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Medical Spa Key No. 7: Create the Optimal Menu of Services

medical%20spa%20pricing%20stampIn many ways, aesthetic practices and med spas are like restaurants. The core of the business is customer service, and oftentimes offering the right menu can make the difference between the success or failure of the enterprise.

Just as a first class restaurant strives to create a unique menu that will distinguish it from all its competitors, you should make it your mission to offer a service menu that offers not only all the most popular med spa treatments but also the most cutting edge, innovative procedures available.  Many of the prospects you will encounter are surprisingly well informed and will be looking for a med spa that can exceed their expectations. Some of these prospects already know the results they are looking for. They will look to you and your staff to guide them to the optimal combination of services, procedures and products to help them achieve their goals. On the other hand, many of your prospects will not have a clue about the specific technologies or procedures involved -- they will simply want to know they are in good hands and will look to you to recommend the best treatments and products for them.  

You will need to decide how broad a range of services you will offer. You may decide to offer all the popular services so your med spa will appeal to a diverse, market-driven client base. Or you may decide to carve out a more specialized niche. You will need to decide your basic positioning before you formalize your menu. One of the key factors will be to find the best service mix that matches your professional expertise. If you are a dermatologist, for example, you may wish to offer a range of specialized services for treating acne. If your background is OB/GYN, you may want to develop a specialty for the treatment of leg veins. Another key factor which you may determine from your research is your best estimate of the profitability of offering a wide variety of the most popular services compared with a more specialized approach. Heavy competition in some areas has driven fees for basic services such as laser hair removal to such low levels that such services must be evaluated merely as  "loss leaders" to help build traffic for your more profitable services.

In any event, you will need to keep current with rapidly growing technology and clinical applications by attending trade shows and workshops, subscribing to industry publications, joining various associations, and opening channels of communication between your medical and spa resources. Many practitioners pondering the question of what aesthetic services to offer have come to the realization that emphasizing treatments that require a high level of skill and/or experience is perhaps the best way to differentiate your clinic from the garden variety “medical spa” offering only “basic” treatments like laser hair removal that are available on every street corner. An excerpt from the 2007 national average fee schedule published by ASAPS clearly illustrates this point: 

Cosmetic Procedures        National Average Fee

Abdominoplasty     $ 5,350.00

Blepharoplasty                  2,840.00

Breast aug. (silicone)                 4,087.00

Breast aug. (saline)        3,690.00    

Facelift                   6,792.00

Hair transplantation                  5,874.00

Lipoplasty (suction)        2,920.00

Rhinoplasty                   4,357.00 

Non-Surgical Procedures      National Average Fee

Botox injection     $    380.00

Chemical peel           718.00

Fraxel          1,130.00

IPL Treatment           411.00

Noninvasive tightening       1,194.00

Injection lipolysis           905.00

Laser hair removal           387.00

Laser skin resurfacing- ablative      2,418.00

Laser skin resurfacing- non-ablative        580.00

Laser treatment leg veins          462.00

Microdermabrasion           130.00

Sclerotherapy           377.00

Collagen (Bovine)           397.00

Collagen (Human)           542.00

Hyaluronic acid (i.e., Restylane)         576.00

Sculptra         1,027.00

Srtecoll, Artefill        1,180.00 

Food for thought.

Reader Comments (13)

I am so glad that you posted this because to be fair to my clients I always want to offer a good price, but at the same time not deny my business it's potential earnings. Many of the prices are an eye opener that I am not charging enough, albeit close, for my services. Thank you for this posting.

I see some as high and others low. I guess there are a lot of variables, geographic location, number of competitors....

06.29 | Unregistered CommenterFlorida PA

Also, many of the non-surgical options, like Botox and fillers should really be priced per unit injected.

06.29 | Unregistered CommenterTF

TF, Florida PA and Pacific West Doc: Just wanted to remind you that the statistics were compiled by ASAPS after conducting surveys of their membership. I would expect that the plastics charge more since they have the luxury of not worrying so much about competing or making a profit on some of their services. I would guess they are happy to use some services as "loss leaders" to build traffic for their high profit services. I wish I could make $5000 for one hour's work!!!

Well, a facelift takes about 3-3.5 hours, and so does an it's really more like $1500, not $5000

06.29 | Unregistered CommenterTF

I am surprised at how low the facelift is. Is that price a full facelift?? or just a brow's?? does it include the neck lift also?? Not sure of the IPL also: is it per treatment or per 5 treatment package?? I think the "380" of Botox is an average of 2 areas

06.30 | Unregistered Commenterpmdoc

Med Spa Guy

I see a lot of diversity across the board in Central Florida even with the plastics. Example Botox. PS does the injections himself charges 10 per unit and does 10-12 surgeries/wk. Same city another PS does 25 plus surgeries/wk charges 30 per unit (and does it 1-2 full days per week). I guess this is where perception and reputation come into play. Med spas vary 10-15 per unit. Some plastics don't bother with it at all, or have PA, NP. Some even have nurses do it (which is illegal in Florida) and charge top dollar. It is a necessity for all med spas though.

Florida PA: Interesting observations - which probably apply to many of the fees listed by the ASAPS statisticians. I also agree with your comment about Botox being something anyone offering aesthetics needs to be doing bothy for the obvious reason that if YOU don't offer it your patients will go somewhere else and also because Botox apparently helps achieve better outcomes with many procedures. For example, Robert and Margaret Weiss mentioned in their article touting IMPROVEMENT OF ACNE SCARS AND WRINKLING WITH 1320 nm ND;YAG LASER that "overall satisfaction rate has improved to over 90% with the addition of botulinum toxin" (they say they routinely inject 10 units at the lateral canthus and just below it, immediately after the initial 1320 nm laser treatment is performed). The rationale to restrict movement is based on the fact that the collagen remodeling induced by the laser treatment will no longer be influenced by dynamic movement (therefore collagen synthesis will be more effective when Botox is injected into the wrinkles rather than adjacent to them, leading to better clinical results).

Med Spa Guy

I have done a fair amount of independent contractor work in the past with cosmetics. I can say this for sure, PS office, "non-core" doc office with cosmetics, straight med spas are all distinctively different and have a different spin on everything we blog on. All the same but all very different. Derms that do general derm and cosmetics are kind of in a category of their own. There is a weighted % of importance with marketing, target market, equipment, providers, procedures/services and fees depending on what is paid out and what the BREAD AND BUTTER brings in. I think only amount of foot traffic is a constant with all categories. The more you get, the more you get! You can be real creative with this. I was hired by an office to help implement cosmetics and HRT. I pushed for one of those body composition analyzers, to give service for free. Everyone looked at me like I had three eyeballs. Machine costs 5k ( not that accurate in my opinion, but you can use comparison in future using same machine). Every time ad is placed for this free service its foot traffic city. They see the menu and there is conversion/profit. If your costs are static or near, so what its like a perpetual open house.

Good call on the Botox. I have hypothesized this for some time for resurfacing or any kind of integument remodeling. You info was the second time I saw evidence based data on this. The first was a side to side comparison using medical derm abrasion. The botox side produced better aesthetic results at 6 months and 1 yr. I will try to find the article and post it for you. I use this now and can say anecdotally I get better results with fractional erbium. I don't have the time to put it to the scientific method but happy pts are happy pts. This follows why we cast fractures and some plastics tape their incisions for several weeks. I am working with Aldara now in a similar fashion, we'll see what happens. I think the real key is being creative and outside the box across the board to get the edge on the competition.

It's actually pretty well known that Botox helps improve resurfacing results - whether you use chemical peels, traditional CO2 or fractional laser. There are a number of papers in the literature about this.

07.3 | Unregistered CommenterTF

Well looks like Med Spa Guy and myself adds two more to the list of the well known wise. Oh, now you have to add all that read this.

I must say that you have great work, it must have taken a huge amount of time to gather such sort of data. I would love to recommend this page to all my friends.

Great Job

08.21 | Unregistered CommenterLiza Ray

Many of the prices are an eye opener that I am not charging enough, albeit close, for my services. Thank you for this posting.

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