Over and over again we are asked, “why don’t you offer Groupon”?
Well, number one, according to many legal health care legal experts, it’s illegal.
By: Brian K. Sidella
President & Founder – Forever Young MedSpa
There is something called “fee splitting” which is strictly prohibited in the medical field. The reason it was put into law was to prevent one doctor from profiting on the referral of a patient to another doctor or from profiting by ordering a test to a center owned by the same doctor.
The law also forbids fee splitting between a doctor and any other type of business that offers service in exchange for splitting a physician’s fee. Groupon and other similar offerings “split” their fees with the businesses offering the deal.
Ok that’s the law but there are far more reasons we don’t offer Groupon. I’ll list my top 3.
1. When a business offers Groupon they put the offer out to about a million email addresses in South Florida. Let’s say just 3 tenths of 1% happen to buy a deal we offer. That’s 300 new patients from one day to the next. Sounds good but guess what happens? Our existing patients who helped build Forever Young MedSpa into what we are today, can’t get appointments because our staff would be overwhelmed with new patients who we are obligated to treat. In short our ability to offer a superior grade of service would suffer.
We are growing over 20% a year thanks primarily to our existing patients who return to us and refer their friends. This is the kind of growth we will continue with.
2. We strive to offer our patients value in all our services every day of the year. Numerous times a year, we partner with vendors and offer the best discounts available in the industry to our patients.
That’s the key, “our existing patients”… Why would we offer strangers better pricing than we do for our own patients? Simply put, we don’t and we won’t. We do have a patient membership program that can save our patients hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year so you won’t need to wait for group offers.
3. Groupon and other similar types of vendors do have a place but it’s not in medicine or any establishment whose goal is to offer a superior level of service.
It simply cannot work and we will not risk sacrificing our service standards just for the sake of adding new patients. Maybe that’s why Groupon recently fired it’s CEO and the stock has plummeted since the initial offering… The model is just not sustainable. Does anyone really believe that businesses today have a 70% profit margin???
Want more, please click this link to a recent USA today article.