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Beware of discounted services. Why do prices for aesthetic services vary from practice to practice?

Beware of discounted services. Why do prices for aesthetic services vary from practice to practice?

Why does the cost of injectable wrinkle relaxer and injectable filler vary from practice to practice? Numerous things account for pricing differences with injectables:
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1. Your injector: Remember, you are not only paying for the injectable medication, you are paying for the education, experience, and expertise of the injector. You will see prices vary depending on the experience and credentialing of cosmetic injectors. For example, a nurse injector (RN) or aesthetician with medical director oversight may cost less versus a physician or aesthetic nurse practitioner. The training and education needed to achieve credentials for an RN or aesthetician is significantly different than a provider with a doctorate or specialized degree. Does this mean the RN or aesthetician may not be as good at injections? Absolutely not. The skill of the injector depends on not only their education, but also their experience and "eye" for aesthetics. We support all injector education levels and promote continued learning and shadowing for new injectors. There are also benefits to having an ARNP,  PA or MD performing your injections when they hold a specialty degree or training in Dermatology or Plastic Surgery. These providers have the experience of performing countless surgeries, injections, and other procedures on the head and neck, which gives them expertise in anatomical locations of important structures that can be compromised during your treatment including arteries, veins, and nerves. This type of injector also has significant training and experience during emergency situations and carries the ability to abort, reverse, or work with specialist colleagues to correct the rare, but potential negative outcomes that can occur with injectable fillers and wrinkle relaxers. For example, if your plane starts to hit a bit of turbulence, which then causes significant decrease in elevation and potential crash, wouldn't you want a pilot who has the knowledge, experience, and skill to take charge of the situation in a calm and collected matter even when under significant stress? 

2. Geographical location. Depending on your location in the country, treatment costs will vary. Factors include whether or not your provider provides a service in a rural or urban area. Most practices will compete with one another to provide the lowest pricing available for that region. At Salish Coast Medical Aesthetics, our pricing is based solely on market product cost + your provider experience/credentialing. We feel that it is important to not allow financial competition to determine our pricing as studies have shown that this can adversely affect the quality of care you receive if the service is discounted (for example, if a discounted procedure is performed the patient can sacrifice the accountability a provider will take due to this being a discounted price and the patient should be "happy with any result because they did not pay full price"). We let for our years of experience, expertise, and credentialing represent the pricing for our injectable procedures. 

3. Lastly, product sourcing. Did you know that anyone can access injectable aesthetic medications by purchasing these products out of country, from non-reputable sources, and at discounted prices for expired or damaged product? Your aesthetic injector must be able to provide written proof of valid contracts directly from the medication manufacturer. This is a layered approach of security that manufacturers and state laws have put in to place to ensure that patients are being provided with authentic products from credentialed providers. We encourage you to ask not only where the products are sourced, but also to ask to see expiration dates on packaging from products you may receive. We also encourage patients to ask what products are used as diluents and where their medical supplies are sourced from. All reputable cosmetic practices should source all medications from manufacturers along with medical supplies from reputable sources such as McKesson, Henry Schein, MedLine, etc.

Pro-tip: There is currently a shortage in saline used for diluting wrinkle relaxers. Verify with your provider where your diluent was sourced and what type is used to further ensure they are using safe and medically acceptable saline for intradermal injections according to the standard of care. Vial must be marked as sterile diluent for intradermal and intramuscular injections.