Saturday, July 27, 2013

Poz Facial Fill Procedure Costs How Much in SF?

My new physician Dr. Toby Dyner and were talking about removing the skin tags on my neck during my recent visit with her. I always have a pad with questions and concerns written out before seeing my physician, and the tags were on my list.

She recommended consulting with dermatologist Dr. Kurtis Opp and I saw him last week. He explained that because of my public insurance, I'm on Medi-Care and Medi-Cal, and the mountain of paperwork required to get reimbursed for simply procedures like removing skin tags he would get rid of a dozen large tags as a favor to me. If I want to remove the remaining tags, he'll charge me $150 directly.

Opp and I talked about Dr. Marcus Conant, one of the first doctors to recognize the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s in San Francisco who was my previous dermatologist until endless, complicated billing practices with public and private insurance carriers led him to retire. [UPDATE: A reader sent the link to the 2010 story in the SF Chronicle about Conant closing up shop.]

Actually, I should semi-retirement since he conducts occasional all-day clinics just for facial fill procedures for people living with AIDS, according to Opp who works with Conant's clinic and performs the procedure.

I am not interested in the procedure at this time, but out of curiosity asked Opp about the latest advances for PWAs who get facial fill. Opp said there's still a small degree of pain when they have to numb the cheeks before injecting the fat material, and that the face stays full for a few years.

The price is $400 for the entire procedure and no insurance is accepted by Conant, all due to the incredible hassles with paperwork and insurance carriers.

The site reports that Medi-Care decided in 2010 to cover the facial fill procedure, but what good is that decision when doctors in San Francisco and probably other cities opt-out of seeking reimbursement and the person with AIDS has to make an out-of-pocket payment?

Let's see if this situation changes when Obamacare rolls out starting on October 1.


John Iversen said...

Thanks Michael> Perhaps they can just move the bags under my eyes to my sunken cheeks? (on my face, no pun intended. Sharing this at Occupy AIDS as I did with $234K Vacay one. <3 <3 <3

Rusty said...

Prices for almost anything in San Francisco are outlandish compared with those in most other places. However, $400 for a dermal filler procedure sounds like rock-bottom pricing. Still, $400 is a lot for anyone with a low income.

John Iversen said...

Shared on Occ AIDS (FB) as i did w/ $234 3 month Vay-Kay one. Perhaps they could just move the bags under my eyes just down and over a slight bit?

Michael Petrelis said...

Forgot to mention that Opp said the $400 price was the going rate for the procedure in San Francisco.

Mark King said...

My experience has been that while costs vary wildly, many patients don't know about patient assistance programs -- or even what exactly is involved in facial fillers.

Both Sculptra and Radiesse, the most popular temporary fillers, have assistance programs (cost-free for Sculptra and less than $100/vial for Radiesse), and physicians will often use a sliding scale for the procedure, making costs such as that charged by Conant available to many.

I've produced several videos over the years of my own facial filler process, with explicit footage of the injections, before/after, and Q/A with my physician. The latest one, with links to them all, is

A lot of us feel ashamed of our appearance, and it is important to know that this is corrective, not cosmetic, and the psychological benefits are enormous.