Archive for February, 2011

Price versus value

This is from Bob Burg (

Think about how this can apply to your Medical Practice



A Deeper Look At Price vs. Value

February 21st, 2011 by Bob Burg

Should I cut prices? Perhaps offer discount coupons? Charge less but give less value? Stick to my guns and stay at the same price point, focusing more on communicating the value I offer? Or, charge even more and find ways to increase an already-exceptional buying experience?

Indeed, an ongoing theme in this blog and in many others is the issue of Price vs. Value.

Many of us do our best to persuade our readers that rather than submit to price-cutting pressure from prospects and a general price-lowering trend as a result of the economic climate of the past few years, that you instead increase the value (both real and understood) of your offering.

In other words, sell on value; not on price.

This is one reason why referrals, introductions and word-of-mouth are so important. Because you meet new prospects as a result of borrowed influence; that of someone theyknow, like and trust, you are viewed in a different, more positive and — dare I say — value-based light.

One helpful saying I either heard or read many years ago rings very true to me, and that is, “A person will exchange their money for that which they feel is of equal or greater value than the money they are exchanging it for.” Naturally, the more value they perceive compared to the money they are paying, the more likely they are to make that exchange.

And, with all that said, there are exceptions. Sometimes price is indeed the true issue, and the sale is unlikely to happen regardless of the value compared to the price. However, in these instances, it’s not an objection; it’s something else.

When a prospect objects to the price of your product or service, it typically means that he or she feels (whether consciously or subconsciously) that the price they are being asked to pay is greater than the value they would receive. Or, not enough value above the price to overcome inertia.

In this case — and it’s up to you to determine this through asking the right questions — your job is to effectively communicate the true value.

However, there are those rare times when price is the true issue and no amount of value will overcome this. This is not due to an objection but instead to a…“condition.”

Let’s take a look at this through several examples:

1. Lack of Funds

Even though the value of your product far exceeds the price, sometimes it really is outside what they can invest/spend based on their current financial situation.

A clever example from a reader, while extreme, I believe makes the point. You have a new techno-gizmo and a great idea for a commercial you just know that, if you could air it during the Super Bowl, would bring in more than enough revenue to cover all costs and net you a humongous profit. However, with the $2.5 million price tag to air, plus production costs, there is no way you can raise the money; at least not before the slots are sold out.

Do you have a price objection? No. Whether right or wrong, you place the value at much higher than the cost. It is a condition. You literally cannot make it happen.

2. Lack of Credit

When I sold a somewhat high-ticket item early in my sales career, about 1/3 of the people who really wanted it simply didn’t have the credit to be able to qualify for a loan. The challenge was not a price objection, a value question, or a matter of priorities. They wanted it; they simply could not qualify. It was a condition.

3. Product is Not Available and Time is of the Essence (While this is not price-related, I’m including it because it’s still a condition as opposed to an objection.)

They want it and know it would help in the project they are undertaking. Unfortunately, they are under contract to begin in 10 days and you can’t possibly have it for them before 30 days. Again, there is no price objection or question of value; it’s simply a condition.

Yes, usually a price objection simply means a lack of perceived value. But, not always. The point is only that, as much as we speak of value overriding price, there are exceptions.

Have you ever come across this? And, can you think of any conditions I haven’t mentioned?



What are you “selling” to your patients?

What are you selling?

I found this short article from very interesting.

Comments Please


Every day we see a sign for “Oral Surgery” or read a healthcare advertising headline that begins with the physician’s or hospital’s name. Unfortunately for the marketing budget, it’s not advertising…it’s a failure to communicate. Whatever the intent, the medical marketing message missed its mark.

The fundamental truth here is that no one goes shopping to buy “a surgery,” or a medical treatment. People go shopping for some greater well-being for themselves. It sounds obvious, but it’s a common mistake in healthcare marketing for the physician practice, medical group, hospital or healthcare entity to want to advertise or promote what they do (urologic surgery, perhaps) or how they do it (robotic surgery, for example).

