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Understanding Microneedling Equipment

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 20, 2019

microneedling

By Justin Harper, MD, on behalf of Bellus Medical

I often say that microneedling is the single most underestimated treatment in the current anti-aging rejuvenation, and beauty industry space. I think that, whether you're a medical spa, dermatology office or plastic surgery practice, it's a key component to help patients maintain a natural look and correct anti-aging lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and, in many cases, inflammatory conditions. It often makes a tremendous impact on acne scarring, and I think it the fact that there are no thermal injuries associated with it, unlike many of the other treatments out there, makes it truly safe for all skin types. The industry has never had something like that, and if it did, it was probably under-recognized or underappreciated.

The opportunities for microneedling are expansive, but providers have to be extremely cautious. Much like the tattoo industry for some time didn't realize the true impact or the potential risk of exposure to blood-borne contaminants, one would think it's something that in we in the medical space automatically understand and work toward correcting, but many of the devices on the market are poorly produced, and don't have any type of protocol or the ability to truly keep blood-borne contaminants out. If you were to compare the quality of most of the microneedling devices in the market to even run-of-the-mill tattoo guns, you would find that even tattoo parlors can often maintain sterility at a level that's higher than medical offices, given some of the gaps or deficiencies in the way the equipment is built.

When I think about the SkinPen device, for example, as much as I like the consistency, I don’t always love the higher costs of the tips. At the same time, I understand that it protects and creates a clear barrier between the patient and the device. One of the fundamental things that we could do wrong is to expose people to blood-borne illnesses. This would force us to take a step back in our progress of enhancing the overall beauty industry, and create fear or an additional aversion to microneedling, which is probably something more people need to participate in but haven't had the opportunity to learn about. It’s important to me to choose a device that not only works well and is consistent, but also, more importantly, is FDA-cleared and has the same attention to safety precautions that I do with my patients. I don't have the luxury or the opportunity to allow any lapses in judgment or equipment quality to compromise patient safety. I choose to go with devices that take out any guesswork and give me peace of mind.

We look forward to more people learning about and participating in microneedling. Specifically, we've done a lot to enhance the overall process and delivery of these types of treatments. Unfortunately, “microneedling” still is a name that gets used wrong probably 99 times out of 100 times, compared to what I would actually define as true microneedling. Much of the what is called microneedling isn't going to achieve either the quality of the results or the consistency of results that we're able to achieve. We do this by customizing our protocol, using a good device and making sure that the treatment is performed consistently. That truly lends itself to reproducible great results. I think it's important that you not only have clean facilities and a good device, but also have somebody who knows how to optimize for quality results.

It's not uncommon to have somebody come in and, when I recommend microneedling as part of their treatment regimen, they say, “It's okay—I've already done that, and I'm not interested in doing it again.” I ask them to describe the process and describe what was done. When they give me a recollection of how much redness they had, how it was performed and what kind of device was used, I usually tell them the treatment they received is not what we would define as microneedling. Going through the procedure once or twice is the only way for me to prove that. You'll be able to see the difference, and you'll change your mind very quickly about how important this is for your overall anti-aging and beauty regimen—not just today, but moving into the future and as a maintenance item that you're going to want to continue with for the rest of your life.

At Juvly Aesthetics, we have the protocol to give people quality results across the board, and that's really what we value. We value giving people transparent pricing consistently, and top-of-the-line results in a way that's convenient and comfortable for patients, and I believe that starts with the providers with whom we choose to partner.

Justin Harper, MD, is medical director for Juvly Aesthetics.

Tags:  Guest Post  Med Spa Trends  Microneedling 

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How to Stand Out in the World of Medical Aesthetic Offices

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 14, 2019

medical spa treatment

By Terri Ross, Terri Ross Consulting

When I first started my business, I was well aware of the positive impact I would make; however, the outcomes have far exceeded my expectations. Providing growth strategies is my passion, and I want you to dive into reading some of the ways I’ve helped businesses get to where they are today. This is for business owners who want to make their businesses stand out and shine, and want to stay ahead of the industry.

In this post, I will take you through some of the criteria that every practice needs to consider when entering the aesthetic market, and continue to monitor and evaluate for continuous success.

In the world of medical aesthetic offices, competition is fierce—and steadily increasing. In order to succeed and stand out against the sea of competitors, your office must exceed expectations. This means every aspect of your office—from the infrastructure, processes, systems and staff to location and marketing strategies—must be carefully planned out and executed. Knowing where you are by the numbers is one critical part of managing growth and optimizing your processes. Read more about key numbers you should know here.

A knowledgeable and engaging front office staff, informed marketing strategies, state-of-the-art technology, trained clinical providers who are able to perform a successful patient consultation, and, more importantly, systems and processes are all integral parts of a top performing medical office. In my eight years of experience transforming new or average-performing medical aesthetic offices into top-performing practices, I’ve developed a list of six key components that differentiate highly successful medical spas or practices.

