9 Ancillary Services That Can Boost Practice Revenue

Leigh Page

Disclosures

August 07, 2014

In This Article

How to Set Up This Ancillary Service

When you launch, "don't get too greedy, and don't underprice yourself to get patients, because you'll go bankrupt," Dr. Fenske said. He suggests starting with Botox and then introducing fillers, such as Radiesse® or Juvéderm®. "You have to achieve a certain volume [of patients], because you have to buy these products in bulk, and there is an expiration date on them," he said.

Med spa patients should be separated from your regular patients, because "these patients are very different," he said. You might start by dedicating half a day per week to the new service. "Because you can't see other patients, initially there could be a loss of revenue," he said.

The goal is to keep costs down until your venture is viable. He advised against hiring extra staff or purchasing lasers when you are starting. Lasers are lucrative but also very expensive, and you'll need different ones for various procedures, Dr. Fenske said.

How expensive are the lasers? According to Vin Wells, owner of Rock Bottom Lasers in Phoenix, cosmetic lasers cost between $10,000 and $250,000, and maintenance contracts, which are necessary after the 1-year warranty runs out, typically cost $5000-$10,000 a year.

Dr. Blakely, from his Nebraskan perspective, is more optimistic than Dr. Fenske about making a go of med spa. He said Kearney patients aren't that difficult. "We're a fairly naive area when it comes to aesthetics," he said. "I tell my patients that the goal is not looking 25 again."

Moreover, he thinks cosmetic services complement his regular practice, because the outcomes encourage patients to improve their health. He said, "I have seen it many times: When you help these ladies enjoy the way they look, all of sudden they start exercising and losing weight."

Med Spa Scorecard

Start-up costs: Fairly low, unless you buy lasers, in which case costs can be as high as $500,000.

Potential income: Mature med spa practices have reported incomes of $50,000-$100,000 per year.

Pros: You can create a cash-paying niche that could solidify your patient base and inspire some patients to care more about their appearance.

Cons: This is a very competitive field, with demanding patients and potentially high expenses.

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