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Doctors and Plastic Surgeons Using Groupon- Good for Patients But Not Always for the MD

Posted Feb 09 2011 6:23pm

This is interesting to see yet one more way Groupon is creeping in with their special image offers.  When you read through here though, most of the services offered though are facials and something aesthetic in nature.  Some though are using it for Botox, cellulite removal and liposuction.  Doctors have kicked it around a bit on some items as the coupon itself encourages you to bring a friend so if you were having a boob job, well what if your friend didn’t want one or already had one? <grin>. 

Yes those would be special circumstances.  Groupon requires that prices are cut by around 50% and with a procedure like liposuction or something along that line we are talking a huge price break and then Groupon gets a big chunk of that too.  So far there’s no provision for a Groupon discount <grin> as far as any CPT code so I guess when billing if any of it comes under medical billing in an office, folks will need to get creative and put Groupon right up there with co-pay for this style of business expands further into healthcare.  BD 

The online deal-maker Groupon has extended its reach to local cosmetic doctors’ offices, offering discounts for patients and creating quandaries for plastic surgeons and dermatologists.

Medical offices using Groupon have offered discounts on services including Botox injections, laser hair removal, liposuction, cellulite treatments, and photofacials.

Financially, the deal can be much better for the patient than for the doctor, said plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Domanskis of Newport Beach, who investigated Groupon and decided against signing up.

Groupon requires that sellers cut their regular price by about 50 percent and pay Groupon a hefty portion of their revenues collected through their deal. Domanskis concluded that if he offered a Groupon deal on breast enlargements, for which he regularly charges $5,000, he would lose $500 on each operation.

Like a number of retailers before them, some doctors have decided against offering a Groupon deal that would attract large numbers of new, temporary customers because they would lose money on each customer.

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