Originally Published MDDI June 2002
NEWS & ANALYSIS
A recent 175-page report from Feedback Research Services concludes that more Americans are spending personal income on medical services not specifically recommended to them by their physicians.
These services include those offered by the booming cosmetic surgery industry and providers of the increasingly popular Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) procedure. Liposuction alone accounted for more than $1 billion in physician's and surgeon's fees in 2001, while LASIK generated around $1.3 billion.
In addition to cosmetic surgery and LASIK, the number of cardiac- and health-diagnostic scans being performed independent of a doctor's recommendation is on the rise. According to the report, market research and news organizations are predicting that between 350,000 and 400,000 such scans will be performed by the end of this year.
These figures are noteworthy in that they seem to indicate an increased willingness on the part of American consumers to purchase medical-type services that are not typically covered by insurance or Medicare. The numbers also demonstrate the success of recent and aggressive marketing tactics waged by providers of elective plastic surgery, ophthalmology, and diagnostic imaging services.
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