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    How do your prices compare?

    BuildMyBod, an online marketplace connecting doctors and patients, where consumers can check pricing, get quotes and make online purchases of cosmetic and other non-surgical services, has a new service that plastic and cosmetic surgeons might find useful: the Health Pricing Assistant.

    Because the platform has so many doctors who have uploaded their pricing to the BuildMyBod database, plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons, dermatologists and others can now get real-time U.S., regional state and local (by zip code) cost averages for comparable procedures, according to BuildMyBod CEO and founder, plastic surgeon Jonathan Kaplan, MD.

    “We have over 250 doctors and facilities using BuildMyBod. That includes plastic surgeons, dermatologists, dentists, surgery centers and radiology facilities,” Dr. Kaplan tells Cosmetic Surgery Times.

    Comparison of a New York surgeon's CoolSculpting price with the USA average, Northeastern US average, and New York average.He says BuildMyBod comes up with average pricing for specific procedures using a proprietary method to ensure inclusivity and accuracy.

    “Each doctor logs into our provider portal and uploads their procedures and associated pricing. The averages are based on those doctor-provided prices for the U.S., region, state and ZIP code,” Dr. Kaplan says.

    The knowledge about comparative pricing helps surgeons better understand their markets, which is important for any successful business, the plastic surgeon says.

    “By understanding how your prices compare to your competition, you can ensure you're charging an amount that's commensurate with your expertise,” he says.

    Comparison of a California surgeon's breast augmentation price with the USA average, Western US average, Calif. average and the overall BuildMyBod Average.

    BuildMyBod isn’t the only platform that offers pricing information that surgeons can see. Anyone who puts in a procedure and a zip code can get high-end and low-end pricing on the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery’s website. And RealSelf.com offers average procedure costs in local areas.

    Dr. Kaplan says BuildMyBod’s prices are the most accurate, however, because they're provided by physicians and are the prices that consumers can see when they submit a wish list through the BuildMyBod.com website or the BuildMyBod widget embedded into a doctor’s website.

    “The fact that consumers can see pricing on specific procedures means the doctor wants to ensure the prices are accurate estimates rather than ranges or approximations that are way off of what the patient might see when they arrive for their consultation,” he says. “Just to be clear, only the doctor can use the Pricing Assistant to compare their procedure prices to their colleagues’ in the Provider Portal. Patients can submit wish lists and receive instant, automated quotes on specific procedures from specific doctors, but not see the averages of all providers in the area.”

    Dr. Kaplan adds BuildMyBod is most complete pricing available because it includes the surgeon's fee, operating room and anesthesia fees, implant fees, etc. Other such databases might include only the surgeon’s fee, he says. 

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...

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