idea as to whether they are a good candidate and go bargain basement hunting elsewhere.

Dr. Wesley doesn't have to comment on this; he is just being nice.

Anyone that has run a business is going to understand all this.
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:59 PM
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Dr. Bernstein's routine consult fee is $185 (not 285).
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:52 PM
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For physicians, lawyers, accountants, and many other professionals, their time and expertise are their stock and trade. Top plastic surgeons usually charge for consultations. Some credit the consultation fee against their surgical fee if the patient subsequently has a procedure with them, some don't. I think plastic surgeons and hair restoration surgeons are a good comparisom because hair restoration surgeons are essentially cosmetic surgeons. I personally have no problem with hair restoration surgeons charging a consultation fee. I would hope that my ht surgeon's time and expertise are valuable and in demand. The fact that a number of ht physicians have chosen to forego consultation fees as a business/marketing/competitive decision is fine, but I don't hold it against those who make a different decision.
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