Wednesday, April 11, 2012

LASIK Cost & Price Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions about LASIK prices and costs that seem to have caused those considering LASIK Surgery to wonder about what to expect about the cost and whether they are getting a good price. First, there have been lots of misstatements, many of which were promoted during the push for Obamacare-saying things like “the cost of LASIK has come down greatly”. The authors, editors and advisors of and its associated blog have been involved in Laser Eye Surgery for the correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism since well before its FDA approval and thus have had direct access to years of market research, trend analysis and actual LASIK cost and price tracking since 1994. In fact, the cost of LASIK has not actually decreased on an out of pocket basis. It has tended to drift slightly up or slightly down, but the reality is that the cost of LASIK to the patient, on average, is and has been around $2,000 +/- $500 per eye for the past 15 years. The variance reflects the local geographic market conditions and promotional pricing behavior of certain practices and corporate entities attempting to build LASIK procedure market share.

Now, during that period of time the costs of the practice or LASIK center to deliver LASIK have actually increased as a result of the continual reinvestment in laser technology, laser service, staffing costs, facility rental and upkeep costs, cost of patient payment plans and general operating expenses. So, in terms of LASIK surgeon compensation the actual fee to the LASIK doctor may very well have decreased. One cost of LASIK delivery that has decreased considerably is the cost of advertising and patient acquisition. As practices began to develop meaningful word of mouth referrals from satisfied patients, their direct out of pocket costs for costly broadcast and print media declined as they purchased less and less and relied on happy LASIK patients to send more LASIK patients for consultation. In addition the growth of digital communications has made the cost of LASIK advertising more moderate in most cases. So, the notion that LASIK prices have come down is simply a misconception. They are stable with some slight market drift and reflect a fair value for the potential to have freedom from the hassle of eyeglasses and contacts to see at distance. They may have seem to come down because they haven’t gone up-like food prices, gas prices, car prices and almost all other consumer goods and services. But, no, LASIK costs were and are a fair value at where they have been and where they still are.

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