Well-Trained Front-Office Staff

Your front-office staff is the face of your office. It is critical that all members of the front office are well trained, knowledgeable, informed and engaging.

The job of the front-office staff is two-fold:

  • To engage, listen and inform prospective patients of the high-quality care your office offers; and
  • To continue to offer the highest quality of service to current patients, which relates directly to your patient retention.

When a prospective patient calls your office, the front office staff must quickly and effectively convey the message that your office offers the highest-quality care, technology and expertise in the market. Therefore, it is critical that all members of your staff are knowledgeable—that they know the details of every procedure and treatment you offer. Further, it is imperative that they know how the treatments and services offered in your office compare to those of competitors and are able to relay that information clearly and concisely to potential patients. By listening, engaging and responding, your front-office staff will consistently convert prospective patients into long-term patients and ensure current patients are satisfied and return. Click here to read more about the LAER model I developed for effectively training your front-office staff.

Passion

To start and maintain a top-performing office, you will undoubtedly need passion for patient care and business. Aside from developing the initial expertise required to start your office, you will need to stay informed about and ahead of new technologies, and successfully incorporate these into your practice on a regular basis. This takes passion and drive. Also, you’ll need passion for business. Know your office by the numbers: potential ROI on equipment and marketing strategies, new patient rates and room revenue assumptions, to name a few. Read more about critical numbers you should know here.

Plan for the future. Consistently and creatively think of new ways to expand your business and implement the necessary changes for future growth. New marketing strategies, processes and protocols, as well as staff training are included in a comprehensive plan for office growth and optimization. To lead both the medical and business sides of your office, you certainly will need passion and a keen sense of determination.

Marketing Strategies

Marketing strategies are critical in the world of medical aesthetic offices. You need to stand out among the sea of competitors, and the most direct way to do this is to be known. Make sure potential patients know you exist. And, further, make sure they know key elements that make your office unique: state-of-the-art equipment, the highest quality of service, personalized treatment plans, etc. In other words, brand your office.

Making specific goals and implementing strategies to get there are other important aspects of effective marketing. If your goal is to increase new patient leads by 50%, implement fresh and innovative advertising and/or offer new promotions to attract potential patients. Measure your progress and keep track of your marketing ROI. Read more about how to build a successful marketing plan in this article from the Huffington Post.

Location

Choosing the right location for your medical aesthetic office is key. The right location takes a number of factors into consideration:

  • Where your prospective patients live, accessibility and convenience;
  • If your office is centrally located and convenient to a broad base of customers;
  • Your office’s visibility; and
  • Your office, the physical structure, the sign and the parking lot are central parts of your marketing strategy.

A well-located office attracts new patients and helps to ensure current patients return.

State-of-the-Art Technology

Treatment and procedure options in the world of medical aesthetic offices are constantly evolving, as new research emerges and new products become available. To offer the best possible service to your patients, you will need the best tools. This means that in addition to staying on top of emerging research trends, you will need to assess, budget for and acquire new equipment for your office.

This requires careful research and calculations:

  • Initial cost, maintenance costs, training and treatment pricing all go into calculating the potential ROI for a new piece of equipment; and
  • Consider your competitors when choosing which equipment to acquire. Do you offer new and/or different technology compared to your top competitors? How will you differentiate your office?

New technology goes hand inhand with staying on trend with the newest medical aesthetic treatments. You want to make sure you have the proper tools to offer the best service.

Staying On Trend

It is imperative that you stay ahead of new technologies and treatment options. This requires knowing the research and implementing changes ahead of time to acquire new equipment and the expertise to use it. This also requires that your office staff and clinical medical providers are continually learning the technology and portraying this information clearly to prospective patients. In this industry, prospective patients often know what they want, and they are seeking out the right office to offer that service. Make sure your staff is informed and knowledgeable of the technology you offer. State-of-the-art technology, a well trained staff and creative marketing strategies will ensure that you consistently land and retain patients seeking the newest available procedures.

In conclusion, comprehensive and consistent setup of your practice requires constant fine-tuning, and it is helpful to engage the help of a professional who can look at your practice with fresh eyes. As a busy doctor or business owner, your focus is on treating your patients, but the same care is required to build the business.

Click here to learn more about training with Terri Ross.

Terri Ross brings more than 20 years of sales and management experience to the field, having worked with leading-edge medical device companies such as Zeltiq, Medicis, EMD Serono, Merck Schering Plough and Indigo Medical; a surgical division of Johnson.

Ross’ vast knowledge and experience as a sales director managing upwards of $20M in revenue and successful teams has allowed her to become a renowned plastic surgery management consultant helping aesthetic practices thrive.

To optimize revenues and business performance, Ross’ practice management consulting services help physicians evaluate practice processes including, but not limited to, overall-operating efficiencies, staff skill assessment, customer service and operating efficiency strategies. The goal is to develop a comprehensive plan of action to improve productivity, quality, efficiency and return on investment.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post  Med Spa Trends 

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How to Choose the Right Aesthetic Partner

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 12, 2019

handshake

By Cynosure

Are you ready to get into aesthetics, but are struggling to choose the right company? Ensure that you’re partnering with a company that is truly invested in your success by asking yourself:

  • Are they driving quality client leads to your practice and helping you convert leads to consultations? A vendor should make it a point to help you drive leads by having your business appear at the top of search results across the web and on social channels while also making it easy for patients to book appointments.
  • Do they offer services that provide 24/7 access to branded marketing materials for your practice? Look for vendors that provide quality marketing materials that remain fresh and help you successfully market treatments to patients.
  • Will you have marketing specialists dedicated to helping your practice thrive? Will they offer guidance on handling client objections? A vendor should make it a priority to provide marketing guidance and support, as well as assist with handling client objections. Look for vendors that have marketing specialists specific to your business who are available to assist you whenever you need it.

Cynosure offers quality technology with a comprehensive product portfolio and practice support team to ensure user success. It is partnering with AmSpa to provide exclusive access to discounts on capital equipment that drives revenue and results to users’ business.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post  Med Spa Trends 

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The Aesthetic Platinum Rule

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 1, 2019

By Tyler Terry, vice president of sales, TouchMD

In life, it's said that living by the Platinum Rule will ensure that you're optimally treating your fellow man the way that he or she wants to be treated. For those who have never heard of the Platinum Rule, it means you should treat others the way that they want to be treated. We've all heard of the Golden Rule, which states you should treat people the way that you want to be treated. The Golden Rule has good intentions, but it's not attending to the core of what really matters, which is how the person with whom you’re interacting wants to be treated.

When it comes to consulting your patients, the Platinum Rule couldn't be more valuable. This simple guideline will help you maximize each and every consult by treating and consulting your patients the way that they want to be treated and consulted. One key to bringing this rule to life is to take a picture of your patient and give him or her access to that picture to look at and draw on while he or she is waiting in your consult room. This can simply mean printing off their picture or having that picture pulled up on an iPad or computer and allowing the patient to circle any areas of concern. The talk track would go something like this: “Ashley, while you're waiting, the doctor would like you to circle any areas that you would like to enhance. This will help us provide the very best consult, leading to excellent care and satisfaction of your treatment plan.” At this point, Ashley would have the opportunity to look at her picture subjectively and point out what she feels is most important for her overall satisfaction.

After implementing the Platinum Rule in your consultations, you will be amazed at what your patients point out and share with you. They are essentially telling you how they would like to be treated—telling you how to sell to them—and giving you the opportunity to consult them as the expert. By doing this, you are providing them with the treatment plan that they specifically want and need to feel good about their treatment and experience with your practice.

The Platinum Rule allows your patients to be the “compass” of their aesthetic journey with your practice and allows you to be the “captain” of the consult, as you feel confident navigating through the various stages of the patient's journey. This rule can be applied to so many aspects of our lives. The key is to be willing to genuinely ask and listen.

TouchMD is a visual consultation, marketing and imaging software utilizing touch-screen technology that enhances the patient experience with proven revenue generation.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post 

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5 Tips for Managing Patient Photos to Keep Your Medical Spa HIPAA Compliant

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 25, 2019

doctor photographer

By Emily Alten, on behalf of RxPhoto

Before-and-after photos and photos used to document patient procedures are considered protected health information (PHI) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), regardless of whether or not clients are using health insurance to pay for their services. Therefore, it is essential that your practice properly secures patient photos to avoid potential fees for improper PHI handling. Here are five things to keep in mind to ensure that your patient photos remain HIPAA compliant.

Storage

Do not leave photos stored on devices indefinitely, and no photography equipment should ever leave the practice unless it has been wiped of photos. Remote-wipe technologies exist, but if you have set up this capability, make sure you are up to date on the most recent Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) regulations. (Click here to learn more.) If using a DSLR camera, photos must be uploaded to a computer regularly and the SD card must be wiped clean so that photos cannot be accessed outside the practice or by anyone other than a trained staff member. If using a mobile device, the simplest way to remain HIPAA compliant is to use a service that stores photos in a HIPAA-compliant cloud server for you. That way, when photos are taken, they are automatically stored on the cloud and never stored on the device itself.

Communication

Sending or receiving photos of clients is an easy way to fall into HIPAA non-compliance. Emails are a big no-no. HIPAA requires that electronic communications with any PHI—including photos, names, any medical information or anything that can be used to identify a patient—be properly encrypted to ensure privacy. Also, be aware that sharing information with another party requires a consent form from the client to acknowledge that he or she is aware of what information being shared and with whom. HIPAA also states that communication between two parties should only include the minimum necessary information to properly care for the patient; however, if the client is a mutual patient of the two parties sharing health information, it can be freely shared.

