The LASIK Farmer

The LASIK FarmerDon’t look to the economy for a bumper crop.

I’ve been hearing a lot about LASIK volumes lately. Reports of surgeons ’monthly averages being off one third or even two thirds are not uncommon, a far cry from the rapid growth of the past few years. At the same time, the economy is teeter-tottering right before us. What’s going on here?

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Barriers to Patient Acceptance

Barriers to Patient AcceptanceWe’re managing the wrong issue.

Two emotions that drive human behavior are greed and fear. When it comes to LASIK, the factors that drive patient decision-making can also be boiled down to two: price and fear. Over the past 20 months, the industry has been obsessed with trying to manage the price issue: “If I drop my price, won’t more people come to have LASIK?”“How does she make money offering LASIK at such allow price?” “His volume is tanking because his fees are so high. ” You recognize these hallway discussions at shows and meetings. It appears we’ve been discussing the wrong issue. Can you imagine if those same hallway conversations were sprinkled with: “Wow! Did you see his new patient brochure? Incredible!” “That informed consent was the best I’ve ever witnessed. ” “His staff not only answers questions, they ask patients what they’re afraid of. ”These scenarios are probably difficult to imagine, mainly because eye care professionals are not trained in the art of communication. Some physicians and staff members have an ability to empathize, listen, and respond in away that builds trust and confidence in the prospective LASIK patient. Others simply do not have this ability and either delegate the task or ignore it altogether, hoping that the photocopied brochure and poorly produced “Dear Patient” letter will provide interested patients with valuable information. This has been proven a mistake…

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The Perils of Price Advertising

The Perils of Price AdvertisingCheaper is not better.

I get nauseous every time I see or hear an ad for LASIK that talks about the price: “Call now for our$699 special, ” or, “For a limited time, you can get both eyes treated for the price of one, ” and so on. It’s hard to think of this incredible procedure being bandied about in the same fashion as mattresses, long distance phone service, and fast food…

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Refractive Surgery: Looking Ahead

Refractive Surgery: Looking AheadA glimpse into the past helps avoid future mistakes.

Along with all the great successes in refractive surgery so far, there have been sizable mistakes that have slowed down physician and consumer acceptance of refractive procedures. This column will look at some of the dynamics concerning this young industry and explore how mistakes of the past—many of which are marketing-related—can be better understood and avoided in the future…

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