Dear Dr. Rassman:
I thank you for the useful information on this blog and your ethical approach in giving honest answers even if they are not financially beneficial to your practice. My question is the following: Do you utilize a sliding scale when quoting prices for patients? For example, if a one person earns a $60,000.00 salary and if another person earns a $160,000.00 salary, would the person who earns $60,000.00 be quoted a reduced fee?
If you purchased a car, whether a Chevy or a Mercedes, the price reflects the cost to deliver a quality product… not the income of the buyer. My staff is well paid and this reflects their skills to deliver a quality service, so the entire package of labor, surgical supplies, and the costs to run a surgical practice reflect the charge to the patient. The surgeon’s fee component is actually relatively low compared to the rest of the costs for the surgeon.
So to answer your question directly, the income of the patient does not reflect the fees we charge.