Marketing

It may be obvious that consent forms are required to use any client’s information or likeness in order to market your product, but you should be aware that blacking out a subject’s eyes or even face is not enough to remove all possible identifying features or information. Getting consent forms and being transparent with clients about how their information might be used by the practice is the most prudent move.

Social Media

Social media is an excellent way to market to and communicate with present and potential clients. However, it is easy to slip into HIPAA-violating familiarities online. Even confirmation that an online persona is a client violates HIPAA rules. Make sure that any online communication from the practice does not include any of the following information:

  • Recognition that someone is a client—“It was nice to see you the other day,” or, “Glad you enjoyed your visit”;
  • Discussion or comment on a treatment—“We’re glad you’re happy with your Botox”; or
  • Recommendations for treatments, which could be considered medical advice from a non-MD source—or, worse, public medical advice violating patient confidentiality.

Educate Your Staff

Your staff should be educated on HIPAA and HIPAA compliance to ensure that your practice is doing everything it can to remain above-board. There are numerous resources, including online courses, that offer HIPAA training for medical staff; pricing averages approximately $25 per employee. (HHS.gov, HIPAAExams.com and MyHIPAATraining.com are among the sites that offer these training opportunities). This will not only keep your practice HIPAA compliant, but also help keep any staff/client communication professional and courteous.

Writing enthusiast and biology nerd, Emily Alten specializes in educational health care and medicine content. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Columbia University with a degree in biological sciences/pre-medical studies.

Tags:  Guest Post  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends 

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Critical Financial Numbers You Must Know

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 18, 2019

financial meeting

By Terri Ross, Terri Ross Consulting

In order to maximize the profitability and success of your office, you need to take an accurate and realistic snapshot of where you are by the numbers.

  • Do you know your return on investment for every procedure and treatment you offer?
  • What percent of patient leads do you retain?

Patient retention is directly linked to how well your front office staff listens, engages and responds.

In order to become a top-performing practice, every working part of your office—the staff, systems, processes and protocols—must be performing at optimal speed. Be diligent and organized in your record keeping. Take a quarterly snapshot of your office. If you know where you are, you can make a sustainable plan for future optimization and growth.

Here are the key numbers you need to know.

Budget

  • Startup costs: Property, building, equipment, technology, staff and marketing all go into startup costs.
  • Payroll: When your business is off the ground, payroll makes up a large part of your bottom line. Know how much you pay your personnel in wages, taxes/insurance and bonuses throughout the year.
  • Equipment: This includes initial cost, maintenance and materials required to run, update and optimize equipment.
  • Marketing: Any expense targeted towards attracting new patients falls into this category, from pamphlets to website development and networking events.

Return on Investment (ROI) = (Gain – Cost) / Cost

  • Procedures: Know how much every procedure costs you to perform, including supplies, time and personnel involved. Your potential gain per procedure is based on these expenses.
  • Technology: Know how much a piece of new equipment costs to acquire and maintain. You’ll need to include maintenance and supply costs in your calculations of ROI for every piece of equipment in your office.
  • Marketing: Knowing your ROI on marketing strategies allows you to quantitatively measure how successful a specific marketing tactic is. Know how your patients found your office and why they return—online marketing, networking at the right events, etc. Read more about how to calculate your marketing ROI in this article from Forbes.
  • Website position: Know the numbers behind your website—how many people visit the site per day, what pages they go to and stay on, and what your bounce rate is, and modify from there.

Rates

  • Conversion/close rate: How many prospective patients do you land? How many are retained as long-term patients?
  • No-show/cancellation rate: On average, how many patients make an appointment and don’t show or cancel in advance?
  • New patient rate: The number of new patients you bring in per month and year.

Room Revenue Assumptions

  • Number of rooms: The total number of procedure rooms.
  • Hours of operation: How many days are you open?
  • Average treatment price: Taking an average of all procedures offered, what is your average price?
  • Average length of procedure: On average, how long do your procedures take? This includes operating preparation.
  • Treatments per day: How many treatments do you complete per day? Are any days busier than others?
  • Revenue per hour: Based on the numbers above, what is your average revenue per hour?

Goals

  • New patients: Set a goal for the number of new patients retained per quarter. Using the LAER model I developed, you can train your staff to engage, respond to and retain patients.
  • Revenue: Based on where you are, what is your projected revenue? Set your revenue goals and make the necessary changes (processes, protocols, staff) to get there.
  • Revenue per hour: To reach your revenue goals, how much do you need to generate per hour? An average room should do between $600 and $1,000 per hour.
  • Price strategy (vs. competitors): Based on your current and desired revenue—and keeping competitor pricing in mind—develop an informed and realistic price strategy.

