Is Cosmetic Surgery Affected By ObamaCare?

Q: Dr. Eppley, will ObamaCare affect the cost of any of your services? I know it impacts in some ways the cost of general medical care but I assume that in cosmetic surgery and cosmetic services that it will be unaffected since these are cash and not insurance-reimbursed procedures.

A: Unfortunately, your assumption is incorrect. ObamaCare impacts all medical services including that of surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic services. The Affordable Health Care Act, passed into law in 2010, has imposed a few changes on the way we conduct business. One of those changes became effective in January 2013 – the new Federal Excise Tax of 2.3% on all medical devices. This tax affects any cosmetic procedure in which a device is implanted. This includes surgical devices like breast implants, facial implants, metal plates and screws and various mesh support and fixation devices. This also affects the very popular injectable fillers such as Juvaderm, Radiesse, and Restylane which are classified as medical devices and are thus included in the new federal excise tax. Interestingly Botox is not classified as a medical device but as a drug so it is excluded from being taxed.  In order to maintain the fiscal health of my practice, the price of all medical devices will be increased to absorb this new tax.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana