Modern Aesthetics | Practice Management Pearls from Plastic Surgery the Meeting 2016 : ASPS Practice Management Re-Boot Camp Verion 2.0
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Practice Management Pearls from Plastic Surgery the Meeting 2016 : ASPS Practice Management Re-Boot Camp Verion 2.0

By: Wendy Lewis, Contributing Editor


Re-Boot Camp 2016 was a two-day practice marketing program open to plastic surgeons, residents, plastic surgery practice administrators, patient care coordinators and front desk staff. It took place on the two days preceding the main event to a sold-out audience who stayed until the end. A highly engaged group of practice managers and physicians avidly participated by asking questions, sharing their own experiences, and taking copious notes. The response to this program was even better than expected, which speaks to the fact that practices need more support and access to resources to excel at the business side of aesthetic plastic surgery. Clearly Joshua Korman, MD and C. Bob Basu, MD, MPH, FACS are on to something.

Can you tell us how the idea of the Re-Boot Camp 2.0 came about?

Dr. Korman: I received a lot of good feedback from my book “The Business of Plastic Surgery: Navigating a Successful Career,” and coupled with the success of our first Reboot camp last year, 2.0 seemed like a natural progression.

Dr. Basu: Dr. Korman and I observed that practice management education was often an after-thought or relegated to “mini-tracks” at meetings. Given the increasing practice challenges facing both reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgeons, we felt a focused dialogue on best practices in practice management was overdue. Furthermore, as plastic surgeons, we pride ourselves as the specialty of innovation. Yet, we have not really changed the format of educational meetings in quite some time. Hence, we wanted to put together a meeting focused on practice management with a completely different format rarely seen in our specialty.

How do you feel the business side of plastic surgery has changed over the past 5 years?

Dr. Korman: Web marketing, social media, and “internet university” continue to change rapidly. Just as our patients seek experts to perform plastic surgery, we too must find experts in online communications to help us keep pace with the changing landscape.

Dr. Basu: Change is constant in any business. I would say the biggest changes in the business side of plastic surgery are the increasing regulatory complexity, expansion in healthcare consolidation, the impact of the evolving digital ecosystem (internet/social media), and increase in competition from non-core providers with the rise of non-surgical/non-invasive treatments

What do you think are the most pressing issues and concerns facing aesthetic plastic surgery practices for 2017?

Dr. Korman: As physicians, many of us do not take the time to recruit and train outstanding staff. We often hire quickly, don’t train adequately, and then wonder why the office workplace can be frustrating. We must take the time to find excellent personnel, take the onboarding process seriously, then use metrics to set goals and review results. Time is the most precious commodity, and aesthetic plastic surgery practices need to explore ways to make the use of every moment, maximize conversions, and produce outstanding results.

Dr. Basu: Recruiting and retaining the right staff to provide an exceptional patient experience from the initial call to the last post-op visit is essential. It will get even harder for solo practices to effectively support growth without being weighed down by a monstrous expense ratio in the near future. For instance, marketing expenses have become a much larger and increasing line item on budgets. We are threatened by an increase in competition from non-core aesthetic providers with the rise of non-surgical/non-invasive treatments that we can expect to continue.

What are some of the key challenges for practice managers?

Dr. Korman: Practice managers need to prevent drama in the office, and act swiftly when needed. They need to keep their eyes open for ways to make their office run more efficiently, while keeping the physician from buying the latest and greatest toy at conventions. We are physicians and must learn to empower our managers so they can do their jobs effectively, and manage the aspects of the practice of plastic surgery that we do not want to do and do not have time to focus on.

Dr. Basu: I believe the biggest challenge for practice managers (and any management personnel) is to learn how to effectively managing their people and resources. Based on to the increased level of knowledge, expertise, and training today’s practice managers need to be successful, we expect future Re-Boot Camp programs to be very popular.

What are the future limitations of solo aesthetic plastic surgery private practice?

Dr. Korman: In many ways the options are limitless, with the exception of traffic. If it is too long and hard for staff or patients to come and go, then keeping employees and growing a practice will prove difficult. Solo practice in our specialty for residents just starting out and younger surgeons will likely prove to be too expensive and impractical as costs skyrocket. In many regions around the country, we are also experiencing a glut of service providers which brings the price of treatments down.

Dr. Basu: The biggest limitation of the solo aesthetic plastic surgeon is his/her inability to capture an economy of scale. Given the emergence of consolidation in healthcare, I believe we will see aesthetic surgeons collaborating with other core-specialty colleagues. This can be through the formation of traditional aesthetic groups. But since aesthetic surgeons enjoy their individuality, an alternative “virtual group” practice model may help solo practices maintain their autonomy. At the same time, individuals can collaborate on the back-end to drastically reduce practice expenses. Collaborations can afford solo practitioners additional opportunities for business development.