How does your office look by the numbers? Do you have attainable revenue goals and the infrastructure, protocols and staff in place to get you there? Click here to download the assessment and complete Terri's 10-point checklist.

Terri Ross brings more than 20 years of sales and management experience to the field, having worked with leading-edge medical device companies such as Zeltiq, Medicis, EMD Serono, Merck Schering Plough and Indigo Medical; a surgical division of Johnson.

Ross’ vast knowledge and experience as a sales director managing upwards of $20M in revenue and successful teams has allowed her to become a renowned plastic surgery management consultant helping aesthetic practices thrive.

To optimize revenues and business performance, Ross’ practice management consulting services help physicians evaluate practice processes including, but not limited to, overall-operating efficiencies, staff skill assessment, customer service and operating efficiency strategies. The goal is to develop a comprehensive plan of action to improve productivity, quality, efficiency and return on investment.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post 

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MSOs: Your Path to Profit Optimization

Posted By Administration, Friday, June 28, 2019

doctor businessperson partnership

By Nicole Chiaramonte, CEO, TWG Consulting Corp.; founder, Synergy MedAesthetics; and aesthetic industry investor

The skyrocketing demand for aesthetic services in the U.S. has created a tremendous opportunity for business experts, entrepreneurs and investors. In an industry that until recently was run exclusively by physicians, the mainstreaming of management service organization (MSO) partnerships allows doctors to partner with entrepreneurs and benefit from their business expertise while they focus on the medicine.

With the advent of selfies, the Kardashian phenomenon and social media, women and men of all ages are flocking to spend money to look their best. The current medical establishment is not necessarily ready to handle this in a way that is beneficial for them, their employees and their patients. This is where MSO partnerships have allowed for a win-win-win in the aesthetic world.

An MSO allows investors and business experts to partner with a physician in a legal manner, thus not violating the corporate practice of medicine. These partnerships have proven to be profitable for all involved when properly executed. To understand the benefits of MSO partnerships for all parties, one must first understand the unique benefits and skillset everyone brings to the table and, just as important, what their responsibilities are in such arrangements.

Entrepreneurs

As an investor in the aesthetic industry, you will provide your time, investment capital and business expertise to the partnership. This may include a love for spreadsheets and a “Beautiful Mind” ability to read into the deeper layers of a profit and loss statement, balance sheet or statement of cash flow to identify unnecessary losses and quickly increase profit margins. These skills are what you bring to the table and why you are needed in this industry.

But your education has just begun. To be truly successful in this venture, you will need to gain a comprehensive understanding of aesthetic procedures—not only what they are and what they do, but also why they work. You will learn more than you ever thought you would know about the body’s healing systems, skin health, facial anatomy and more. Attend every practitioner training you are allowed to audit, conduct research online, and understand the competitive products, technologies and services. You will need to know them all this well enough to effectively market the practice, train administrative staff and answer patient questions.

When negotiating percentages of ownership in an MSO with a physician, remember to honor the dedicated time and expense required of your partner’s medical degree, as well as the responsibility he or she takes on with every treatment performed. Your active hours contributed to the operation may be significantly more when compared in the short-term, but his or her ongoing risk is real.

Physicians

It is common for doctors to feel the risk to their license is too great to enter into an MSO—they resist the idea of relinquishing a percentage of profit or determine they can best run a practice on their own. In my experience, 100% of the time, a physician enjoys more income from a partnership than he or she did prior to partnering into an MSO. In addition, physicians experience considerably less stress, aggravation and demands on their time when their partners are able to assume responsibility and management of staffing, human resources, inventory, accounting, payroll, patient management, and advertising and marketing.

Partnering with someone who has gone to the lengths necessary to know your industry, proper protocols, SOPs and standing orders is key for physicians considering MSO partnerships or medical directorships. Your partner should put the safety of your license above all else. If you have the right business partner, he or she may inform you about new clinical studies, FDA approvals and technique developments before you hear about them. This is especially necessary in an environment where you are a non-practicing aesthetic medical director who has delegated to onsite mid-levels (nurse practitioners and/or physician assistants).

Once a partnership is in place and responsibilities and parameters are set, it is time to get to work on profit optimization. In my experience of owning 20% to 85% interest in 12 MSOs, the following areas are the first places I audit, whether the practice is in operation or brand new.

  1. Back bar/treatment room materials. This includes everything from Hydrafacial MD products to Botox and machine consumables. How often are you checking for inventory loss or overuse of product that throws your margins off by up to 70%?
  2. Capital purchases. If you are paying list price for new machines, this can take a huge bite out of your profits, benefiting no one but your sales rep.
  3. Staffing. You must make sure you have proper hours, compensation levels and adequate coverage with the necessary practitioners.
  4. Advertising and marketing. From website development to ongoing social media marketing, is your practice paying a premium because you are deemed “medical?”

