“There are fixed costs involved in performing LASIK safely, and the cost of our technology makes these ads sound ridiculous” said Dr. Joseph Dello Russo, of Dello Russo Laser Vision in Bergenfield, New Jersey. Dr. Dello Russo, a leading LASIK surgeon, also has centers located in Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn, and Lake Success, Long Island.
“A center advertising these prices is simply indulging in false advertising. I have found, over my twenty-nine years of performing LASIK, that the majority of patients are much too intelligent to fall for these bait and switch techniques. If these prices are anywhere near reality, the metrics involved in performing the procedure would put these centers out of business tomorrow. These LASIK centers change ownership with alarming regularity. I have experienced patients frantically landing in my offices with post-operative problems, after begging for treatment from some of these centers. On more than one occasion, centers like these have closed, shuttered their doors, and left patients who had the LASIK procedure fending for themselves in search of post-operative care.” Said Dr. Dello Russo. He went on to state, that, “Many of these centers close, then re-open under another name, and the process repeats itself.”
Several of my technicians who had previously worked with these discount, hedge-fund owned LASIK centers report what really takes place. The bait and switch begins as soon as the patients walk through the door. These centers are charging them for every single item included in our price, which is then extravagantly added to: drops, plugs, post-operative visits, and any addition which brings the price in line with ours. Often, the total price is more than premier centers charge.
Some of my staff can recount horror stories of doctors flying to multiple cities daily, then taking the red-eye back to the West coast that evening. No patient is looking for a jet-lagged LASIK surgeon to perform their LASIK. Others report that doctors found in California routinely fly to and from multiple centers throughout the country on a daily basis. The client meets the surgeon on the laser bed, never to lay eyes on them again.
Most hedge-fund owned centers are partnered with managers/owners who are ODs, (optometrists). They are not legally allowed to perform and operate the laser. These centers have figured out a way to skirt the requirements by employing a LASIK surgeon, who is willing to risk his license, for a nominal amount of money. This is frequently as low as $150 to $200 an eye.