It may seem improbable, even shocking, but the fact is there are people who probably visit your office hoping that the work you perform on them will be "free of charge." Perhaps such people have read somewhere that standard health insurance fully covers elective Plastic Surgery and they want you to perform surgery on them for no cost.

Of course, any surgeries you perform require payment. And you certainly deserve to receive compensation for the skills and knowledge you've acquired, beginning with many years of schooling and the years you've spent since then honing your plastic surgery skills.

It seems clear that education is key to helping your potential patients understand that there is a cost involved in your professional services and that it can be signficant.

When you engage in an initial consultation with a potential new patient, simply let him or her know that there are three primary costs involved in the work you will do. The first charge is for the Surgical Fee and it is likely to be the easiest to understand. And, depending on you and your view of professional fees, it can be negotiable.

The second fee is for the anasthesiologist. This fee is based on the time it will take to complete the operation or, put another way, the complexity and length of the operation. It is important, of course, to remind your patient that he or she will need to discuss that fee with the anasthesiologist and not with you.

Finally, let your patient know that he or she will be charged a Facility Fee, a payment that needs to be made for nursing care, for medical materials and for drugs, as well. This fee, like the others noted above, can be negotiable in many circumstances.

What is most important here, however, is the fact that your patient needs to know that health insurance plans generally do not cover elective surgeries.