Assume that Dr. Lee performs about 18 Lasik patients a week (figure is low) at an average of $2000 per patient. That calculates to $36,000 per week and about $140,000 per month and about $1.7 million per year.
Assume that Dr. X performs about 18 Lasik patients a week at an average of $6000 per patient. That is $5.1 million per year.
Remember, the most expensive excimer laser only costs $400,000. Not a single lasik doctor in California uses an excimer for only two years. That means the yearly cost for the laser is LESS than $200,000. So, if Dr. X is generating $6 million a year and spending less than $200,000 on the excimer laser, where is the rest of the money going? Usually into marketing, advertising, posh Beverly Hills offices, but NOT necessarily into more expensive equipment and more quality for the patient.
Dr. Lee owns 10 excimer lasers. Not a single other individually owned lasik practice in California owns 10 excimer lasers. USC/Doheny and UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute have both purchased only two excimers each in the past 12 years. The figure may be incorrect by one excimer laser.
When Dr. Lee performs lasik on a patient, given that the patient is happy, the patient then tells all his friends and relatives about the surgery and fair pricing. Most everyone who hears the story, if they are interested in Lasik, will entertain the idea of seeing Dr. Lee for at least a consult. If a patient has lasik for $6000, even if they tell their friends and family, many will not come to see the $6000 lasik doctor.
Finally, many people associate more quality with higher cost. All surgery has risks in anyone’s hands. Dr. Lee has the cleanest record for any lasik surgeon who has performed over 70,000 lasik cases. The Dr. X who charges $6000 for lasik may have very well performed lasik for a friend or relative or optometrist for a very discounted price, let’s say, $100. Did that patient who paid Dr. X $100 see any less well than that patient who paid the same Dr. X $6000?