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Archive for January, 2014

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A NY Times Rebuttal

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Did anyone read the NYT story on Mohs surgeons/dermatologists last Sunday? If you did not read it, don’t! I will summarize what it said in 1 sentence: Dermatologists are greedy and make too much money. On the FRONT PAGE!!

The woman’s story was pretty bad. Ironically it was the plastic surgeon that really overcharged her, yet the article focused on the dermatologist, whose charges only amounted to a fraction of the total bill. We rarely refer people out for repair unless it is absolutely necessary or the patient requests it.

Mohs surgery is a time consuming, laborious procedure in the sense that you are paying for the surgeon to do the operation, read the slide, the histotechnician to cut and stain the pieces (can be more than one hour of work). This does not include the reconstruction which can take nearly an hour. When I first went into practice, all repairs were paid in full. Now either the payment for the repair or the first
stage is cut in half. Reimbursements have gone down every year I have been in practice though our costs go up. Does she talk about that? Of course not!

We have not raised our prices in over a decade, though we have 5 figure rent costs, many employees with health insurance and parking, no compensation for medical waste pick up, insurance or material costs, the list goes on. When we are contracted with insurance companies, we make a deal to be underpaid in California. They decrease payments every year.

At least we provide a meaningful service, unlike the private health insurance companies, who make it a game to deny the doctor and patient as much as they can get away with, while becoming one of the most profitable enterprises with some of the best compensated CEO’s? Who is the bad guy here?

Anyway, the author woman, Elisabeth, has forever tainted my name! The entire derm community knows this lady by first name now.

On a lighter note, maybe if this doctor thing doesn’t work out I have a future in commercials. I went to my first audition the other day (I was on some random email list for non-union “real people”). I actually thought it would be funny to go. It was for a major personal care product campaign. The casting assistant told me I was gorgeous and begged me not to go (they had too many actresses and models show up) but they forgot to tell everyone that it would be up to 6 days of shooting (?!) I reluctantly walked out! This lady Elisabeth is turning me into a typical LA wanna be!!

Just kidding. I would never give up what I do, unless I win the lotto (and I don’t play that). I wish she could see the surgery I did the other day where I got splashed with blood all over. Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode, “Dermatologists are one step from the Clinique counter….oh darn…skin cancer!!”

As an addendum, Botox does not cost us $100. You cannot even buy the smallest bottle for less than $300. We do not make much on the first patient treated per bottle. You have to be a busy Botox provider to make it cost effective. This article was full of inaccuracies and clearly had an agenda to sensationalize.

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Posted in News, Skin Cancer, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Technology can be fashionable; Ultherapy update

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

I saw a cool new device that might come in handy for the ladies out there-A UV-reading device that was designed by a jewelry designer. These bracelets look cool and pretty without even without knowing what they are for. Don’t know how shatterproof they are though (I’m thinking about when I got plowed down skiing last year)…

Click on the link below:

Stylish and practical

So it’s been 2 weeks since my Ultherapy treatment. My skin feels a little tighter on my brow, MAYBE (and I am struggling here), but my skin looks more translucent (not good). Visibly I see no change thus far. One out of 3 people in the office noticed a change. Supposed to improve over the next 3 months? We’ll see!

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Posted in Skin Cancer, Uncategorized, laser | No Comments »

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

I hope everyone enjoyed their break. I subjected myself to the Ultherapy focused ultrasound device on the left side of my face. Still waiting to see any results, but I can tell you that the pain was worse than anything I have ever been through! I fought through the treatment for the sake of science and you, my patients! It felt like I was being stabbed with a steak knife in my cheeks for about 10 minutes straight. With fractionated CO2 you see the results immediately and also later, though there is more downtime. I did get a mighty bruise on my jaw-so it is not completely downtime-free. It looks like someone has slugged me!

I also hope you received our annual office Xmas card, and I apologize if you didn’t. Usually only the Mohs surgery patients get one. We do send 3000 out a year or so. This year, apparently anyone seen in 2013 got one, I think. That is not to leave out anyone who hasn’t been seen before that or got cut off from the list..

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Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

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