In short, aesthetic practice profitability is illusive to some and an exact science to others. MSO partnerships are legal, profitable ways to operate an aesthetic practice to the benefit and delight of all involved.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Ownership  Med Spa Trends 

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Differentiating Your Practice: Choosing the Right Aesthetic Treatments to Set Your Practice Apart and Meet Client Needs

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 16, 2019

cynosure

More than ever before, consumers are seeking out aesthetic treatments to help them feel and look their best—even if it means paying out of pocket. This means profit and growth opportunities for medical spas and medical aesthetic practices, but also comes with the pressure of keeping up with high demand, evolving industry trends and the latest technology.

With hundreds of treatment options available to address a myriad of patient concerns, it can be a challenge to determine what investments will bring the greatest returns to a practice and enhance its competitive edge.

This process of selecting and investing in new technology involves careful evaluation across many factors, including the practice’s current and prospective client base, the versatility of the technology on the table, and the technology provider’s capabilities to serve as a true partner to the practice.

Evaluating Current and Prospective Clients

It’s no secret that the demographics of those seeking out medical aesthetic treatments have changed and continue to evolve. Gone are the days when older women looking to slow the effects of aging were the only target market for medical spas and medical aesthetic practices.

Instead, today’s Millennials and men represent strong and growing populations of those receiving aesthetic treatments. Yet, each group approaches aesthetic treatments differently and are looking to address diverse present—and even future—concerns. This means medical spas and aesthetic practices could miss out on key growth potential if they do not look beyond the needs of their traditional client base to target new customers, with proven technology designed to address those specific concerns.

Radiofrequency (RF). Millennials are becoming increasingly interested in non-invasive skin treatments and are turning to radiofrequency (RF) technology in numbers never-before-seen. Although there are many RF devices on the market, those that offer differentiators in the realm of anti-aging and preventive maintenance are in highest demand. Dr. Dianne Quibell of MD TLC in Wellesley, MA, says, “My Millennial patients are requesting treatments using RF technology, including Cynosure’s TempSure Envi treatment, to tighten skin through soft tissue coagulation, minimizing facial fine lines and wrinkles, and temporarily improving the appearance of cellulite. Millennial patients love that they can incorporate these treatments into their beauty routines without downtime to address current concerns and future signs of aging.”

In addition to addressing active skin problems, RF technology is becoming increasingly popular for preventive skin maintenance, with Millennials thwarting the signs of aging before they even appear. With an increase in active—instead of reactive—beauty maintenance, practices could expect to see RF technology increase in popularity, particularly with this age group.

Non-invasive body contouring. Although women have historically been more accepting of—and forthcoming with—their cosmetic procedures, more men than ever are receiving cosmetic procedures. In particular, advancements in non-invasive body contouring procedures have helped men become more comfortable with receiving treatments, because they can now return to work immediately following the procedure with no downtime required.

Dr. Quibell continues, “Although many of the men I treat lead healthy, active lifestyles, most people have stubborn pockets of fat that seem impossible to lose, even with diet and exercise. The ability to undergo a 25-minute procedure, like SculpSure treatments in my office, that reduces up to 24% of treated fat cells without surgery, has captured the attention of men nationwide.”

As the audience for medical aesthetic treatments grows and diversifies, practices must target new prospective clients by identifying the technology best suited to address their concerns. Millennials and men continue to invest in treatments, meaning that both RF technology and non-invasive body contouring procedures are here to stay, because they provide real results with no surgery or downtime required.

Selecting Versatile Technology Options

When selecting new technology, practices can maximize their return and make major impact on their treatment offering by investing in technology with versatile functionality.

New technology innovations can perform multiple treatments or applications with one piece of equipment. This means that practices can benefit from multiple revenue streams from just one investment.

For example, the Icon platform is a flexible and versatile system that leverages IPL  and laser technologies. Through one piece of technology, Icon addresses several client concerns, ranging from hair removal to procedures for pigmentation, vessels, wrinkles, scars, and stretch marks, while offering a cost-effective, impactful way for practices to expand their offerings.

With other dynamic, multi-application systems hitting the market, practices can maximize their spend while also enhancing their portfolio of treatment options—all with a single investment.

Choosing a Partner, Not Just a Provider

Selecting new technology for your practice is an important decision that impacts your business’s bottom line and growth potential, as well as client satisfaction. It’s important that the company you purchase from will serve as a partner with your business, and not just a provider.

Providers become partners when they value a customer’s practice as an extension of their own business and offer turnkey solutions and dedicated support to ensure success. The value of a company’s overall commitment to improvement through innovation and client service, as well as their longevity in the space, are key factors when comparing their promises and evaluating their impact on a practice.