Although these things can play a part in a persuasive message, the prospective patient’s primary need—and the answer to the patient’s need—is understood in human terms, not medical terms. It is the result, not the means, which is most important to the prospective patient. People purchase healthcare services to realize one or more life-improvement benefits. The list includes pain relief, productivity, abilities, confidence, appearance, personal relationships and peace of mind.

In a word, what the patient is buying is happiness. It’s the one and only reason people buy healthcare.

Now ask yourself, what are you really selling? To find your marketing edge, your effective advertising message or the essence of your unique selling proposition (USP), look first to what the patient or customer wants to buy.

Translate the features (experienced practitioner, latest technology) into benefits (fast recovery, improved appearance). How will the prospective patient benefit, what are the tangible or intangible results that patients might realize, and how do you quantify these benefits?



Which doctors get sued?

Remember that it is not the mistakes you make as a doctor but the relationship you have with your patients that determines whether you get sued or not.



This is from John die Julius, the customer service guru:


Want more evidence of how important demonstrations of caring and compassion can be in the medical world?
Consider the following findings from the book Blink, by Malcom GladwellMalcolm Gladwell

  • The risk of being sued for malpractice has very little to do with how many mistakes a doctor makes.
  • Analysis of malpractice lawsuits shows that highly skilled doctors get sued. In nearly every single malpractice case, the patient was quoted as saying something negative about how the doctor made them feel.
  • At the same time, the overwhelming numbers of people who suffer an injury due to negligence of a doctor never file a malpractice suit at all. Why? Because of the bond they had with the doctor. They would never consider suing the doctor or his practice, even though there was negligence on the part of their doctor.

Patients don’t file lawsuits because they’ve been harmed by shoddy medical care only. It is how their doctor treated them on a personal level. People don’t sue doctors they like


How Cuts Can Spur Tumor Growth

This is interesting in that it gives us an insight into how wounds stimulate tumours




By Laura Sanders, Science News

The slightest scratch can cause cancerous cells to crawl to the wound and form tumors in mice, a new study finds. The work may explain why certain kinds of cancers seem to cluster around burns, surgical scars and other injuries.

“This work says that if you have a predisposition to getting cancer, wounding might enhance the chance that it will develop,” says cell biologist Anthony Oro of Stanford University School of Medicine.

A variety of human cancers have been tied to wounds, including lung, liver, bone and skin cancers, but just how and why has been unclear. In the new study, Sunny Wong and Jeremy Reiter of the University of California, San Francisco, introduced a potentially cancer-causing mutation into particular stem cells in mice.

The stem cells live in the part of a hair follicle called the follicular bulge, where they produce new follicles and hair shafts. The researchers expected to see tumors develop around the hair follicles in the mutated mice. But the mice were fine.

If the mice were wounded, however, tumors developed at the injury site. After a pencil-eraser-sized piece of skin was cut from the backs of the mice, cancerous cells migrated to the wound and formed clusters of tumors. These tumors seemed to be a slow-growing and treatable form of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma. Small incisions similar to paper cuts also caused these stem cells to form tumors nearby, while plucking single hairs did not, the team reports in an upcoming Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“It’s a very suggestive study that needs to be confirmed on a broader level. But it will certainly stimulate a lot of discussion and interest in this area in the future,” Oro says.
Something in the hair follicle environment may keep these mutated stem cells in check. But a wound calls these stem cells out, making them leave their normal location, travel to the injury site and form tumors, the team found. Just how wounding beckons these cells is a mystery, Reiter says. “It’s a fascinating question but I don’t think anyone knows at this point.”

In the mice, mutated stem cells could still form tumors even if the injury came several weeks after the researchers introduced the mutation. “The bad news is that these primed sleeper cells can exist within the [follicular] bulge and come forward later,” Reiter says.

The new research focused on one particular mutation and one particular cell type, so further studies will be needed to test whether the same sort of thing happens in other tissues and for other kinds of cancer.



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New Adhesive Tape Test for Melanoma

Study Shows Test Using Special Tape to Collect Cells Can Spot Early Melanoma

WebMD Health News

Feb. 11, 2011 — An experimental, noninvasive test that relies on a special adhesive tape to collect cells from suspicious skin lesions can accurately identify both early and advanced melanomas, researchers say.

