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    Avoiding problem patients

    Attorney Alex Thiersch sees what can happen when problem patients become cosmetic practice nightmares.

    Alex ThierschProblem patients, he says, have been known to retaliate for their dissatisfaction by calling the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), claiming illegal narcotics were being distributed at practices. They’ve called the FDA to claim the use of counterfeit Botox (Allergan). They’ve called the police, who have shown up at practices unannounced.

    All this, just because a practice agreed to treat an unreasonable or “problem” patient.

    “We don’t have any direct data or evidence on this, but anecdotally it appears this industry attracts its share of problematic patients,” according to Thiersch, a partner at ByrdAdatto in Chicago and director of the American Med Spa Association.

    It could be the nature of specialties aimed at enhancing patients’ looks.

    “…that will lead to patients that want more than they need, or who have issues with their self-image, so I think [cosmetic medicine] naturally lends itself to that,” he says.

    Among the traits of problem patients: they never seem to be satisfied; they always want more; and they have issues with price, according to Thiersch.

    “This person generally is more likely to complain, do a bad review or file a lawsuit,” he says.

    NEXT: How to Avoid Problem Patients

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...


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