Practices should carefully select manufacturers based not only on the equipment they sell, but on the on-going support they provide by asking key questions, including: “Will this company support my facility through service and technology upgrades that will help serve our needs and the needs of our clients?”

With constant advancements in treatment technologies, it can sometimes be difficult to hone in on the options that will offer the most to both the practice and its clients, while also differentiating the practice in a competitive market. When investing in new aesthetic technology, balancing the needs of clients with the goals of the practice will ultimately result in sustainable success and satisfaction.

Cynosure, A Hologic Company (Westford, Mass.) is a global leader in advancing and innovating medical devices for aesthetic procedures and precise surgical applications. Its non-invasive and minimally invasive technologies enable plastic surgeons, dermatologists and other medical professionals to address skin revitalization, body contouring, fat removal, cellulite, scarring, tattoo removal, gynecologic health, unwanted hair, excessive sweating, and vascular and pigmented lesions. Cynosure also markets radiofrequency technologies for facial plastic and general surgery, gynecology; ear, nose and throat procedures; ophthalmology; oral and maxillofacial surgery; podiatry; and proctology. Established in 1991, Cynosure sells its products globally under the Cynosure, Palomar, ConBio and Ellman brand names.

Tags:  Guest Post  Med Spa Trends 

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Payment Options for Maximizing Your Med Spa Guests' Treatments

Posted By Mike Meyer, Thursday, May 2, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

credit online shopping

By Karen Zupko, on behalf of CareCredit

Help grow your business by promoting available payment options. Present patients with choices at multiple points in the sales process, and offer additional ways to pay for treatments. By doing so, you may increase the chance that they use one of these methods to experience more services and schedule more frequent visits.

Here are five simple solutions to promote patient financing as a payment option:

  1. Put a button in multiple places on your website. Link visitors to information as well as an online application, and post the button in multiple locations—not just the home page. Think about creating a financing or payment tab to show the options you have available.
  2. Include a short sentence in all email responses to website inquiries. Keep it simple; for example, "We offer convenient payment options—click here to learn more."
  3. When scheduling new patient consultations, explain that you offer a payment option with promotional financing. Train staff to direct patients to apply on your website prior to the appointment. A service-oriented way to explain this could be, "That way, when you decide to schedule that peel, if you’re approved you’re all set to use patient financing options…”
  4. Remind patients about payment options in conjunction with a special offer. For example, if you promote Kybella in an e-blast, mention your patient financing options as an available payment option underneath the special fee. “Ask about payment options that can be used with this special offer.”
  5. Encourage patients to apply when they check-in for their first appointment. For example, “While you are waiting for your CoolSculpting treatment, you can apply for patient financing. You will know the credit decision in seconds.” Make the client's experience simple—hand him or her an iPad with the browser open to your website and touch the “Apply Now” button for them to open the application.

These patient financing tips have been provided by Karen Zupko on behalf of CareCredit. Zupko is president of Karen Zupko & Associates, Inc. She has been advising aesthetic practices about marketing and management for more than 30 years.

CareCredit is a health, wellness and beauty care credit card dedicated to helping people get the care they want and need. With CareCredit, your guests can move forward with your treatment recommendations to look and feel their best*. CareCredit offers promotional financing options to provide your patients a convenient way to fit beauty into their monthly budget. CareCredit is accepted at more than 210,000 locations for a wide variety of health and wellness procedures, treatments and skin care products.

Amspa members receive 20% off promotional financing merchant fees.1 Click here to learn more.

* Subject to credit approval
1 On purchases of $200+

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post 

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Do You Believe Strong Leadership Can Affect Your Medical Spa’s Profitability?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 4, 2019

money

By Tim Sawyer, president & co-founder of Crystal Clear Digital Marketing

Does anyone in the med spa industry think strong leadership can affect profitability?

If you had asked me this question a week ago, I would have replied with a resounding, “Yes, of course.” After my experience this past weekend, I’m not so sure. In fact, I am more convinced that the basic concept of leadership in this community is not just undervalued, but almost deemed irrelevant. While I have given many talks on the subject at dozens of shows—including The Medical Spa Show, Vegas Cosmetic Surgery, A4M and The Aesthetic Show, to name a few—my experience this past weekend cemented my belief that now more than ever, we need to keep this topic in the forefront of our discussion through our lectures, blog posts, podcasts and national meetings.

Why? As the co-founder of two separate marketing and software businesses appearing in the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing privately held companies, I am a firm believer in the very direct link between strong leadership and profitability. As a lifelong entrepreneur, I am constantly bombarded with books, seminars, podcasts and events touting the value and strategies for effective modern leadership. I get it. No leadership equals no sustainable growth. As a former business student, it’s one of those, “Duh, obvious,” things. For surgeons and med spa owners who have spent their lives focused on anatomy, clinical outcomes and patient safety—not so much. And I am not suggesting there is a lack of desire to be stronger leaders; I am suggesting there is diminished value and a lack of understanding.

