Current and potential patients visiting Dr. George Bitar’s practice website will find price ranges listed for more than 30 procedures—something he’s done since way back in 2007.
While prices are one of the pieces of information aesthetic consumers most want to know when researching doctors and procedures, many doctors are concerned that publishing prices will kick off a race to the bottom, encouraging potential patients to weed out all but the least expensive doctors.
But publishing prices has been an overwhelming positive for Dr. Bitar and team, whose practice is thriving in part because they’re unabashed about telling website visitors how much their services cost.
“Prices are information potential patients want to know, and our prices are something we’re confident standing by,” Dr. Bitar told us. “The best patient for our practice is the one who’s going to be excited about the great results we’ve achieved, not the one whose selection process entails simply picking the cheapest doctor.”
Here are the 10 reasons his practice has leaned into pricing transparency for 13 years and counting.
1. Price transparency centers consumers’ needs.
“This is information that people want to know pretty early in the process, very often before they come in for a consult in my experience,” said Dr. Bitar. “I think it’s generally a bad idea to deny people legitimate information about the paid service you’re going to provide. Also remember: there’s a higher likelihood they’ll get price information from a source that doesn’t align with your pricing if you don’t provide it yourself. My pricing is my pricing, and I want to be the one to own that narrative.”
2. Publishing prices decreases call volume for price-only inquiries.
“Prospects were just calling to figure out the price—’Hey, how much does this cost?’—and then hanging up,” said Dr. Rima Bitar, the practice’s executive director. Making this information readily available unclogged the phone lines, freeing up staff to focus on high-value, procedure-based conversations that qualified incoming leads for consults.
3. It actually alleviates consumers’ jitters about the expense.
Dr. Bitar noted that publishing prices often makes a procedure seem more accessible to consumers, many of whom assume the cost is out of their reach. “I think it enables people who think that plastic surgery is more expensive to say, “Hey, I can actually afford this.”
4. Price lists have a marketing value.
While consumers dig through your prices, they might discover that they ‘dig’ some of the other procedures you offer. “My price page serves as a great menu of services,” said Dr. Bitar. “So as somebody is scrolling down to figure out the cost of a procedure they’re interested in, they see all these other services that we offer.”
5. It’s an SEO booster.
Pricing is highly coveted information, and if you publish price ranges to your website, it can also elevate your standing in search results. “Our price page has consistently ranked number three as our most-viewed page, after the homepage and the photo gallery,” Dr. Rima Bitar stated.
6. Publishing your prices builds trust.
“I also think posting your prices adds credibility and transparency,” said Dr. Bitar. “You don’t want them to think, ‘If I go into that office wearing a mink coat, they’re going to fleece me because they think I can afford to pay more for a facelift.”
7. Publishing your prices shows that you stand behind your results.
Dr. Bitar is confident in both his work and his price point. “The way I think about it is, ‘These are our prices and we stand behind them,’” he said. “If you want to take our prices and shop them with another person, that’s fine: they can imitate us, and they can undercut us, but they’re never going to be as good as us.”
8. It delivers critical info about procedures in a way millennials prefer to learn.
The under-40 crowd isn’t really into the whole “picking up the phone” thing, observed Dr. Rima Bitar. “They just want to see the info. They want convenience. So, if you don’t have your prices online, they’re probably not going to pick up that phone.”
9. Differentiate yourself—differently.
Publishing your prices says you’re competing on your results, not competing in a race to the bottom on pricing. “I trained in Beverly Hills with Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, and he had in the waiting room a big sign that said, ‘We have no qualms with people who charge less than us. They know their self worth,'” recalled Dr. Bitar. “And it’s a little harsh, but if you want to come and bargain with me on price, you’re missing the point of why you need to pick me as your plastic surgeon.”
10. Attract patients who value what your practice offers.
Dr. Bitar knows that having a successful practice isn’t predicated on winning every single possible patient. If a patient is put off by his prices to begin with, then would the full procedure experience be a good one for either the patient or the practice? “If we lose some patients because they see our prices and they go elsewhere, that’s fine. We don’t need to attract every single person, you know.”