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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Many healthcare professionals offer discounts to new patients.

Resolved Question:

Many healthcare professionals offer discounts to new patients. However, there is a provision in the New York Education Law that considers it professional misconduct to offer discounts ONLY to a particular segment or population of patients.

Is it it illegal to adverise for example $50 discount to new patients for, say, dermabrasion?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

The type of discount does not appear to be based on a particular segment or population. If the medical facility or office specializes in dermabrasion treatment, then it is not discriminatory or in violation. Many different types of individuals from various ethnic, age, and gender groups could potentially utilize this treatment. While it is used by primarily female patients, males likewise utilize the service, and there is likewise a wide age and ethnic limit. This is not something that would be considered misconduct if the office in question truly specializes in this particular branch of care or treatment.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Dimitry,


In another legal opinion,



http://mtpnet.net/2012/06/important-notice-for-all-ny-massage-therapists-participating-in-online-discounts-like-groupon/


 


the interpretation was that the discount cannot be limited to only new patients but to all patients. To wit, once a $50 discount is offered to new patients, all existing patients should also receive the discount.


The legal rationale is for the healthcare professional to only perform procedures deemed necessary.


 


Bill

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Bill,

I have reviewed what the different individual posted, and while I do agree with a majority of his opinions, I respectfully XXXXX XXXXX his interpretation pertaining to what represents a a 'particular segment'. Provided the discount is not discriminatory in nature, and the benefit provided is not limited to certain individuals, there is no inherent violation because the 'segment' referred to here is anyone who is seeking this service. That is hardly exclusive in nature or in execution. If you wish to claim compliance, you can change the offer to state that this is open to all new clients or to any old clients who haven't yet used this service. Then it is very tough to claim any sort of market segmentation.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37611
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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