Back to this past weekend. As I walked onstage to deliver my best 15-minute lecture on leadership, about 40% of the 150 attendees in the room—mostly surgeons—took the opportunity to use this time to take a break, get coffee and mingle. In other words, almost half of the attendees viewed this topic as somewhat irrelevant.

At this point, I know what you’re thinking: “Tim is a sore loser because people walked out of his talk.” Fair enough, and there may be some truth to that. However, it is more concerning to me that these leaders lacked the appreciation of the important role they play in their practices’ success outside of the 12-hour days spent doing treatments and procedures. In fact, I even asked the question, “How many of you want to spend the rest of your lives working 12-hour days with your primary (only) source of revenue coming from your physical labor?” Of course, that drew some intense stares, intentionally. Because this is what is at stake for many of the people in the room.

Entrepreneurs understand that you can’t scale a business if the majority of the revenue comes from the owner’s direct labor. To further explore this concept, I recommend you read The E-Myth; this would be a great investment of your time if this topic is remotely interesting to you. To get scale in your business, surrounding yourself with great people who can also make significant contributions to the business in terms of revenue is the number-one priority. The most successful entrepreneurs know they have done their job well when their businesses can function on its own with little or no direct involvement or supervision from the founders. Many of these strong leaders begin their business with the end in mind. They ask the question, “What do I need to do in this circumstance to create an entity that is either investable by others or saleable to another entity?” More simply put, if I bust my butt for 10 years, how do I exit and get paid? This is every entrepreneur’s dream.

That said, the rules are a little different in elective medicine, as the skills and training of the surgeon or provider essentially represent 100% of the value of the practice. And here’s the billion-dollar question: Is the current state a situation that can never be changed, or is there perhaps another way of looking at the role of the modern entrepreneurial surgeon leader?

I think part of the problem lies in the way we talk about, celebrate and showcase only those practices experiencing hypergrowth (for a variety of reasons, and I include myself in this group). We create this unrealistic expectation that anyone who applies this model or buys that device will immediately ascend to the elective medical elite, which is at best a bunch of B.S. When we do this, we disenfranchise the 90% of practices and med spas that could benefit the most from applying a few basic leadership principles, even if they only have a few employees.

Here are a few principles you can apply right away to increase the value of your practice and set it on a path to realistic sustainable growth. First, ask yourself, “Do I believe there is a correlation between effective leadership and increased profitability?” If the answer is no, sorry about the time you wasted reading this, and hopefully you will find my next article more valuable.

When I pose this question to live audiences, I always get a lukewarm response. But let’s assume we agree that leadership could make a 10% difference in the profit of your clinic. So, step one is to assign a dollar value to the 10%. Now, the next logical step (if we agree) is to first be realistic. Do you spend 10% of your time working on your leadership skills and strategic thinking? If the answer is no, we have already diagnosed a major problem, which is great and free.

Next, how can you put leadership to work in a small elective medical practice?

  • Lead yourself. Be mindful of the words you use, be respectful to employees and manage to your principles. Ask yourself, “What are my most important guiding principles that I will not compromise?” Are you walking that out daily?
  • Share skills. Employee turnover hurts when you have invested time and energy into training. Get over it. Things could be worse, like if you don’t train them and they never leave… yikes. Don’t forget—if you’re not training someone up to replace you, you will never be replaced. (Cue the surgeon-working-in-a-coffin music.)
  • Train and practice together. It’s a team and you’re the leader. Lead. This requires time. If you make it a priority and then a habit, you will improve the culture in your practice.
  • Hold your team accountable.
  • Have a plan, set goals and manage to the plan. You can’t manage what you can’t measure.
  • Share your vision and passion often. People love to feel like they are a part of something special.
  • Incentivize the right behaviors and address the wrong ones.
  • Be inspired. These simple universal truths can apply to any business of any size. You don’t need more consultants, more devices or more marketing. You just need some time to reflect in front of the mirror. Look past the outside and the comparative narrative and focus on the incredible leader inside of you. This is truly one of those scenarios where size doesn’t matter. Crystal Clear started with three employees, and now we have 80. Remember, if we agree that improved leadership skills could make just a 10% difference in the profitability of the business, that’s 10% more time and money you have to do the things that mean the most.

In addition to a world-class digital marketing and software platform, Crystal Clear offers a full-service consulting team to help you get the most out of your people, your processes and the tools you use to grow your clinic in 2019 and beyond. We get it. You can’t do everything by yourself. Fortunately, you don’t have to. Our world-class training team is here to help. They have been in your shoes in real life, long before becoming trainers. To learn more about Crystal Clear, visit www.crystalcleardm.com or call 888.611.8279.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post  Med Spa Ownership  Med Spa Trends 

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