The test identified localized and invasive melanomas 100% of the time, with a 12% rate of false-positives, in a study performed at 18 sites across the U.S.

Melanoma is a treatable cancer if caught early but can be deadly once cancer cells have spread beyond the skin.

Its incidence has doubled over the last two decades, and in the U.S., the increase has been especially dramatic among young women and older men.

According to the National Cancer Institute, invasive melanoma rates have increased by almost 4% annually among women aged 15 to 34 since 1995 and rates have increased by almost 9% a year since 2003 in men older than 65.

Identifying Melanoma

Melanomas are typically identified as a result of visual inspection of skin lesions by a dermatologist, followed by biopsy when the lesions are deemed suspicious.

This approach relies heavily on the clinical expertise of the dermatologist and pathologist, says dermatologist Mitchell Kline, MD, of the New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical School.

Some studies suggest that as many as 40 biopsies are performed for every melanoma detected, Kline says.

The experimental tape test is being developed by California-based biotech company DermTech International, which funded the research.

Using a patented technology known as Epidermal Genetic Information Retrieval, researchers were able to collect RNA from suspicious skin lesions before biopsies were performed using the special adhesive strip.

The RNA samples were then sent to the company’s lab for genetic analysis. Earlier research identified genes that are specific to melanomas, and the analysis included 17 of these.

Study researcher William Wachsman, MD, PhD, says the 17-gene biomarker can even differentiate between very early and invasive disease.

He is an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and a staff physician at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. He also served on the scientific advisory board of DermTech.

More Tests Before Seeking FDA Approval

The study, published earlier this week in the British Journal of Dermatology, included 202 lesion samples that were taped over the course of a year.

Dermatologist James Zalla, MD, tells WebMD the test was 100% accurate at spotting melanomas identified at his Florence, Ky., practice during the study period. The genetic analysis even identified one very early malignancy that he and a pathologist had missed in their initial analysis of a lesion taken from a young man in his 20s.

Wachsman says DermTech researchers are working to bring the cost of the test down and more testing will be conducted before the company seeks FDA approval.

“If all goes well, we hope this test is in the hands of the melanoma community in about two years,” he says.

But it remains to be seen if dermatologists will embrace it.

Kline, who was not a study researcher, says the test might be especially attractive when patients want to avoid a scar or for lesions occurring on a part of the body where a biopsy would leave the patient in a lot of pain, such as the sole of the foot.


1 Comment

Using 30195

Hi all


I am starting a new thread about 30195 because I think it is a slightly different topic, started below by a post from Dr Dai Tran, I think. Please sign your name and use punctuation. I think I have used 30195 maybe 10 times in the last year.


“benign neoplasms are abnormal growth of cells without evidence of malignancy. 30195 is intended for removing lesions that may potentially become malignant such as actinic keratosis that may not be suitable for freezing ( ie hypertrophic AK – here you want to sent the stuff away for pathology !! ) . other neoplasms of significance include PYOGENIC granuloma, here you want to 30195 to aid healing and for pathology.  Intradermal naevus hanging off you face that is interfering with your vision, here you can 30195…… NOW, HONESTLY can someone do a 30195 on every Joe Blow that walks in to your office ?? YOU have got to be kidding yourself if you 30195 every 2nd or 3rd person … this either mean you don’t know what you are doing or that you are short of cash and don’t give a stuff about other people who want to use 30195 for legit reason”


Medicare Audit

Hi all
I received this letter from a doctor. Comments and advice appreciated
Hi Ian
Had feedback from Medicare today as a result of the audit they did and despite good notes and pathology to prove 30195/30202/30203 they want me to pay back $486.35.
They stated some of the pathology is too old to call the lesions in the same area cancers. They couldn’t tell me how old is acceptable and a time scale is not stated in the MBS.
I’m not sure if anyone else has been audited with regard to this but it looks like the start of what they promised with regard to auditing skin cancer billings.
I was billing as taught by …. so now I’m uncertain what is beyond the realms of acceptable. I have a hotline number to phone to ask the question and I will update you in due course.