Best Vendor Partners – CSF experts share their recommendations!

July 09, 2018

Running a practice is a full-time job.  It takes business acumen and management skills that fall well outside the scope of the medical expertise required to treat patients.  And yet, being part of a successful practice – or having your own, requires that you make thoughtful, well-informed, business decisions. None of us has the time to be both a medical expert and a business expert, so how does one go about acquiring knowledge and practical, implementable suggestions?  By taking advantage of the collective experience of one’s colleagues, of course!

In today’s post, CSF faculty share the Top 5 Vendors with whom they work, who have brought significant value to the business of their practice. From help managing changes in coding regulations to device companies whose work and research have meaningfully impacted patient care, Drs. Randy Waldman, Pamela Basuk, Suneel Chilukuri, and Michael Gold share some of their personal experiences.

Read on and see which tips make sense for you to implement in your practice!


Randy Waldman, MD
Waldman Schantz Turner Plastic Surgery Center and Skin Care, Lexington, KY
Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Services
Number of clinics (1) Physicians (3), physician extenders (0), and Estheticians (0) in the practice

Problem: Patient Reviews
Solution:  Bird Eye

I think it’s really important in any practice today to do a good job soliciting reviews and recommendations.  I determined we could do a better job of this in my practice. Bird Eye has gotten us new reviews while increasing reviews on Google and other review websites. Bird Eye also searches the internet to find bad reviews so we can address and turn around issues. This feature saves my office staff time from searching through the Internet and allows them to address reviews almost immediately.

Problem: EMR and Office Management Software
Solution: Patient Now

Patient Now is important to me because it runs my business and ensures my patients keep coming back. We use it for everything from patient scheduling to electronic medical record management and storage. It’s extremely affordable and reduces paperwork for my staff. Patient Now allows my practice to run with a purpose.”

Problem: Patient Financing
Solution: Care Credit

“This is a very valuable tool in a surgical practice. I find that nearly 15-20% of our plastic surgery patients, particularly Breast Augmentation patients, come in with Care Credit cards. Having the opportunity to provide this payment option for my patients positively impacts the number of people that are able to come in and pay for procedures. It makes financing simple and easy for me and more importantly, my patients.”

Problem: Website Maintenance and Search-Engine Optimization (SEO)
Solution: Patients Unlimited

“A great website is so important for a practice. Patients Unlimited helps us manage and maximize SEO, patient demographics and performance reviews. For patient demographics, be as specific as possible in your search so your reach is targeting your intended audience. Through Patients Unlimited, our efforts and investment in making a great website are worthwhile.”

Problem: Cyber Insurance
Solution: The Doctor’s Company

“How many of you with practices have cyber insurance? Not many people think about the importance of it.  I know of many plastic surgery practices that have had their systems hacked and their patient data stolen. I encourage you to look for cyber insurance, whether it is through your Malpractice carrier or through a company like The Doctor’s Company. Through The Doctor’s Company, we also provide Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse insurance. We knew we needed to be protected in all aspects of our practice.”

Extra tip“Another group of important vendors are ones who teach us how to market our practice. Invest in the process of sending your staff to events where vendors can provide them with these solutions.”


Pam Basuk, MD
Basuk Dermatology, Bay Shore, NY
Comprehensive Dermatology
Number of clinics (1) Physicians (4) physician extenders (0), and Estheticians (0) in the practice

Problem: Cosmetic Product Support
Solution: Merz

“Merz provides the education and support you need to run a practice. They will send trainers and professionals to your company when you need them to observe your technique and offer constructive criticism. Regardless of the training you receive in residency, Merz will provide you with the latest standards of care so you will confidently perform with the best technique. Also, with Merz, I don’t have to be a big practice to get a good discount. Their pricing and discounting options make the most sense for my practice”    

Problem: Product Recommendations
Solution: Private labeling

As a Dermatologist, I recommend cosmeceutical products to my patients almost every day. I find it’s best to sell the product in my office under private labeling. I can control the quality and pricing of the products while minimizing risk of losing the sale to other competitors. I caution you to avoid stocking and selling multiple brands to eliminate the hassle of redundant inventory. I’ve learned to price the products I sell competitively and as a result, the sales go directly to my pocket.”

Problem: Billing
Solution: Outside Billing Agency

I decided to go with an outside billing agency which only services Dermatologists. They provide expertise in everything from reporting long-term dollars spent per patient, reimbursing reports to reviewing accounts. This saves my staff time from chasing down unpaid claims and other financial issues. Additionally, outside billing agencies will arrange credentials, paperwork and a complete billing set up for new practitioners.”

Problem: Security
Solution: Camera Surveillance System

“As a solo practitioner, I can’t be in my office all the time. Camera surveillance is the eyes in and outside the office when I’m not present. I don’t have to question my staff about what goes on in the office because I can go back through the video if necessary. The time-stamped video can support your staff against patient claims and can also hold them accountable. Outdoor cameras also make me more comfortable, because if an incident were to occur, I can give the video to law enforcement to help them out. I don’t have to question anything that happens in my practice because of my camera surveillance.”