What are your plans and goals for Re-Boot Camp 2.0 2017?

Dr. Korman: We have learned much from Re-Boot 1.0 and 2.0. We hope to combine the best of both programs, and add new content to keep the program fresh and timely for practitioners and their office staff.

Dr. Basu: ReBoot Version 2.0 sold out four weeks before the meeting. So the demand for practice management education is clearly there. The good news is that the feedback from our attendee program evaluations has been incredibly positive. Should ASPS want us to put together a ReBoot Version 3.0 for 2017, rest assured Dr. Korman and I will yet again “reboot” the entire program to develop a fresh new offering to help our attendees enhance productivity, minimize frustrations, and contribute to their overall success.

Joshua Korman, MD
Mountain View, CA

C. Bob Basu, MD, MPH, FACS
Houston, TX


Happy 10th Birthday Radiesse!

Merz Aesthetics’ flagship brand, Radiesse, turned 10 this year, and was feted in style at a throw-back Thursday media event in New York City.

The party took beauty bloggers and journos back to 2007 when the first iPhone was released to the public, there was no such thing as a hashtag on social media and Miley Cyrus was better known as Hannah Montana. Remember that? It was also the year that Radiesse hit the US market. Now, more than 6 million syringes have been sold worldwide, and the filler is available in 60 countries. Radiesse’s first approved indication was for smoothing moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, and 2015 brought a nod for hand augmentation.

“It’s not a one-trick pony,” says dermatologist Terrence Keaney, MD, assistant clinical faculty at George Washington Hospital in Washington, DC. “Radiesse treats the hands and the lower mid-face.”

As such, it fills an unmet need in the male aesthetic patient, he told party guests. Radiesse does more than just add volume, he says. “It’s also a a collagen simulator with results lasting for one year or more.”

Cheryl Burgess, MD, founder of the Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery in Washington DC, agrees. She first started using Radiesse to treat HIV-related facial lipoatrophy. “Radiesse is unique in the fact that it offers immediate visible improvement, and the results continue to develop over time. This product has a thick texture, and excellent resilience. It provides fantastic structure, like scaffolding, to lift and shape the face.”

My New Favorite Thing: JUVÉDERM VOLBELLA

“New fillers are like new friends as they can provide decades of appreciation. The newer fillers just seem to do more, go further and last longer. Virtually all of the new fillers from mainstream companies have been safe and effective with continually increasing longevity. The biggest paradigm shift in this country (mirroring Europe, Canada, and Australia) has been a precise “tool kit” of designer fillers that are engineered to specific indications and application. Today, all the filler companies are providing precision products that are engineered and cross-linked to act in specific ways whether it be fluid or viscous.

And Juvederm Volbella is the newest designer, site-specific filler to receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Although it has only been available for a short time, I have used about 50 syringes and have a waiting list for the next shipment. Obviously, this experience cannot speak to longevity of the product, but I have been really impressed with the filler’s ability to plump fine perioral lines and wrinkles and to provide lip volume. It is very fluid and easy to inject. I sometimes use a 32-gauge needle! It is not very hydrophyllic and provides a ‘what-you-see-is-whatyou- get’ result. I have seen very little bruising and swelling with Volbella and I am very impressed at this early stage of the game, as are my patients.”

Joseph Niamtu III, DMD | Facial cosmetic surgeon | Midlothian, VA

Allergan Launches Juvéderm Volite

Allergan plc launched Juvéderm Volite, an injectable product specifically designed to improve skin quality and last up to nine months with just one treatment session. This new product uses the unique patented Vycross technology.

The new HA injectable treatment delivers improvements in skin smoothness, hydration and elasticity, and is designed to last for up to nine months with just one treatment. Clinical data so far has shown significant improvements in skin quality for up to 6 months, and the clinical study is ongoing. Juvéderm Volite aims to deliver results that last and eliminate the need for multiple treatments. It should be injected intradermally and can be used to treat the face, neck, décolletage and hands and contains the anaesthetic lidocaine, to enhance patient comfort.


Venus Concept Introduces Venus Velocity for Laser Hair Removal

Venus Concept is bringing a new hair removal laser to the US. Venus Velocity is a diode laser for hair removal, permanent hair reduction, and the treatment of razor bumps. The device has two modes of operation (SLIDE and PULSE), three changeable spot sizes of up to 7 cm2 on an ergonomic applicator, and a real-time cooling system. Other perks include a longer warranty, no disposables, Internet of Things integration, and Venus Concept’s unique subscription-based business model.