Problem: Electronic Medical Record Software
Solution: Modernizing Medicine

“Modernizing Medicine has helped with federal guidelines for Macron, MIPS and HIPPA. When codes change, my EMR takes care of remembering codes for me. All my patient charts are stored in a cloud with industry standard security. It’s not necessary to store the data on site which saves me space in my office. Storing my data in the cloud eliminates the worry of geographic redundancy – risk of loss in fire or natural emergency. I can access this information from anywhere; all I need is a computer and strong, secure Wi-Fi.”


Suneel Chilukuri, MD
Refresh Dermatology, Houston, TX
Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology
Number of clinics (1), Physicians (1), physician extenders (0), and Estheticians (0) in the practice

Problem: Specialty Healthcare
Solution: Allergan Access

“These are the people that allow me to survive in my practice. Whether you use Merz, Allergan or Galderma, all of these provide certain services but you need to investigate what these companies can do for you free of charge.”

“For instance, I use Allergan Access every day. It’s a low cost app that delivers one to three emails a month packed with information that is beneficial to my practice. The email information ranges from marketing tips and tools, telephone training, accounting recommendations and business tips. It offers tests for my staff members and continuously tracks their base knowledge on what they just tested on. For someone who’s just starting a practice or has a practice, I think Allergan Access is essential.”

Problem: Support After a Device Purchase
Solution: CynoSure

“Too often, I feel like as soon as you make a device purchase, poof, the company rep disappears. But, you should be thinking about what else you can ask from your device company. You can ask for a lot! Most importantly, ask your device company about the resources they have AFTER you purchase their product. Do they offer marketing strategy or support?  Extended warranties?  For example, CynoSure has an amplified marketing program that helps you develop a launch strategy and can also guide you through hosting special events.”

Problem: Expensive Professional Photography
Solution: Photo RX

Photography is extremely important. For those of you starting a practice or getting into cosmetics, you will need a simple system. Photo RX is a low cost photography tool that allows you to have easy access to a cloud based system. Photo RX has sliders with morphing capabilities and drawing tools. It is compatible with iPads, iPhones and other Apple products. This is a great tool for purely cosmetic practices.”

Problem: Patient Marketing
Solution: eRelevance and BTL Aesthetics

“eRelevance is not just your typical marketing email. It offers social media and texting capabilities which allow me to connect with my patients. Uniquely, eRelevance has custom-built apps for my patients to communicate with me in an instant messaging format.”

“I can’t say enough about this free BTL Aesthetics app. I use this app for every single body contouring patient. It helps me track my patients. The app measures my patient’s water content, what they’re eating and tracks their behavior. If my patient chooses not to be compliant, I can give them their money back. At the end of the day, it’s about the relationship with my patient and I want them to succeed.”


Michael Gold, MD
Gold Skin Care Center, Advanced Aesthetics Medical Spa, The Laser & Rejuvenation Center, and Tennessee Clinical Research Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology
Number of clinics (3), Physicians (1), physician extenders (2), and Estheticians (3) in the practice

Problem: Hyper-trophic scars, Keloid lesions and full-body burns
Solution: Lumenis lasers

“The core of my work as a physician has been treating difficult cases, dealing with scars and burns.  The work I’ve done with Lumenis has been incredibly important to my practice both here in the States and abroad.  The work we did and the papers we published are important.  Lumenis is known for fractional lasers and CO2 resurfacing.  Their treatments range from addressing hyper-trophic scars, keloid lesions, and full-body burns. These results have had an incredible impact on patient care.”

Problem: Hyper-Pigmentation
Solution: Syneron

“I use the Vbeam Perfecta laser every day in my office to treat a variety of different things. Pigment is the most important thing that we are seeing in our offices. Some people say that pigment is the new wrinkle. We can use our Pico lasers to treat pigment, wrinkles and tattoos.”

Problem: Awareness of Cosmetic Procedures
Solution: Allergan

Without Botox cosmetic, none of us would be in in this room [at Cosmetic Surgery Forum]. They own SkinMedica, CoolSculpting, and they own breast implants and many other things. Whatever your feelings about the company, Allergan has changed our practices for the better.”

Problem: Alternative Thread Sutures
Solution: Sinclair

Instalift is an absorbable suture and a great alternative to threads which can cause problems later.”

Problem: Acne
Solution: Aerolase

“The NeoDevice is the most profitable device in my office. I literally use it on 8-10 acne patients a day. It is a long term acne solution laser device.”

Problem: Scars
Solution: Stratpharma

StrataMed and StrataCell are silicone post procedure and wound products which can be applied immediately after a suture or a laser procedure. We have never had that before.”

Extra tip: “Buying a device is a huge investment.  In order to buy a laser you should pay attention to the best time to buy a laser. The best time to buy is March 30, June 30, September 30 and December 31 at 11:00 p.m. If you want to buy a laser, start negotiating.  Negotiate warranties and disposals.”


Did you find this information to be helpful?  Be sure to join us November 28 – December 1 for Cosmetic Surgery Forum 2018 where we’ll have more panels and open discussion on tips for successful practice-management!

Register today!

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  • There”s definitely some sound advice in here on choosing the right vendors. It”s also important to understand a little bit about each potential marketing channel, and I am glad to see you included SEO in your list. It seems to work really well from what I”ve seen. I think that”s because a lot of practitioners haven”t discovered SEO as a potential lead source quite yet in most markets.